The aggressive new Lexus RC F coupe has been designed for optimum high speed stability to support the most powerful V8 performance car ever developed by Lexus.
The 5.0-litre V8 develops 351kW (477PS) of power at 7100rpm and 530Nm of torque from 4800â€“5600rpm, driving through a close-ratio eight-speed sports direct shift with the option of a world-first application of a torque vectoring differential for front-engine/rear-drive vehicle to enhance power delivery.
It is the second generation V8 F model from Lexus, intended to evoke the best of tuning and technology from the flagship V10 LFA supercar (of which just 500 were manufactured).
â€˜Fâ€™ â€“ for â€˜Fuji Speedwayâ€ where much of Lexusâ€™ high speed development occurs â€“ has become its pinnacle sports brand, adding greater depth to the entire model range on three elements of â€œFunâ€: response, continuous acceleration feeling, and sound that engages with and excites the driver.
RC F is intended to bring great driving pleasure to owners on road and track.
Resolutely powerful design interpretations â€“ both cosmetic and dynamic â€“ distinguish RC F from the RC on which it is based.
To complement its higher horsepower delivery RC F has a far more comprehensive aerodynamic package, including an active rear wing, a purpose-designed brake and suspension system, wider wheels and tyres and unique styling which is functional as well as startling.
An electronically enhanced driveline based on Lexusâ€™ Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) enable amateur drivers to get closer to limits previously attainable only by trained professionals. The same systems generate even greater levels of safety on the open road.
DIMENSIONS AND STYLING
RC F is 4705mm long, 1390mm tall and 1845mm wide. Compared to RC, RC F is 5mm wider thanks to its distinctive flared and laser-brazed wheel arches, 10mm longer due to the packaging of its rear aerodynamic devices and 5mm lower. Both models share the same wheelbase â€“ 2730mm.
Every styling design feature of the RC F has a positive aerodynamic benefit.
The Lexus signature spindle grille flows to a unique aerodynamic treatment across the hood and features a graduated mesh pattern.
Cooling ducts within the RC F grille are sandwiched by oil coolers. At the rear of the front wing, a large L-shaped cooling outlet creates a major design expression of dynamism while performing an essential cooling and aerodynamic function.
RC Fâ€™s hood is raised to accommodate and emphasise the V8 engine and a meshed scoop in its centre provides additional aerodynamics, and cooling. A continuous flow from the hood and front wing through to the belt line emphasises the crouching nature of the design and contributes to air flow.
Aerodynamic spats and aids along the entire length of the RC F also contribute to the wide and low stance.
The rear bumper corners have been maximised for air flow, contributing to the effect of the F four-link active rear wing (unique for RC F) â€“ a technology inherited from LFA. Fins at the bottom edge of the rear bumper direct airflow from under the car.
RC F has stacked dual exhausts, tuned for maximum sound effect.
A carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) kit, developed for the LFA and IS F CCS-R race car, adds an aggressive dimension while saving weight.
Top-level body rigidity was a priority in RC F, in order to provide a stable platform for the suspension and to optimise agility. The new coupe makes maximum use of all the knowledge and features Lexus has acquired in rigid body design and manufacture.
RC F adds unique fit-for-purpose suspension, brakes steering, wheels and a unique Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD), which is an industry-first application in a front-engine/rear-drive vehicle.
As well as RC, the rocker cross-section of RC F is almost double that of IS. Building on these oversized rocker panels as the main element, the design also incorporates a highly rigid front lower brace to connect the right and left sides of the underbody. The effect is to improve steering response and roll feel.
RC F has adopted several additional floor, engine compartment and rear partition braces and the number of front brace coupling points has been increased.
Rear suspension member mounts have been strengthened to ensure maximum traction.
In addition to the strong framework developed exclusively for the coupe, the RC F makes maximum body use of every measure Lexus had previously developed for increased body rigidity, including body adhesives, full-scale adoption of laser screw welding and structural adhesive and additional spot welding.
High-rigidity structural adhesive is used to secure the front and rear windscreens to make them part of the torsional structure of the car.
Vehicle weight has been minimised by adopting high-tensile steel sheet and aluminium in key areas of the body. The hood inner and outer and the bumper reinforce are aluminium, with the option of a carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) on hood, roof and rear spoiler. While adding to the aggressive stance of RC F, this CFRP kit also achieves about 10kg weight reduction.
