RC F Packs A Punch

Developed by Lexus alongside the stunning RC sports coupe, the RC F is an extension of the F brand heritage and has elements of the LFA supercar and IS F performance sedan coursing throughout its design. It’s a jolt to the eyes with a more striking version of the RC body outfitted with wider wheels and tires, an active rear wing, air scoops, cooling ducts and available carbon fiber body features components. In the rear, the RC F features functional stacked exhaust tailpipes that make it even more distinctive. The RC F packs a punch with a 467-horsepower version of the F-tuned 5.0-liter V8, backed up by a close-ratio eight-speed Sports Program Direct Shift transmission and available Torque Vectoring Differential.

Lexus developed the RC F to excel on the track as well as the road. Body rigidity, suspension, brakes, tires and all other systems were developed with the expectation that RC F owners would be taking their cars to track day events. The car’s electronically enhanced driveline, based on Lexus’ Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM), enables average drivers to get closer to limits previously attainable only by trained professionals. The same systems offer enhanced levels of active safety on the road.

You see the grille first. The signature Lexus spindle grille looks menacing in black mesh, and when you look closely at the RC F’s grille, you’ll see the F motif repeated in the mesh pattern. Built on the same 107.5-inch wheelbase as the RC, the RC F is slightly lower, wider and longer. The RC F is 0.2 inches (5 mm) wider than RC, thanks to its distinctive flared and laser-brazed wheel arches. It’s 0.4 inches (10 mm) longer due to the packaging of its rear aerodynamic devices, and it’s 0.2 inches (5 mm) lower. The stance, amplified by the wider, lower-profile tires, is even more of a ready-to-attack pounce than on the RC.

Every styling design feature of the RC F has a positive aerodynamic benefit. A continuous flow from the hood and front fender through to the belt line emphasizes the crouching nature and contributes to airflow. Cooling ducts within the RC F grille supply air to oil coolers. At the rear of the front fender, a large L-shaped cooling outlet provides essential cooling and aerodynamic functions and also conveys the car’s performance enhancement. The hood is raised in the center to accommodate and emphasize the V8, and a meshed vent in the center supports aerodynamics and cooling.

When it comes to beating the wind, cheating is acceptable. Designers seeking ideal aerodynamics for a high-performance car, though, must also accommodate pedestrian protection elements, in addition to the usual need to provide adequate cooling for a high-output engine and track-capable brakes. All the intake and outlet ducts are functional, helping to cool the brakes and vent the engine compartment. The air outlets on the hood and fenders not only exhaust hot air from the engine compartment but also help to smooth the airflow toward the rear of the vehicle.

With technology adopted from the LFA, a wing deploys from the RC F trunk lid at a vehicle speed of approximately 50 mph to increase downforce as vehicle speed rises. As the vehicle’s speed drops below approximately 25 mph, the wing retracts. Alternatively, the driver can control rear wing deployment from the cockpit. For drivers who don’t mind even more attention while reducing vehicle weight, there’s an available carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof and rear wing, developed from the LFA and IS F CCS-R racecar.

The 2UR-GSE 467 horsepower V8 runs on the Atkinson cycle when operating at cruising speeds, to help enhance fuel economy. It’s a trick picked up from the brand’s hybrids. In the Atkinson cycle, the inlet valves are held open longer than normal to allow a reverse flow of intake air into the intake manifold, thereby decreasing pumping loss and increasing thermal efficiency.

Special features of the RC F engine include titanium valves, forged connecting rods, an optimized exhaust layout to more effectively harness exhaust pulses and an air-cooled oil cooler for optimum durability. The sound blasting from the RC F’s quad stacked tailpipes is sure to turn heads and raise pulse rates. Yet, Lexus also had to design the cabin to be quiet enough to enable enjoyment of the standard premium sound system or sonically stunning available Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound system.

The RC F 5.0-liter V8 finds the ideal dance partner in a specially tuned version of the eight-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission. Refined to suit the RC F’s new engine higher engine speeds, the transmission control program delivers a more linear response to accelerator input, and hence a more dynamic feeling.

The transmission offers the driver four selectable modes – Normal, Sport S, Sport S+, and M. The last one is of course for Manual, and in this mode, the SPDS applies full torque-converter lock-up from second to eighth gears for clutch less manual shifting. Upshifts are made in just 0.1-second in M mode, with the transmission’s throttle blipping control matching the engine speed to the gear.

Lexus designed the RC F’s front for track driving, though of course they also provide all day comfort for the road. The high-back design with integrated headrests and side bolsters provides optimum support for the back in mid-g cornering and additional shoulder support in high-g driving. The cushion’s design helps hold the driver’s leg in place when pushing down on the foot brace. Special integrated foaming construction helps the seats conform to the person’s body.

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