BMW M4’s playground is getting smaller. Its competition, in the form of the Lexus RC-F, was unveiled recently. The secret became too hard for Lexus to keep, we guess. And why not! Just look at the beautiful blue coloured Lexus with a V8 pulsing underneath that savvy hood and you will know what the excitement is all about.
This car follows the previous generation Lexus ISF F, it is two doors less, carries an LFA-inspired design and goes faster than before. The limelight will shared between the two cars at the Motor Show. Hard to tell who will get the most eyeballs.
What deserves special mention is the 5.0-litre V8. Something which the car’s designer, Yukihiko Yaguchi, too agrees with. In a conversation with an automotive website he explains, ““In our analysis the naturally aspirated V8 delivered the best high-performance machine,” said Yaguchi. “We didn’t consider any other power unit. We wanted an engine that could be smooth in normal use, but deliver large power on track. We looked at hybrid technology, and one day it may be suitable, but at the moment it cannot operate at these levels in consistent track use.”
At 450bhp the car already outdoes the 425bhp from the BMW’s M4. Lexus, in fact, claims that this is the most powerful road-going V8 ever built. We would not start cheering too soon as other figures such as the torque output or its efficiency figures have not been revealed as yet.
The RC F gets extroverted looks to match its expected horsepower rating. As with the base RC and IS, the styling is a mixture of angular lines and slashes, topped by angry-looking headlights, and a version of Lexus’ trademark “spindle grille” that looks quite threatening. Power is routed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic. While the RC F has a traditional torque converter automatic, the M4 offers a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The dramatic exterior styling is said by Lexus to boost performance and demonstrate the car’s capabilities. The bonnet is set higher on the RC-F than the standard car, while the wheel arches are flared in order to house the standard 10-spoke, 19-inch wheels. The front bumper and wings carry air ducts to boost cooling, while aerodynamic fins are designed to aid stability. Stacked, trapezoidal quad exhausts also add to the rear-end drama.
Yaguchi says the RC-F is designed “with the goal of being capable of being driven fast by anyone, regardless of their ability.” He denied that the RC-F had been benchmarked against any rival cars, but conceded his team had spent time in the last-generation BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG to help determine their development direction.
The RC F, though not over-the-top or exceedingly beautiful, is definitely a performance car.