Lexus RC F has a four-link active rear wing, a flow-down from LFA. The active rear wing is part of a comprehensive strategy to optimise aerodynamic grip and hence controllability at higher speeds.
The wing activates from the RC Fâ€™s trunk lid at approximately 80km/h to increase down force as vehicle speed rises. As the vehicleâ€™s speed drops below approximately 40km/h it retracts to enhance the appearance of the coupeâ€™s styling.
However, when the drive-mode select is in Eco mode, the wing will not deploy until the vehicle speed reaches approximately 130km/h to save fuel. Alternatively, the driver can control rear wing deployment from the cockpit, according to personal preference.
The shape of the trunk backward has been sharpened, to smooth airflow from the roof when the wing is not deployed.
Controllability at highway speeds and for track use was a key aim for the RC F. The aerodynamic design leverages the concept of aerodynamic handling stability, using the flow of air over and under the body and, among many details, a shark-fin shaped antenna.
The shape of the body itself, the introduction of ducts, and aero stabilizing fins on the front bumper, help achieve excellent stability. Aero stabilising fins have been strategically placed on the tip of the door-frame molding and the rear combination lamps.
Lexus has also carefully tuned the vehicleâ€™s flat underbody, with aerodynamic undercover and effectively placed aero stabilizing fins. Special attention was paid to controlling air flow to the front brakes, and the design of the outlet ducts at the rear of the front bumper and front wings.
The air outlets on the hood top and wing sides vent air from the engine compartment and help smooth the air flow towards the rear of the vehicle.
RC F has wheel spats front and rear, to reduce airflow hitting the tyres and hence enhance aerodynamics.
Front wing liners are designed to help direct airflow along the tyres, in the same direction as the wheel rotation. The rear wing liner has a bead to direct airflow generated
WHEELS AND TYRES
Lexus RC F has three 19-inch wheel choices, all made from forged aluminium for optimum rigidity and minimum weight.
Great care went into creating forms that are only possible with a forged design and that is clearly expressed in the spokes of the machine-finished High and High Plus designs. As one more example of the high level of craftsmanship in each â€œFâ€ model, the High Plus wheels are hand-finished by craftsmen.
RC Fâ€™s standard wheel is a 10-spoke design. The High grade wheel has five double pairs of thin spokes, each spoke a machine finish. The High Plus wheel is an overlaid design, with two layers of 10 spokes. The inner layer is indexed 30 degrees ahead of the outer layer.
RC F has wide tyres for optimum grip, handling stability and driving confidence on city streets and winding roads, as well as under high loads and G-forces on the race circuit.
The new coupe has a front-rear tire-size differential, with 255/35R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tyres. A flat tire repair kit saves vehicle weight by negating the need for a spare tire.
The LED headlamps for RC provide outstanding night-time vision suitable for a high performance coupe which might travel long distances on winding roads. The signature three-lamp design also emulates the Lexus L-motif.
Penetrating LED lamps generate heat, so a small thermostatically controlled cooling fan is inserted behind each headlamp assembly to guarantee performance. The technology is taken straight from world endurance championship race car design.
The uniquely shaped lenses and multi-LED lamps are used for high and low beam. Thin LED Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) form the L-motif and are integrated into the inner part of the grille and turn signals.
Rear combination lamps use multiple LED lamps in a unique way to form the Lexus L-motif with a minimum of energy use. Twenty four multi-layered LEDs per side do the work of 50 LEDs were they placed in a line.
RC Fâ€™s striking, cockpit-like interior complements its aggressive exterior. It has been built with emphasis on ergonomics and driver support. Unique components include the meters, steering wheel, seats, ornamentation and pedals.
The primary instrument gauge has been developed from LFA with extra enhancements. All essential information can be viewed at a glance, an essential requirement for track activity. The steering wheel is unique to RC F and provides firm grip and operation.
HIGH SUPPORT SEATS
RC Fâ€™s all-new high-back seats have been purpose-designed for track driving. They are high backed and bolstered to provide optimum support for the back in mid-g cornering and additional shoulder support in high-g activity.
Polyurethane has been used to provide pelvic support and a special cushion stabiliser spring ensures hip support. The cushion side cross-section angle holds the driverâ€™s leg in place when pushing down on the foot brace.
The seats are filled with upholstery-integrated foam in which the seats are moulded to the shape of the driverâ€™s torso. The breakthrough technique means the material does not need to be stretched as tightly. Filling the seat with foam in a single process eliminates shrinkage and prevents slippage.
