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PranK

Lexus RC F

1 post in this topic

Lexus RC F

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The Lexus IS nameplate dates back to 1998 and the entry-level luxury segment. Originally a popular choice in Japan and the United States, the four-door sedan and five-door wagon variants were your only choice if you wanted the IS. There was no two-door coupe as demand was simply not that high for it back then. Fast forward to 2006 and the new generation, and things have drastically changed. Performance luxury coupes were fast outselling sedans and nowhere was this more apparent than with BMW’s M3 and Mercedes’ C63. To avoid competing with the much more capable Germans, Lexus offered a convertible version only. It wasn’t until 2015 and the third-generation IS that the highly-anticipated coupe version finally made its debut. Weirdly enough, it sported the RC F moniker rather than the IS.

Though the design is borrowed from its IS sibling heavily, the RC F is a bespoke product in terms of marketing placement. The aggressive design with lots of creases, sharp edges and bold lines makes it immediately apparent that something sinister lies beneath the alien-looking exterior. Lexus claims it pays tribute to the legendary LFA super car, but we’re not seeing that. Make no mistake, this is not a GT-R rival although it looks like it could be. It’s not a super car-killer the GT-R is, but rather a high-performance version of the standard RC destined to compete with the M4 and the C63 AMG, as well as the RS5.

Exterior

From the outside, it’s not difficult to distinguish it from the normal RC Coupe. The aggressive styling with massively flared arches and a signature Lexus Spindle Grille make it immediately apparent that it’s something much more special than just a plain RC. The hood boasts a large dimple, but it’s a case of form follows function. The large V8 had to rest somewhere, and the hood needed to accommodate it. But more on the beastly engine later.

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Both front and rear fascias get L-shaped air outlets to channel hot air from the hood and extract it into the atmosphere. The lower halves of both connect via the bottom part of the door, creating one continuous line. The front end is littered with strategically placed fins which stabilize the large coupe at extremely high speeds. Not the stuff one would expect from Lexus, but we said the same when the LFA debut, so nothing can surprise us anymore.

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Out back the RC F boasts a new sports exhaust system carrying over the same stacked trapezoidal quad tailpipes like the ones found in the IS F. The best part? It’s elegant and sleek when stationary, with no nonsense spoilers to ruin the flowing design, but take it above 50 mph and you’ll notice a speed-sensitive active rear spoiler pop out from the top of the trunk. It retracts when the speed drops below 25 mph. Available with lots of carbon fiber elements and a choice of three different ten-spoke 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, buyers can customize the exterior far more than what the M4 allows.

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Interior

Perhaps even more breathtaking than the exterior, the interior follows the same aggressive and sporty design, but because this is Lexus, everything you see and touch feels completely bespoke. Lexus tried to match the LFA’s unique character and vibe, and for the most part we’d agree that they’ve achieved just that. Whether you’re looking to just cruise or do track days in, the RC F’s cabin is an extremely nice place to be in. The steering wheel, the seats, all of the gauges and even the pedals are one-offs fabricated for the RC F models. The seats can be wrapped in smooth leather and come in three color choices, with a special foaming construction designed to keep the occupants in place under extreme G-forces. You can technically fit adults in the back row, but ideally only for short journeys and if you really, really have to.

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Alcantara is scattered everywhere throughout the cabin, as is premium leather, with aluminum and carbon fiber trim piece accessories finishing off the entire look. The TFT display encased in a machined-aluminum ring showcases all vital driving information, turning the rev counter red as you pop the F-Sport button on. The 10-speaker sound system with 256 watts is amazing, but true audiophiles will no doubt want the 835 watt, 360-degree three-dimensional sonic Mark Levinson sound system. To say it’s anything short of staggering would be an understatement.

