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

The last American midsize plug-in hybrid is being squeezed out of existence

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can’t catch a break. Ford is planning to discontinue production next year, but looming tariffs could spell doom for an otherwise comfortable and very economically sensible sedan.

Will Detroit be the ultimate test for Argo A.I.’s self-driving Ford?

Ford-backed Argo A.I. revealed its third-generation autonomous prototype in Detroit. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the car is fitted with technology that sees better and further, thinks faster, and is more comfortable to ride in.

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.

Volvo has created an autonomous truck that looks like a sports car

Volvo’s autonomous truck, called Vera, is about to start work at a Swedish port. The vehicle has a modest top speed of 25 mph and features a striking design that makes it look as if the usual cab has been swapped for a sports car.

Florida allows autonomous cars to drive on its roads without human supervision

Florida governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that establishes a legal framework for self-driving cars to operate within the state. It allows car and tech companies to test self-driving cars without a human operator behind the wheel.

New Toyota tech will automatically shut off engines, apply parking brakes

Toyota is launching two new safety features for the 2020 model year. One will automatically shut off a car's engine when stationary, and the other will automatically shift into park and apply the parking brake to prevent rollaways.

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Don’t let the SUV bodies fool you, BMW’s X3 M and X4 M are bonafide M cars

BMW is launching the first M versions of its X3 and X4. The 2020 X3 M and X4 M Competition pack a new 503-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six and BMW’s usual array of performance tech.

After years of Le Mans misfortune, Toyota became impossible to beat

Toyota scored a one-two finish at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, its second win a row at the legendary French race. Toyota is the first Japanese automaker to win Le Mans twice, but its wins came without any real competition.