The seat effectively disperses body pressure, creating a sense of comfort with positive holding performance.
Foam is applied in three sections â€“ to the shoulder, lumbar region and hip â€“ each intended to mould to the skeletal form. The sewing and stitching process allows the seat to change shape three-dimensionally to integrate with the lines of the driverâ€™s body.
The thin seat-back, incorporating an in-seat air conditioning unit, maximises rear seat comfort and is in line with race-seat design.
Seat adjustment is paramount. The cushion rises 16mm, slides 260mm and the back reclines up to 42 degrees.
The rear seats, with fixed high head rests, use the same sewing pattern with front seats to conform to the shape of the occupant.
A dual manual-electric folding mechanism provides instant access to the rear seats by overriding electric controls but retaining a memory function for the return of the seat-back to its pre-set position.
An entirely new interior ambient illumination package is introduced in the RC and RC F lines. Lexus-first upward lighting creates a strong cabin presence. It also ensures lighting is reduced to an appropriate level during night driving.
INSTRUMENTATION â€“ ALL RELEVANT INFORMATION AT-A-GLANCE
RC Fâ€™s analogue speedometer has an unusual built-in welcome sequence. When the driver climbs into the seat and shuts the door, the speedometer flashes in a way that is evocative of heartbeats. It appears as if the vehicle itself is waiting with anticipation for the engine to be started.
The location of information displayed, and the size of fonts and indicators are finely tuned to allow necessary information to be confirmed in the quickest way.
Changes in meter display allow the driver to instantly understand information on any driving situation. The large centre meter varies its content according to the Drive Mode Select operating mode â€“ Eco, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.
Multi-Information Display menu includes g-monitor, lap timer, TVD torque distribution, and fuel consumption/possible cruising range.
RC Fâ€™s instrumentation also includes a finely crafted analogue clock, which was exclusively designed with a Dark Metallic dial to accentuate taut sportiness. The three-dimensional scale marking helps ensure visibility at any angle.
RC F adopts a low hip point and a raised steering wheel angle to create a linear driving position. RC F adopts an exclusive small diameter 370mm three-spoke steering wheel, developed after exhaustive testing at race tracks around the world.
Finger rests and a thick cross-sectional profile, combined with easy access to the exclusive large paddle shift, is optimal for track work.
TOUCH PAD OPERATED REMOTE TOUCH INTERFACE
Lexus has developed a new Remote Touch Interface (RTI) for its sports coupe models as part of the cockpit â€˜operation zoneâ€™ in the centre console.
New touch-operation offers the enhanced convenience touch-phone users will love, such as flick/pinch operations.
The driver can use the RTI to select the audio, navigation or system information displayed on the centre screen without looking down while driving.
The intuitive interface is easy to use. Moving one finger over the RTI panel surface moves the cursor and pressing down or double tapping on it enters the selection. An integrated feedback function vibrates the surface when the cursor on the electro multi-vision navigation (EMVN) screen moves over a button. This allows the driver to confirm the cursor movement without looking at the display.
In addition to its ample operating area, the touch pad has a pleasing surface texture specially developed to ensure smooth movement. It never feels sticky or rough. A stabiliser structure has been adopted to ensure decisive operation when the touch panel is pressed.
Specially designed illumination makes the white designated areas of the electrostatic pad surface appear three-dimensional at night and lends a sense of quality to its appearance, while the clean and cool design, and flat shape, harmonize with the vehicle design.
The advanced RTI also supports customised pinch-in and out and flick operations on the navigation map, for added convenience.
ACTIVE SOUND CONTROL
Creating excitement through sound is one of the three cornerstones of the Lexus F-philosophy. To that end, the RC F incorporates an Active Sound Control (ASC) which delivers enhanced exhaust, intake and mechanical sounds within the cabin. The sound development concept is fluidity of tones, with dramatic timbre changing in line with engine revolutions.
The ASC meticulously tunes the engine sound of the V8 engine. At engine speeds up to 3000rpm, a steady tone of low and deep sounds is produced. As revolutions increase, the tone transforms into a higher-pitched note that blends with the engineâ€™s mechanical sounds to create a heightened sensation of endless rising feel, culminating in a free-soaring sound beyond 6000rpm.
An electronic control unit (ECU) mounted beneath the instrument panel takes input from engine sounds, including engine revolutions, speed and throttle position and creates auxiliary sound through actuator. This system is entirely distinct from RC Fâ€™s audio system.
