This is the Lexus RC-F, an all-new sports coupe from the Japanese manufacturer, which it hopes will steal sales from the Audi RS5 and forthcoming BMW M4.

Due to be officially unveiled at next week’s Detroit motor show, the RC-F is a range-topping performance iteration of the company’s new RC coupe, which was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show last November.

As such, it eschews the 2.5-litre hybrid and 3.5-litre V6 petrol engines available in that model, instead being fitted with a huge 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8.

Developing 450bhp, it comfortably outguns the 425bhp produced by the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo BMW M4 – the car it is going to have to beat to be considered a credible contender in the sports coupe sector.

In fact, Lexus claims the engine is the most powerful V8 it has ever created. Further figures relating to performance and economy are yet to be confirmed.

The RC-F will also feature extensive chassis modifications to provide a more sporting driving experience over the standard RC. Full details have not yet been released, but expect revisions to the suspension, steering and brakes, as well as a number of stylistic alterations both inside and out.

The pictures released show that the RC-F will wear Lexus’ current ‘spindle’ grille that extends to the lower edge of the bumper, making the car appear lower to the ground.

The front-end styling also features a number of large air ducts and strategically placed aerodynamic fins to maximise its purposeful look.

At the rear there is an active wing – inspired by a similar item fitted to Lexus’ astonishing LFA supercar – which deploys at speeds above 50mph for additional stability.

Inside, the interior, which is largely shared with the current IS saloon, is lifted with a number of sporty touches including bespoke dials, sports seats and a unique steering wheel.

This isn’t Lexus’ first foray into performance motoring. It’s previous model, the 5.0-litre IS-F saloon went out of production in 2012, but you can search for a used example here.

Daljinder Nagra


January 10, 2014