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Detroit show: Lexus teases next 'F' model

F word: Lexus has released just one teaser shot of the new F model, that looks set to be a high-performance version of the RC coupe.

New Lexus 'F' model to debut at Detroit, likely a BMW M4-rivalling version of RC

10 Dec 2013

LEXUS has released a teaser image of its latest F performance model that will debut at the Detroit motor show, widely believed to be a high-powered version of the sexy RC coupe.

Some reports have suggested the show car could be the long rumoured IS F replacement, however closer inspection of the image reveals identical headlights, wheel arches and bumper line to the RC.

The Japanese luxury brand ripped the covers off the RC at the Tokyo motor show last month, with the company suggesting at the show that at a high-performance model to rival the BMW M4 was also on the way.

Lexus has not released any details about the show car, instead highlighting the fact that the new F was conceived as a hi-po sports car from the start of the vehicle's development.

“Engineered from the outset as a performance model, the newest F vehicle promises a bold and aggressive drive experience synonymous with the famed Lexus F heritage,” the company said in a statement.

An F version of the RC would go head-to-head with European rivals including the forthcoming BMW M4 coupe, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe and the Audi RS5 two-door.

The striking RC coupe that debuted at Tokyo last month was a further development of the LF-CC concept from the 2012 Paris motor show, with elements of that concept showing up on the production IS sedan that launched locally in July.

So far Lexus has confirmed two powertrains for the RC – a 234kW/380Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an RC300h hybrid with a 131kW/221 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and 105kW electric motor (total output: 162kW), paired with a CVT.

Another powertrain option for the RC is the 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit - Lexus' first ever turbocharged engine - that debuted under the bonnet of the LF-NX compact SUV concept at Tokyo.

It remains unclear what engine will power the RC F, but reports have suggested that it could get an updated version of the 311kW/505Nm 5.0-litre V8 that powers the IS F. Details will be made available at the Detroit launch in January.

Lexus still offers the last generation IS F sedan in Australia for $125,945, plus on-road costs but there is no word on whether the Toyota-owned company will introduce a replacement of the super-hot sedan.

Leaked images of an F version of the GS mid-sizer hit the web in October this year, but since then the company has remained quiet on plans for a BMW M5 rival.

The RC will go on sale in Australia in the last quarter of 2014, pointing to a 2015 local debut for the RC F.

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