Here is a quiz; What do you call a rear-wheel drive, eight cylinder, two door sports coupe made by Lexus? There has been no answer to this question until recently. Very soon the answer might just be the 2014 Lexus RC-F. BMW will soon move the M3 Coupe badge to the 2014 M4. Cadillac may very well challenge the 3 Series with an ATS-V coupe. Lexus has the current platform, current drivetrain and current cash flow to join this party, and is sick of being teased for being boring.
Many news outlets including Torque News have reported that Lexus will build a 2-door IS 350 sports coupe. The name given to the project at this point is RC. Following along the Lexus badge numerology, an 8-cylinder version of this car would be an RC-F, like the current IS-F, but with a coupe body style.
The RC 350 itself will be amazing in any form. With the 306 horsepower, 8 speed manu-matic drivetrain from the IS family it will be a great looking coupe with gusto. Given the F-Sport treatment this car would be the best coupe the company has made as a production vehicle since the Toyota Supra. The IS-F of course has a 416 horsepower V8 engine. In the RC with a short wheelbase this car would be the fastest production Lexus/Toyota in the history of the company setting aside low volume supercars built for marketing purposes.
A Cadillac ATS-V would use the twin turbo V-6 from the Cadillac CTS V-Sport. That car has 420 horsepower. The venerable M3, now about to be transformed into an M4 coupe, uses a V8 with 420 horsepower. If Lexus is going to go to the bother of making a coupe version of the IS, of course it would shift the “F” moniker to the coupe. Every automaker prefers that their top car be a coupe rather than a 4-door. That is when the light bulb appeared over our heads. The IS-F has not been killed off by Lexus. Rather, it and the IS 350C have both been “carried over” from 2013 unchanged to be 2014 models. Apparently, they will morph into RC-F and RC-350C models.
If we have moved too fast with the Lexus-speak we apologize. We have no confirmed information, and we have no unconfirmed information. Bob Dylan wrote “All I’ve got is a red guitar, three cords, and the truth.” We’ve got decades of Toyota experience, a line of reason, and the photo above of a Lexus concept car. Check back in 6 months and let’s see if you read it here first.
2012 concept vehicle image courtesy of Lexus.