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Engine and Performance

Unlike its German rivals, which focus mostly on the sporty side and less on the luxury, the RC F offers a much better balance of both. It also uses a naturally-aspirated, screaming V8, as opposed to the turbocharged units used over in Germany. The engine in question is a 5.0 liter, 32-valve V8 pushing out 348 kilowatts and 527 Nm of torque. It’s also the first sports car to use the Atkinson cycle in an effort to lower fuel consumption and emissions when cruising. The big V8 is mated to a close-ratio eight-speed automatic with a Torque Vectoring Differential. The RC F can sprint to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 275 km/h, 25 km/h more than the equivalent Beemers and Mercs.

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Front and rear suspension systems are completely independent using monotube, gas-filled shock absorbers and ball-jointed stabilizer bars. The Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) offers three different driving modes: standard, slalom and track. For a large coupe, the RC F is amazingly competent in the bends. It will understeer at the very limit as a precaution programmed in from Lexus, but turn all systems off and it has no issues lighting up the rears in induced oversteer.

Conclusion

Will it beat an M4 or a C63 AMG Coupe on a track? Definitely not. But that’s missing the point. As a real-world performer, we’d argue that the RC F is more competent than both. It’s just as fast on A and B roads, with the added benefit that you get to enjoy sumptuous luxury and Lexus refinement. It also helps that the 5 liter V8 screams like a race cars’ unit at anything beyond 5 grand. A real joy to drive.

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    • By PranK

      No, thats not another version of the LF-LC its the all-new Lexus LC500 Coupe, which looks a heck of a lot like the showcar that preceded it way back in 2012. Thats not to suggest that the styling has aged well let you make up your own minds on that but at the 2016 Detroit autoshow where the car was revealed in near-production guise ahead of its showroom debut in some markets in 2017, there were plenty of jaws left agape.

      There is a stunning resemblance between the concept version and the production car. But it's important to note that this is fully a Lexus project, one that was developed in-house without the assistance of any other company (so, it's not a Lexus version of the long-rumoured BMW/Toyota joint-venture model, aka the Supra). With a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine sending power towards the rear wheels through an industry-first 10-speed automatic gearbox, the LC500 Coupe is good for about 350kW of power (no torque figure has been made available, only a target of 530Nm), and a claimed 0-60 mile per hour (0-96km/h) time of under 4.5 seconds.

      Its the same engine as is used in the RC F performance coupe, and that new gearbox should theoretically be able to make good use of the power on offer. Lexus claims the transmission has shift times "rivalling those of a dual-clutch transmission" and,further, says the gearbox is smaller and lighter than some current eight-speed units. Toyota Motor Corporation president and Lexus chief branding manager, Akio Toyoda, made it clear that he wanted this model to be "exhilarating in every way - inside, outside, and under the hood".And as such, the Lexus LC500 has, as Lexus claims, a "fantastic sound". It features an active exhaust system that opens the baffles in Sport mode to make it sound aggressive from start-up. In Normal mode the car still opens the baffles above 3500rpm, and there's a sound generator system that pumps noise into the cabin, too."We dont want to make cars to simply fill a category -we want to make cars to fill people's hearts," Toyoda said."When we designed the LF-LC concept it was to showcase the future Lexus design. We had no intention of turning it into a production car, but your positive reaction - as well as the reaction of our customers -changed our minds.

      "We listened - and we made it real," he said, describing the car as"the result of the combined passion of our engineers and designers who worked together to turn the LF-LC into reality".The production coupe spans 4760 millimetres in length, 1920mm wide (yeah, and it looks it!) and just 1345mm tall, all while riding on a wheelbase of 2870mm.Lexus claims the LC500 has had "all of its dynamic control elements such as power application, braking, and steering tuned to operate rhythmically in sport driving conditions". And stopping shouldn't be an issue, either, with six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers.

