Hardcore Lexus RC-F GT due next year

Hands up who likes the sound of track-focused naturally aspirated V8 coupe?

Lexus is putting the finishing touches to a harder and more focused version of its RC-F coupe which looks set to arrive on roads next year. Caught here on camera during testing, the rear-wing-wielding V8 model, set to be named the RC-F GT, will straddle the gap between the regular car and the racing version, making it an indirect rival to the BMW M4 CS and similarly focused alternatives.

Lexus’s RC-F GT has been a long time coming because the idea was first teased with a concept way back in 2016 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. That one-off remains our best glimpse of what’s to come; it was 360kg lighter than the standard car and retained the same naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine to send 477hp to the rear wheels through a tweaked eight-speed automatic gearbox.

No performance statistics were offered, but such a drastic weight loss in the 1765kg production model would surely shave at least half a second from the RC-F’s already prompt 4.5-second 0-62mph time. The focus, though, is likely to be on maximising its dynamic performance. To ensure this, much of GT concept’s adjustable suspension and geometry setup was taken from the racing model. Our spy pictures suggest the finished model will also receive new bodywork, including that rear wing, to suit.

Arriving as the new top model in a facelifted range, the RC-F GT and siblings are expected to be the last naturally-aspirated V8s to survive in this segment. All its rivals have reverted to forced induction, and it’s likely that the model’s successor will have to make use of some sort of efficiency boosting tech in order to keep up. This should, at least, make the instantaneous throttle response of the RC-F GT even more rewarding.

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