RC F: Rip-snorting luxury, from Lexus

There is a season for everything, and as sure as winter’s Detroit auto show follows salons in Tokyo and Los Angeles, luxury carmakers will roll out rip-snorting hot-rod versions soon after their serene luxury equivalents are introduced.

So it is with the Lexus RC F, the be-spoilered, fat-tired, big-motored edition of the sensuous V6 (or hybrid-powered) RC revealed in November 2013 at the Tokyo motor show.

All the telltale visual cues are present, with flared, vented fenders covering wider wheels and tires, which are kept on the pavement with help from an active, movable rear wing that pops up at 50mph and retracts when the car slows below 25mph.

Those 19in wheels are fashioned from forged aluminium that is hand polished for maximum blinding effect under the Cobo Center Klieg lights.

Lexus is withholding most technical details until the car’s debut, but it doesn’t seem a willful stretch to imagine the company’s V8 engine, plucked from the current IS F four-door sedan, under the hood. That would make it a 416hp 5-litre unit backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission, which would give the RC F a healthy 102hp advantage over the V6-powered RC.

Inside, the RC F features a Lexus-first elliptical cross-section steering wheel rim – the thinking being that it is easier to grip than a wheel with a uniform diameter rim.

The RC F carries the stacked trapezoidal quad-outlet exhaust tips used on the IS F, cementing this feature as a new Lexus trademark for rear styling of its high-performance models.

Seasons to follow will bring the opportunity for us to drive the RC F, and then, for customers to get into the cars.  The raw driving excitement provided by the IS F, somewhat uncharacteristically for Lexus, gives cause for optimism that the RC F’s performance will live up to its visual impact.

Look for pricing and availability to be announced later in the year.