ASCâ€™s contribution to cabin sound compared with the natural input of the exhaust, intake and engine is approximately 50:50. ASC is activated when RC F is in S+ mode, but not when it is in Eco, Normal, and S setting.
Designers set out to approach the aural experience provided by LFA, regarded as having one of the most stirring mechanical intake and exhaust notes of any supercar.
PREMIUM AUDIO SYSTEMS
New audio technology that restores tones usually lost through compression devices like MP3 is at the heart of RC Fâ€™s breakthrough in car entertainment system.
RC F can be equipped with a compact 17-speaker 835W Mark Levinson system featuring the new Clari-Fi technology, which automatically analyses and improves the audio quality of all types of compressed, digitalized music source.
A 10-speaker Pioneer system, developed by Lexus, also has protocols intended to reduce the limitations of MP3 reproduction.
Lexus RC F has a state-of-the-art cabin climate control system and air-conditioned front seats with a fast-acting carbon heater system. Advanced electrostatic switches in the control panel provide added convenience and fine control of the cabin climate.
The new cabin air conditioner system includes two-layer control of internal and ambient air and upper/lower level independent air mixing, as well as independent left and right temperature control.
The stylish heater control panel has high-contrast negative liquid-crystal display for enhanced visibility.
Splitting the intake air ducts between internal air and ambient prevents a drop in temperature due to ambient air intake when the heater is on, thereby increasing heating efficiency and saving energy.
Independent upper/lower multi-layer air mixing enhances comfort by providing control that matches body sensation. The upper air mix can be set for coolness to deal with the effects of solar insolation at the same time as the lower air mix is set for warmth.
RC Fâ€™s air conditioning system includes the trademark Lexus feature of a pollen-removal function, as well as a clean-air filter with deodoriser. Non-woven fabric has been optimised to enhance the pollen removal performance. The filter can also remove exhaust gas from ambient air. Lexus has optimised the particle diameter of the activated charcoal to reduce pressure loss. The activated charcoal adhesive has excellent deodorising performance.
A special setting was developed to minimise air-conditioning system power consumption.
Lexus RC F was designed for optimum grip and handling agility, taking full advantage of FR vehicle characteristics. All aspects were considered, from the vehicleâ€™s footprint on the road and body rigidity, to aerodynamics, suspension hardware, brakes, electric power-assisted steering calibration and chassis electronics.
RC F has an active rear wing, new EXPERT mode in the Sports VDIM when VDIM is off, a vertical g-sensor for the ABS and an optional Torque Vectoring Differential.
The chief engineerâ€™s development concept was â€œblast through S-bends under any conditionsâ€. RC F was therefore evaluated on different tracks including Fuji Speedway and the NÃ¼rburgring Nordschleife from platform-prototype stage, including endurance driving in NÃ¼rburgring VLN Endurance Cup events.
Feedback on IS F drivers and CCS-R track cars in Japan also contributed to RC F chassis development.
The new sports coupe offers reduced roll, higher cornering speeds and enhanced cornering effectiveness, so less steering input is required.
RC F has 19-inch forged aluminium wheels with 255/35 R19 front and 275/35 R19 rear tyres, compared with 225/40 front and 255/35 rear tyres on IS F for increased grip. High camber angles and toe-angle rigidity further improves cornering power and reduces the required steering angle.
RC Fâ€™s low profile and wide tyres contributes to agility and grip.
It therefore has a large footprint on the road for its compact body size, with a 2730mm wheelbase, front track of 1555mm and rear track at 1560mm.
TORSEN LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL
Lexus RC F has a Torsen Limited Slip Differential (LSD) as standard equipment. The Torsen LSD has been proven in IS F and offers high levels of traction performance, handling and driving stability. It has three key benefits for different driving situations, to suit driver operations and road conditions.
During straight-line driving it controls the left-right speed differential to maintain straight-line stability. On entering corners, the coasting torque due to engine braking is distributed more to the outside wheel than the inside wheel, to maintain stability. Mid-corner and on corner exit, the Torsen LSD distributes drive power according to the load on each rear wheel, to ensure high traction and manoeuvrability.
