$TM, 2015 Lexus RC-F Debuts At 2014 Detroit Auto Show
Lexus’ 450-hp 2015 Lexus RC-F shows that it means business. Audi RS5, BMW M4, and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, you got a match?
Looking at the 2015 Lexus RC-F prior to the car’s unveiling at the 2014 Detroit Show, one is convinced that this is likely to be a good one.
The new car becomes reality in the Fall when this high-performance ride goes on sale across the United States and Europe.
Lexus is tired of being overlooked, back in Y 1989, their LS400 flattened the German prestige brands with new standards of comfort, drivability, and reliability, and yet Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz continue to dismiss Lexus with a wave, just as they did 25 yrs ago.
Lexus is set on making an international statement.
The RC-F is part of that statement, and it is a message that has been coming for a while. It was not a coincidence when Toyota (NYSE:TM) created its own Formula 1 racing team from scratch and hit the track in Y 2002, even before BMW and Mercedes-Benz bought pre-existing F1 teams.
The Lexus LFA was not high-tech “Toy” when it debuted as a show car in Y 2005. The Lexus IS-F sedan was not an imitation BMW M3 when it came on the market in Y 2008 either. When the LF-LC Concept debuted at the Y 2012 Detroit show, Lexus made it clear it was serious about building high powered sports cars.
The production-ready RC-F is here. RC stands for “radical coupe,” and F is a traditional Toyota code for special projects, notably the F1 that became the LS400.
The car is a rear-wheel-drive coupe, the long sweep of the hood hooked up with an upright cabin tilt at the rear.
The RC also has style too, some dismiss its look as “Origami styling,” but it really looks good its different, the RC-F is unique for its carbon-fiber roof and optional carbon-fiber rear wing.
It sports the largest version ever of the spindle grille that has become the signature of Lexus.
Everyone really wants to know what is under the hood.
It has same cast-aluminum block that is in the IS-F, but everything else about this DOHC 5.0-liter V-8 engine has been upgraded.
Lightweight titanium valves are again matched with strong, forged connecting rods, but there are new cylinder heads that still incorporate variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust cams.
The polished crankshaft is smaller in diameter to reduce friction, while the pistons reduce friction too. The intake manifold and exhaust headers are new, and the exhaust soulds off with a sharp, loudnote.
The dynamometer numbers are not yet final, but the report is that this engine turns much faster than before to deliver at least 450 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque.
Do not be surprised that an 8-spd automatic transmission is part of its high-performance package, as it delivers the drivability Lexus wants as well as the necessary durability. It’s calibrated to lock up in 2nd gear and above for fastresponse, it delivers gearchanges from the shift paddles in less than 0.2 second, and it blips the throttle automatically for quicker downshifts.
The electronic programming for the transmission, chassis, and stability control includes 3 modes suitable for track driving, and there is an optional torque-vectoring rear differential.
The inspiration for the RC-F was the Lexus IS-F CCS-R, the winged car that Lexus raced at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Y 2012.
The RC-F was tested at the Autopolis Circuit, Fuji International Raceway, owned by Toyota,, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and Willow Springs International Raceway in California.
The RC-F showed outstanding performance on the circuit, but it is drivable for anyone, and one does not need special skill to enjoy this car. It is about the human experience of the driving, not just the performance of the machine says the chief engineer.
Brian Smith, the Lexus brand’s marketing VP, says that the RC-F supports the new Lexus F Sport models that have been rolling out, giving the brand a pyramid of premium cars for customers to climb.
The RC-F sits near the top of that pyramid, and the word is that a version of the Supersporty LF-CC concept car is also on the way to showrooms soon.
This car’s evolution has to with Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corporation since Y 2009. He embraced the LFA when it 1st appeared as a concept car, and he has been around the Nordschleife a few times himself.
Mr. Toyoda has driven in endurance races staged at the Nürburgring several times too since Y 2007, and he has become friends with Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s president, who also regularly races the Nordschleife.
They swapped cars in the last drive of a Y 2011 event, soMr. Bez crossed the finish line in an LFA and Mr. Toyoda drove across in a V12 Zagato.
The 2014 Detroit Auto Show
Saturday, January 18 – Saturday, January 25, 2014
9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (no admittance after 9 p.m.)
Sunday, January 26, 2014
9 a.m. – 7 p.m. (no admittance after 6 p.m.)
Early access for handicapped individuals at 8 a.m.
One Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226 USA
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