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      See loads more incredible pics of the GS350F on CarAdvice

    • By PranK
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      What the RC 200t isnt lacking for is impact. Bonnet bulge apart, it takes trainspotting to pick one from the twice-pricey RC F. However, that the two-litre version packs nearly 100 per cent of the drama from fifty paces could be viewed as a tank half empty or full depending on opinion: a question of whether it should have the show if it cant deliver the go to match.It's hard to imagine buyers preferring a meeker design more suitably matched to packaged performance than what the brazen F Sport provides.
      Its not quick. Even with 350Nm clocking on at just 1650rpm, while skipping over Sport drive mode straight to Sport+ (from a default Normal) and loading up the engine under brakes for a step-off launch, the 2.0-litre turbo four struggles to break the fat 265mm-wide rear Bridgestone Potenza tyres traction. Acceleration is hardly leisurely, but the powertrain strains under hauling 1700kg-odd towards the horizon, an no amount of sonic trickery from the Acceleration Sound Control which has skimmed some cream off the top of the LFA supercars exhaust note makes it feel any quicker than its makers 7.5s 0-100km/h claim.
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      Sport+ does inject some urgency but its fangs dont dig terribly deep and it creates enough belligerence in the otherwise tempered driveline that youll be reaching for Normal mode the moment you begin to slow.
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      Much of the sporty satisfaction can be attributed to the cabin space. While its fussy styling mightnt be to all tastes, much effort has gone into both overall presentation and finer details, and it certainly not shy on making a generally positive impression.
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      The feel-good premium accoutrements extend to the dark, low-lustre plastics, satin titanium-look and knurled metal look (door switch plates, glovebox lid) highlights and suede-like headlining. The impossibly lengthy, leather appointed door trims look a million bucks. Devils in details include electric wheel adjustment, a neat frameless rear-view mirror and a floor-hinged accelerator pedal. The analogue clock is certainly a nod Mercedes-Benzs way.
      The haptic trackpad infotainment interface rather than the 'joystick' input as used in other models allows a reasonably intuitive sync with the on-screen selections, though the system itself can be slow to react and it's still clunkier than some slicker Euro rivals designs. Further, much of the functionality (Local Search, Destination Download, Fuel Finder) adopts the Lexus Enform format that relies on phone data rather than inbuilt resources.





      If theres an area letting the team down in the cabin, its the lacklustre square buttons that festoon the central stack, and that Lexus still persists in such a sport-themed model with a foot operated parking brake.
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      Tellingly, weve rated the RC 350 in review as the smarter choice compared with the mighty RC F. With a more fulsome 233kW, fatter 378Nm torque band and richer (though also electronically enhanced) sonic character, the RC 350 F Sport offers a thick veneer of sporting mojo perhaps the key missing ingredient thats absent in the RC 200t. And with its more strident 6.1sec march to 100km/h from a standstill, itll offer more bite underfoot on those occasions you need or want it.
      Even prospective coupe buyers who care little for performance might be foohardy not to cross-shop the six-cylinder if the turbo four-cylinder version blips bright and loud on the coupe-buying radar.

      See many more pics and info on CarAdvice

    • By PranK
      Lexus GS F launching in Australia in February



      Spains former Grand Prix Circuit, Jarama, just outside Madrid, has played host to the international dynamic launch of the all-new 2016 Lexus GS F, which will arrive in Australia in February.Its the second full-strength high-performance F model to be launched in 12 months, after the RC F coupe arrived in Lexus showrooms at the start of this year.The GS F makes its presence known with an unmistakeably tougher stance with more attitude than its less powerful siblings. Theres a huge front grille that stretches from the bonnet to the extra-low carbonfibre splitter with additional air intakes feeding the massive Brembo brakes.Aerodynamics are also said to play a key role in the GS Fs overall shape. Its longer, wider and sits 15mm lower to the ground than regular GS models. The more aggressive look is highlighted by flared guards and a tasty set of forged alloy wheels shod with low-profile Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres (255/35-front, 275/35 rear). Around back, theres a carbonfibre rear spoiler and the F brands trademark quad exhaust tips.