TORQUE VECTORING DIFFERENTIAL
Lexus RC F can also be optionally equipped with a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD). It is the worldâ€™s first torque-transfer type torque-vectoring system for a front-engine/rear-drive vehicle. The electronically controlled Lexus TVD optimally distributes torque to each rear wheel regardless of whether the accelerator is pressed or not. The Lexus TVD is unique in using precisely controlled multi-plate clutches rather than the vehicleâ€™s brakes to vector torque.
The design aim was to make optimal use of the vehicleâ€™s yaw moment when turning, resulting in the feeling that the direction of travel and the direction of the vehicle are perfectly aligned.
Electronic control and precision electric actuator motors, adjusted in units of 1/1000 second, ensure the appropriate amount of torque is distributed to each rear wheel.
TVD enables torque transfer to be generated regardless of how large or small the engine torque is, creating a yaw moment around the centre of gravity of the car.
It is one element in a state-of-the-art package of chassis technologies, systems and mechanisms in the new coupe, all designed to heighten driving enjoyment, especially when cornering. The result is a natural feeling by which the driver does not notice the systemâ€™s operation, along with higher enjoyment when operating the accelerator pedal while cornering.
The TVD distributes torque to match the conditions of the moment, ensuring an enjoyable driving experience when negotiating S-bends. It improves vehicle posture in low-to-mid speed corners, providing more agile movement and a smaller steering angle.
In a series of S-bends, it provides exhilarating corner exit with no understeer and allows the driver to approach the next corner at will. Crisp turn-in after hard braking is equal to highly skilled driving without TVD. Even during deceleration, the TVD constantly controls the drive force, realizing agile and smooth turn-in.
The RC F TVD has three operating modes, independent of the RC F Drive Mode Select function: STANDARD (default setting) for an ideal balance of agility and stability, SLALOM for emphasis on nimble steering response and the agility of a smaller vehicle, and TRACK (CIRCUIT) for emphasis on stability during high-speed circuit driving.
RC Fâ€™s cockpit meter display adds a visual dimension to the driving enjoyment of using TVD. The torque distribution is displayed as a bar graph within the RC F tachometer and if selected from the display menu as two orange columns in the Multi Information Screen.
TVD-equipped RC F has an exclusively designed Final Drive Unit (FDU) and TVD ECU, which calculates the amount of torque to be transferred and provides co-operative control with other systems including the VDIM.
EVOLVED VDIM SPORT MODE
The new RC F has a Lexus-first new SPORT mode for its Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM with SPORT mode is exclusive to F models. It also features a newly added EXPERT mode in VDIM OFF mode, which only operates to prevent the vehicle going into a spin.
Lexus VDIM integrates the usually separate ABS, VSC and TRC functions, to provide proactive seamless control of basic â€˜drive-turn-stopâ€™ vehicle performance. It anticipates any loss of traction and provides smooth control for the normal driving range right up to the limits of performance.
In RC F, the VDIM has four modes:
Normal for smooth driving and a high degree of active safety under normal driving conditions
The expanded VDIM SPORT mode has F-exclusive tuning to suit the driverâ€™s mood, including improvements to the control logic.
Special features of RC Fâ€™s vehicle control systems include a newly adopted vertical g-sensor in the ABS control, to ensure optimum brake force even after the vehicle has been airborne.
In addition, Lexus has extended the VDIM co-operative control function, allowing the VDIM to delegate two brake control functions to the Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) control â€“ drive-force distribution and yaw-moment control. VDIM controls the torque transfer co-operatively with the TVD, for more seamless control of driving and turning.
NEW SUSPENSION HARDWARE
Seventy per cent of RC Fâ€™s suspension hardware is different from RCâ€™s.
The new RC F has all-coil suspension, with double wishbones at the front and a multi-link suspension at the rear. They include new springs, dampers and stabiliser bar with revised characteristics, as well as suspension bushing and bound stopper. The steering knuckle and lower arm have been redesigned to alter the king-pin offset.
At the rear, the suspension geometry has been optimised exclusively for the RC F. It also has new coil springs, bound stoppers, dampers and stabiliser-bar characteristics.
All five suspension arms and the toe-control bracket have been designed to provide new geometry and reduce unsprung weight. The upper number-one arm has been optimised the rigidity of the arm, while the bushing characteristics of the other four arms have been revised.
The upper number two arm and the end section of the toe-control arm are now made from forged aluminium, to reduce unsprung weight.
RC Fâ€™s electronic power-assisted rack and pinion steering has been designed to achieve excellent dynamic performance and steering feel.
