Lexus RC-F has 331kW/519Nm 5L V8 with both Otto, Atkinson cycles

The Lexus RC-F has its debut at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show and it comes complete with a V8 engine that can manage both Atkinson and Otto cycles.

Under the bulgier than normal bonnet lies a 5-litre V8 pumping out at least 331kW (450hp) of power and 519Nm (383lb-ft) of torque to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic (sorry, Sports Direct Shift) transmission. In sedate driving the engine uses Atkinson cycle, commonly reserved for the petrol engines in Toyota’s and Lexus’ hybrid drivetrains, to help save fuel. At higher revs the engine switches over to more common Otto cycle to maximise power and performance.

To keep the car pointing in the correct direction, the RC-F is the first Lexus to feature a electronic limited slip differential (sorry, Torque Vectoring Differential or TVD) that operates in three modes: standard, slalom and track.

There’s also wider front and rear fenders with integrated cooling ducts, a comprehensive aerodynamics kit to generate more down force, and a rear boot lid spoiler that rises automatically above 80km/h (50mph). The spoiler and the roof can be fashioned out of carbon fibre to keep weight down if the buyer so chooses; Lexus is targeting a standard weight of no more than 1,800kg (3,968lb).

Inside the RC-F features grippy high-backed bucket seats, and an array of new gauges ahead of the driver, including G-force meter, oil pressure, water temperature, and torque vectoring monitor. The RC-F rides on 19-inch alloy wheels clad in 255/35 rubber up front and 275/35 tyres out the back.

With the car still under development, Lexus has yet to provide concrete performance timings. Naturally the company is planning to outdo the previous generation’s IS-F sedan.


Length: 4,704mm (185.2-in)
Width: 1,849mm (72.8-in)
Height: 1,389mm (54.7-in)
Wheelbase: 2,731mm (107.5-in)

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]