UPDATE: The Lexus RC will reportedly debut at November's Tokyo Motor Show. Article updated.
There can be no question about it now: Lexus will introduce a coupe version of its new IS midsizer.
Perhaps Lexus IS engineering boss Junichiro Furuyama was playing 'funny buggers' when he told TMR this week that a coupe was still to be confirmed, but now we know for sure.
More, these photos confirm that the new range - believed to be known as RC rather than 'IS Coupe' - will be headlined by a new hero F model.
And just look at it.
Likely to be known as the RC F, this halo coupe looks to be everything our rendering promised, and more. Up front is the now-familiar 'Spindle' grille design, flanked by large intakes clearly inspired by the LFA supercar.
The profile of the new coupe teases a sweeping roofline taken straight from last year's LF-CC concept, while massively flared wheelarches dominate the rear quarters.
Tall brake vents are positioned behind each wheel, with the rear ducts tracing the line of the diving tail-lights featured both on the LF-CC and the new IS sedan.
The current IS F sedan's quad exhaust system looks to have been repurposed for this test car, but we could also see the same design on the final production RC F coupe.
It remains unclear at this stage what we can expect to find in the coupe's engine bay - but could that bonnet intake be a clue?
Speaking with TMR this week, Lexus IS engeering chief Junichiro Furuyama confirmed that the current IS F's engine is not a strong candidate for future models, due to challenges with meeting Euro 6 emissions standards.
“To produce more power and torque it runs leaner. That is the problem. We probably need a new engine for the F model,” he said.
He added that naturally-aspirated and turbo engines are both possible, describing the former as a Toyota/Lexus strength.
"Natural aspiration is one of our strong points... and is a more pure experience,” Furuyama said.
The engineer wrote off the idea of a hybrid system in the new F model, at least for the foreseeable future.
“Sometime in the future, even the F model could become a hybrid,” he said. “In future, yes, but for this generation, no.”
The current IS F debuted roughly a year and a half after the arrival of its V6-powered siblings. If Lexus sticks to a similar timeline, it's likely that we won't see this new coupe model until late 2014 or early 2015.
Tokyo Motor Show Debut for RC Coupe
As for the regular RC coupe (if that is indeed its name), industry paper Automotive News reports that a Tokyo Motor Show debut has been confirmed for this coming November.
It's unclear what we can expect from the RC's engine range, although the IS 350's 3.5 litre V6 engine would undoubtedly sit at the top of the sub-F range.