Take that Germans! Lexus’ BMW M4-fighting RC F is revealed ahead of Detroit – UPDATE

The 2015 Lexus RC F coupe isn’t supposed to be unveiled until the 2014 Detroit Auto Show next week, but apparently neither Lexus or Road & Track can keep a secret.

After the magazine revealed the first photos and details of the RC F–a performance version of the RC coupe that debuted back in November at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, and is itself based on the IS sedan–Lexus decided to let the cat out of the bag.

Under the hood is a modified version of the IS F’s 5.0-liter V8, mated to the same eight-speed automatic transmission used in that car and other Lexus models.

Early reports suggested peak power output  to be around 500 horsepower, but for now Lexus will only say that it makes “more than 450 hp” and “more than 383 pound-feet of torque.”

That gives the RC F horsepower bragging rights over the BMW M4. Also making its official debut at Detroit, the M4 will likely be the Lexus’ chief rival.

The RC F gets extroverted looks to match its expected horsepower rating. As with the base RC and IS, the styling is an assault of angular lines and slashes, topped by a angry-looking headlights, and a version of Lexus’ trademark “spindle grille” that looks ready to swallow a Fiat.

On top of that, Lexus added swollen fenders and stacked quad exhaust outlets; cues taken from the IS F sedan this car will replace. There’s also an optional speed-sensitive rear spoiler that rises at speeds above 50 mph and retracts at speeds below 25 mph.

The RC F also features a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) with three modes: Standard, Slalom, and Track. Hopefully this will give this Lexus the agility necessary to match the finely-tuned hot rods from German luxury carmakers.

While the RC F isn’t as classically pretty as its German rivals, it’s styling befits a rambunctious performance car. It also casts Lexus’ reputation for boring country-club chariots further into the past.

UPDATE: We added new photos released by Lexus and a few details following the car’s Detroit debut, including info on that nifty rear spoiler, TVD, and the RC F’s V8 engine.

Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.