As we predicted here at Torque News back in September, Lexus has revealed its exciting new RC-F. This 2-door, V8 luxury sports coupe is aimed squarely at potential buyers of the BMW 435i and M4. Based on the new, but as yet not for sale RC-350, this RC will have a powerful eight cylinder engine.
In its press release today Lexus did not give actual horsepower numbers for the RC F. Instead it called it the “most powerful V8 performance car ever developed by Lexus.” The IS F currently has about 418, so we will guestimate that the new RC F will have over 450 horsepower. It would not surprise us if the new Lexus has an integrated hybrid drive or cylinder deactivation (or both) to keep the fuel economy respectable. The upcoming 2014 BMW M4 will have 430 horsepower according to the official BMW specifications released earlier this year. That car will be a 6-cylinder turbo.
The styling of the new RC F is derivative of the wildly successful 2014 IS 350 F Sport. That new model has sold so well it more than doubled sales of the previous generation and it took Lexus 3 months to catch up to demand. The aggressive spindle grill is there of course. The car also has as similar front lighting scheme. The fenders look very aggressive and we know from previously released specifications that the RC 350 will be a little longer and a pinch wider than the BMW 435i. Lexus points out that the hood of the RC F is higher than the RC 350 because it has a huge freaking V8 underneath trying to escape. The car will have carbon fiber components and will feature an active rear spoiler that rises up at high speeds.
Inside the RC F, at least in this pre-production stage, is nothing like the Lexus standard. As the photo above shows the seats are racing style, yet plush. The overall interior look is far more assertive than any prior production Lexus or Toyota.
Both the power and styling of the RC F are intended by Lexus to make the car seem edgy. Gritty is the word it repeatedly uses in its press releases. The underlying statement being that Lexus is not the boring luxury car company anymore.
If the current price levels of BMW and Lexus in their sports sedans and sports coupes holds, Lexus may be able to offer the RC F complete with V8 engine and with 150 more horsepower than the BMW 435i for about the same price. If Lexus does offer the RC F for about the same price as the lesser BMW 435i, it will be very interesting to see if the car magazines compare those two. Our bet will be that they won’t and will continue their tradition of comparing BMWs to much less expensive cars, all the while ignoring that better cars from the competitors are available, and thus award BMW the “win.” That might be changing though since both Car and Driver and Road and Track (as well as Torque News) picked the Lexus IS 350 over the BMW 335i in back to back comparisons, even though the Lexus was much less expensive.
The GS was our first hint that Lexus is done being called boring and devoid of driving pleasure. Then the IS 350 F Sport started winning all the sports sedan comparisons despite being priced significantly less than the German competition. Now Lexus is aiming straight at the volume M car from BMW and is not pulling any punches.