Lexus RCF: 351kW Output Confirmed Ahead Of Q1 Launch Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Sep, 09 2014 | 4 Comments

Lexus was a little coy when they last talked about the 5.0 litre V8 that power its RC F performance flagship, saying only that it had "in excess of 330kW and 520Nm".

Now the veil of vagueness has been lifted, with Lexus revealing that its new performance flagship belts out 351kW of power and 530Nm of torque, all without the aid of a turbocharger or supercharger.

That's around 12 percent (or 40kW) more power than the IS F's 5.0 litre V8, whose block forms the basis for the RC F's engine.

But while the block might be similar, virtually everything else has been changed.

The heads and camshafts are revised to allow the RC F's motor to spin to 7300rpm (500rpm higher than the IS F), the compression ratio has been upped to 12.3:1, and the engine can switch between Otto and Atkinson cycle to conserve fuel while cruising.

The valves are titanium, the throttle size has been increased from 76mm to 83mm, there's less reciprocating weight in the crank, conrods and pistons, and the exhaust has been designed to maximise flow and increase power.

As with the IS F, the RC F takes power to the back wheels through an eight-speed automatic, closely related to that used by the IS F but strengthened to deal with the RC F's higher redline.

A full manual mode and steering wheel mounted paddles are standard, and the gearbox will hold the engine against redline without automatically upshifting.

A torque-vectoring differential actively splits power between the rear wheels to aid turn in and increase grip, and RC F's VDIM stability control system has four settings: Normal, VDIM Sport, Expert, and completely off.

That second last setting is a new one for Lexus, and partially disables stability control to allow plenty of oversteer without the risk of spinning.

Suspension consists of double-wishbones up front and a multi-link rear end, with unique spring, damper, bushing and swaybar settings for the RC F.

Compared to the RC 350, the RC F's V6-powered little brother, the F gets a substantially reinforced chassis. There are the usual strut tower braces, along with the thick centre chassis members from the IS C convertible and plenty of other reinforcing gussets.

It's heavy though. With a kerb weight of 1780kg empty, the RC F is a hefty machine.

Stopping all of that mass are 380x34mm front rotors with six-piston calipers and 345x28mm rear rotors with four-piston calipers.

Still, despite its weight the RC F is capable of sprinting to 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds, and it'll run the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds on its way to a 270km/h top speed.

Precise pricing and equipment levels have yet to be determined for the Australian market, but with the local launch set for the first quarter of 2015 (the RC 350 will launch here before the end of the year), the wait won't be a long one.

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