Intensive testing and calibration of the power-assist curve ensures the steering feel matches vehicle characteristics.
A damper-less intermediate shaft has been added to the steering column to increase steering rigidity upstream and ensure high responsiveness to steering input. The new shaft has a stroke-mechanism section that is expandable /contractible in the axial direction, to absorb shaft-length changes when driving and help provide a smooth steering feel.+
NEW BRAKE PACKAGE
Lexus RC F has an all-new brake package, with 380mm in diameter spiral-fin front rotors, improved brake cooling and a vertical g-sensor as part of the Anti-Lock brake system control.
Adopting the vertical g-sensor is a direct result of extensive testing at the NÃ¼rburgring. It means the system can allow for changes in vertical loads, and hence optimise control of braking force the instant load returns to the tyres after jumping a crest.
RC Fâ€™s brakes ensure excellent braking feel combined with impressive stopping power, creating a dialogue between the driver and the brake pads. The new, larger rotors add depth to the brake responsiveness found in an â€œFâ€ model, with liner controllability in all g-force ranges and optimum controllability during continuous circuit driving, while providing a direct feeling during daily on-road driving.
Testing on the NÃ¼rburgring has ensured the RC F brakes offer the ultimate in sports performance and direct feeling to the driver. Special attention was paid to brake cooling, with improved front-brake cooling duct efficiency and overall brake durability.
Front-rotor diameter has been increased by 20mm and rotor thickness by 4mm compared with IS F. The new 380mm by 34mm ventilated front rotors are slotted rather than drilled, with six-piston opposed calipers. The rear brake rotors are 345mm by 28mm ventilated, with four-piston opposed calipers.
Brake pad effectiveness has been improved by a revision to pad surface â€“ to ensure uniform wear, pad life and reduced chance of uneven wear. The new RC F brakes also reduce booming noise during high-speed braking.
RC Fâ€™s brake hardware also includes a new brake booster and master cylinder design, to enhance response and shorten pedal stroke, with g-force generated aligning with pedal stroke.
The brake pedal is all new, with increased rigidity in the linkages and an optimised lever ratio. Exclusive RC F hydraulic control circuitry optimises brake control and the interaction with RC Fâ€™s new (ABS/VDIM) Mode Select feature.
Additional â€˜polishâ€™ has been applied to the ABS to further evolve stopping performance. Thorough road testing on a wide variety of road surfaces has helped realize excellent braking force and controllability that matches the driverâ€™s sensibilities.
The improved ABS operates in harmony with RC Fâ€™s optional Torque-Vectoring Differential, to suitably control drive force and braking force at each of the four wheels, thereby delivering a natural and satisfying sports driving experience.
The new RC F coupe has Lexusâ€™ most powerful V8 engine, with 12% more power than the IS F engine on which it is based.
All-new cylinder heads and lighter moving parts have increased the maximum power of the 5.0-litre 32-valve engine by 54PS (40kW) to 477PS (351kW), with maximum revolutions increased from 6800 to 7300rpm. The compression ratio has been raised to 12.3:1, to boost torque across the entire revolution range. The engine and transmission cooling systems have been improved, to increase track-day suitability.
The new engine is matched to an evolved 8-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission, with a more linear response to accelerator-pedal operation.
Uniquely for a Lexus performance engine, the new 2UR-GSE engine adopts the Atkinson cycle when operating at cruising speeds, to deliver enhanced fuel economy.
HIGH PERFORMANCE AND FUEL EFFICIENCY
In cruising condition, fuel economy of the RC F is comparable to a 4.2-litre engine at maximum.
The use of the Atkinson cycle is just one of a number of strategies to optimise fuel economy and achieve Euro 6/LEV3-ULEV70 emission compliance.
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.
The Lexus VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Electric motor) technology has been redesigned to extend the range of inlet camshaft timing adjustment for the Atkinson cycle. The Otto cycle is used to achieve RC Fâ€™s impressive performance levels.
The stoichiometric air/fuel ratio range has been expanded to 220km/h, for a substantial increase in practical fuel economy during performance and high speed driving.
The new engine was designed to provide instantaneous torque, as in the Lexus LFA, whereby the driver can feel torque output increasing during acceleration.
Special features of the RC F engine also include titanium valves, forged connecting rods, an optimised exhaust layout to more effectively harness exhaust pulses and an air-cooled oil cooler for optimum durability. Internal engine parts have been redesigned to reduce reciprocating and hence increase engine response and revolutions.
