New 5-litre V8 makes the RC F more powerful than the M4 and RS5.
New 5-litre V8 makes the RC F more powerful than the M4 and RS5.

Last week Lexus tantalised us with the first official pictures of its brave new performance coupe, but failed to mention anything in the way of engine specs - well, besides telling us that beneath the bonnet lies the most powerful Lexus-made V8 ever.

However, when the covers came off the new RC F at the Detroit Motor Show this week, Lexus was at least willing to divulge a bit more.

We've now been told that it's a 32-valve 5-litre V8 that pushes out “more than” 335kW and 520Nm.

For comparison's sake, its arch-rival - the new BMW M4 - squeezes 317kW and 550Nm from its downsized six-cylinder turbo mill while the Audi RS5 is good for 331kW and 430Nm. Clearly, then, the Lexus is very well endowed.

Rather interesting is that the RC F's normally aspirated V8 uses the Atkinson cycle at cruising speeds to benefit economy and switches to the conventional Otto cycle at higher revs to ensure optimal performance.

The engine shoves its glory through the back wheels via a Sports Direct Shift eight-speed automatic gearbox and to ensure it has the stability to match the urge, Lexus threw in a Torque Vectoring Differential with three operating modes - a first for a front-engined/rear-driven car.

Chief engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi explains: “I've built the RC F to be enjoyed by all enthusiasts, no matter what their level of expertise.

“There's a false perception that racing cars are hard o drive. In fact, they're easy in the right hands because they've been purpose-built for the skill level of their drivers. It's the same with the RC F. Electronics can be modified instantly on board to provide appropriate levels of performance and protection. But even at its basic setting, it's a blast!”

CLICK HERE for our original story with additional pictures.