      Underneath, the GS F gets specially designed undertrays below the engine and midsection of the car, which direct cooling air toward the rear differential.Based on the updated fourth-generation GS that's due to hit Australian shores in December, the GS F is armed with the same 351kW/530Nm 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine found in the RC F, only this version is dynamically balanced after assembly.Lexus claims the GS F will sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its top speed is listed at 270km/h.Also carried over from the Lexus coupe are the Aisin eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive setup with a torque vectoring differential fitted as standard. The system is designed to improve the cars dynamic performance by controlling rear-wheel torque distribution during cornering. Drivers can choose between several settings: Standard, Slalom and Track for optimum performance depending on driving conditions at the time.




      Importantly, the engine note has been enhanced for the GS F with the inclusion of the new Active Sound Control (ASC), which electronically synthesises the engine sound and exhaust note in response to throttle pressure and paddleshifts. The sounds are then piped into the cabin through the speakers: front and rear speakers operate together in Sports S+ mode, while the rears operate during Sports S mode. The system is inert when driving in Normal and Eco modes.Additionally, extra baffling is also employed to further enhance the V8 burble, utilising stainless steel wool, as well as glass wool to achieve a deeper exhaust note.The GS Fs chassis tuning is more closely related to the RC F than the standard GS, particularly when it comes to suspension geometry. Torsional rigidity has been increased by around 20 per cent over the regular models through a host of changes including front and rear body bracing and newly developed mounts for the rear suspension.




      While there is no adaptive damper option, the GS F employs a sophisticated double wishbone front suspension with lightweight forged upper and lower aluminium control arms, and a multi-link system for the rear.The GS Fs electric power-assisted steering system has been calibrated for more a more dynamic feel than the standard GS model, though the steering ratio remains the same.Inside, the GS F benefits from the regularmodels mid-life revision (the current generation launched in 2012) including a less cluttered design with a more driver-centric cockpit and improved functionality.Taking centre stage is still the ultra-wide 12.3-inch infotainment screen with high-resolution and high-colour definition graphics for all functions. Theres a large TFT tachometer in front of the driver, with speedometer to the right and information display to the left.Theres also an extensive inventory of creature comforts for Australian-delivered GS Fs including a 17-speaker 835-watt Mark Levinson sound system.




      Materials are especially high-grade, with Alcantara covering much of the dash (reducing windscreen glare), centre console bin and some door trim.Australian buyers can also choose between carbonfibre and aluminium accents, as well as semi-aniline leather-accented or Alcantara sports seat trim. Interior colour schemes include Flare Red, Moonstone and black.As the range-topping model, the GS F also receives a suite of active and passive safety kit including 10 airbags, active cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist and adaptive high beam.Additionally, theres a tyre pressure warning system, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, back guide monitor and Drive Start Control, which, when sensing an abnormal shift while accelerating will reduce power output, helping to avoid a collision.




      Lexus is positioning the GS F well under rivals such as the twin-turbo 423kW/680Nm BMW M5 and 430kW/800Nm Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S and more in-line with models such as the 331kW/550Nm Audi S6.The updated GS model will arrive in December, while the GS F is expected to hit showroom floors in February 2016, with pricing expected to be between $150,000 and $160,000 plus on road costs.

      See more info and more pics on CarAdvice

      I reckon this looks awesome! Let us know your thoughts in the replies.
    • By PranK
      Automobileblog.com has posted "Future Japanese Sports Cars: Nissan GT-R, Lexus SC, and Toyota Supra"
      They have a little bit of info in the post and rough release dates;
      Next GTR: Not before 2018
      Lexus SX: Mid- to late 2016 as a 2017 model.
      Toyota Supra: Industry rumblings vary, but the Toyota Supra likely arrives either in 2016 as a 2017 model or 2017 as a 2018 model. I think the Supra looks seriously awesome! And, as said in the post on AMB, carries a lot of design principles from earlier cars right up to the 2000GT. Interesting to have 2 x Toyota based vehicles and no Mazdas. My question is; Is this it? Is this the big three from Japan?