The majority of the engine parts are new, including the intake manifold and throttle body, intake and exhaust valve train, motor-driven VVT, cylinder head and cylinder-head cover, Lexus D-4S dual injection system, spark plugs, piston and piston rings, connecting rod, crankshaft, crank main bearing and cap, exhaust manifold and heat insulator, oil pan and baffle plate, alternator clutch system, and engine and transmission oil coolers.
The 2UR-GSE engineâ€™s breathing has been improved thanks to new cylinder heads with improved porting and a high-flow/high tumble ratio. In addition, intake surge-tank capacity has been optimised, as have the intake manifold length and diameter.
The throttle diameter has been increased from 76 to 83mm. New four-into-two exhaust headers reduce interference and hence further improve engine breathing.
A new intake camshaft profile increases valve lift and suits the Atkinson cycle, while improvements to the electronic VVT-i system have expanded its range of operation for increased fuel economy and performance.
The exhaust system features large diameter front pipes to minimise back pressure and ensure high power output. The merged areas of the exhaust pipes have been enlarged to achieve a clearer engine sound. Additionally the structure of the main muffler has been optimised to achieve both quietness at low rpms and dynamic volume at mid-to-high rpms.
The Lexus D-4S dual-injection system has been redesigned, with higher injection pressure of 18Mpa and improved fuel atomisation shape, to optimise power and fuel economy while minimising emissions. RC F has a lot of fuel-saving measures, from its aerodynamic body and dual VVT-i equipped engine to its highly efficient eight-speed transmission.
The engine design also includes measures to raise engine revolutions, including titanium inlet and exhaust valves, new high-strength forged connecting rods and new main-bearing materials. Crank pin diameter, connecting rods big-end bearing size and crank counter-weight size have all been reduced, to lower reciprocating weight.
A revised oil pan baffle shape has reduced agitation and hence friction, while new air-to-oil coolers for the engine oil and transmission fluid increase circuit driveability. As a final touch, the new 2UR-GSE engine has a one-way clutch on the alternator pulley.
8-SPEED SPDS TRANSMISSION
The RC F coupe has an improved 8-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission. The transmission control program has been refined, to suit the higher engine speeds of RC Fâ€™s new engine and deliver a more linear response to accelerator pedal action and hence a more dynamic feeling to driving the new sports coupe.
The transmission provides a balance of linear acceleration, optimum fuel economy and driveability under all conditions, and smooth shift feel.
It has five driver-selectable modes â€“ ECO, NORMAL, SPORT S, SPORT S+, and M mode, which has full torque-converter lock-up from second to eighth gears for 'clutchless' manual shifting.
Up changes are made in just 0.1 of a second at minimum case in M Mode, with the transmissionâ€™s throttle blipping control matching the engine speed to the gear.
The transmission SPORT S mode includes G-sensor AI-Shift control, which uses information from the vehicleâ€™s G-sensors on driving status to provide the optimal gear ratio for sporty driving. In SPORT S mode, the transmission offers more dynamic acceleration control and hence a more sporting driving experience.
In addition to performing quicker downshifts than SPORT S mode, by holding the engine at a higher speed, SPORT S+ mode helps to achieve dynamic driving under high load conditions such as when driving on the race circuit.
The transmission will automatically downshift during hard braking for a corner, hold a lower gear through the corner for greater control, and then give the driver a greater power response on corner exit by selecting a suitable low gear.
NORMAL mode provides the fuel economy and seamless acceleration traditionally associated with a Lexus electronically-controlled transmission. It uses the eight ratios for optimum fuel economy, while coordinating control with the throttle to provide smooth acceleration with minimum feeling of gear changes.
Top-level body rigidity was a priority in RC F. The new coupe makes optimum use of all the knowledge and features Lexus has acquired in rigid body structure design and manufacture.
Lexus RC Fâ€™s frontal and side collision protection measures include the use of hot-stamped steel sheet up to 1620MPa class tensile strength in key areas of the body, such as the anti-intrusion bars in the doors.
The frontal-collision compatible structure includes a new number two member to efficiently disperse energy from a frontal impact. High-tensile strength steel sheet is used in key areas of the safety body, including 980MPa class high-tensile steel sheet for the newly adopted forward-projecting rocker structures and the pillar rail outer reinforcements.
RC Fâ€™s side-impact compatible structures include instrument-panel reinforcement, front header and roof-centre reinforcements, and a centre-floor cross-member gusset.
The five-part centre pillar structure, for example, has high-tensile steel sheet in the 980, 590 and 440MPa classes. The centre pillar also has a crush bead for both bulkheads, while the rocker panels have 980MPa high-tensile steel bulkheads. There are dual 31.8mm diameters by 2mm wall thickness impact beams in the doors.
Roll-over protection measures include the reinforced centre pillars, as well as high-tensile steel sheet roof rails and a substantial three-part front header section.
In addition to its role in optimizing body rigidity, RC Fâ€™s new cowl brace provides an easily deformable bead for the apron member.
Lexus RC F has eight SRS airbags, including a dual-stage driverâ€™s airbag, dual-stage and dual-chamber front passenger airbag, driver's and front passengerâ€™s knee airbags, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain-shield airbags. The side-curtain airbag size has been enlarged for increased side-collision compatibility.
The front passengerâ€™s seat has an occupant detection system, to determine if the seat is occupied for the seatbelt warning system and to match airbag deployment to sensed conditions.
RC Fâ€™s cabin has a lot of additional passive safety features, including head-impact absorbing structures in each pillar and the roof head lining. An abdomen-absorbing impact structure has been added to the door armrest, while the lower door trim and the lower rear-quarter panel trim have impact-absorbing material designed to protect the occupantâ€™s hip and lower back in a side collision.
PCS detects the possible collision between the vehicle and an obstacle, such as vehicle ahead, by the radar. In case the system assumes a collision is inevitable, the brake control system is operated to reduce the impact. Pre-Collision Brake helps reducing vehicle speed by maximum 30km/h if the driver canâ€™t control the brake appropriately, and Pre-Collision Brake Assist helps reducing vehicle speed by maximum 60km/h by assisting driverâ€™s braking.
RC F is equipped with a Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) system, which coordinates control of the powertrain, electronic brake system, steering and vehicle stability control systems.
The Lexus VDIM, in NORMAL mode, can anticipate any loss of traction and ensure the traditionally separate active safety systems of VSC, TRC and ABS work in concert to correct it, by seamlessly integrating control of basic â€˜drive-turn-stopâ€™ vehicle performance. The VDIM functions also include Hill-Start Assist.
When required, the VDIM is able to command the ECU of each control system, including the VSC, EPS and engine control systems, to provide the amount of adjustment required to maintain vehicle stability, including steering-assist torque.
Lexus RC Fâ€™s active safety credentials include high levels of grip, large brake package, advanced ABS with vertical G sensor, electronic-brake force distribution and Brake Assist, electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering, the choice of Torsen LSD or Torque Vectoring Differential, new headlamps, daytime running lamps, and emergency brake signal.
ELECTRONIC ACTIVE SAFETY FEATURES
RC F is equipped with the following electronic active safety features: Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Auto High Beam, Hill-start Assist Control, Back guide camera and Auto Location Tyre Pressure Warning System (AL-TPWS).
BSM and RCTA share input from quasi-millimetre wave-length radar sensors mounted on the sides of the vehicle. LDA and Auto High Beam share a camera mounted on the windscreen. The AL-TPWS uses data from a sensor installed in each tyre and clearly indicates which of the four tyres has a low-pressure status.
RC F has a new version of Lexusâ€™ Blind Spot Monitor, with extended detection area. The system assists the driver when changing lanes by providing information, not only about vehicles in the outer mirror blind spot zone, but also vehicles approaching from the rear in adjacent lanes.
The new system is able to provide information for a maximum of 60 meters behind the vehicle (versus 3 meters in the current system). It calculates the time an approaching vehicle will take to reach the back of the driverâ€™s vehicle, and begins providing information when this time goes below a threshold value. This means that the timing, or distance, at which the system starts providing information changes according to the relative speed.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert assists the driver when reversing out of parking position or driveway. It uses the BSM radar sensors, mounted on the rear corners of the vehicle, to detect the approaching vehicles from both rear sides of the RC F. It uses buzzer and the same indicator warning lights as the BSM system.
Lane Departure Alert supports safe driving on well-maintained roads, by alerting the driver before departing the lane in which the vehicle is traveling.
Automatic High Beam uses the same windshield-mounted camera as LDA to detect the lack of light from surrounding street lamps or from other vehicles at night. The system will automatically switch the headlamps to high beam if necessary.