Interview with Lexus RC F Chief Engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi


Lexus RC F Chief Engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi

As mentioned earlier this week, Lexus RC F chief engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi participated in a Q&A during the Geneva Motor Show, answering questions from enthusiasts about the new Lexus high-performance coupe.

The final interview has been posted by Lexus Europe — here’s some of the questions Yaguchi-san answered:

Erich Kerner: Is the RC F Coupe developed to add a convertible in the near future?? Keep up the great work Lexus!!

Yukihiko Yaguchi: Thank you! We do not discuss future product development plans, but the new RC F is incredibly strong so a convertible would be possible.

Abed Haj Yihia: Why is the RC F so heavy? Because of its weight the IS F was beaten in every comparison against the M3.

Well Abed, firstly, a lot of strengthening was required to meet very strict US crash requirements. However, this strength (in the form of extra thick rocker panels and use of body adhesives for the chassis) make the RC F great fun to drive. And it is worth remembering, even the LFA looked a little heavy on paper, but proved to be one of the best cars ever built.

Lexus RC F Chief Engineer Yaguchi in Full

Jethro Hayes: Is there going to be a RC F CCS-R?

Good question, we are thinking about it (smiling).

Jethro Hayes: Is there going to be a GTE racecar for Le Mans?

We are thinking about this too (still smiling).

Read the full Yukihiko Yaguchi interview on Facebook

Comments


  • 05rollaxrs

    Where is the full inteview? If I go to Lexus Europe link as written in the article, it shows only 3 questions. I want to read the full interview. Please let me know where can I find it. Thanks.

  • Matt

    They haven’t made it easy :(

    If you go to Facebook and search for Lexus Europe they have posted the interview across multiple pictures. I’ll try and grab the text out

  • Matt

    Sorry no can do, i can’t select the text or even forward it :(

  • 05rollaxrs

    Perfect. Thank you. I can read the whole interview now that I know they put it with pictures. Thanks.

  • Levi

    FULL INTERVIEW
    Lexus Europe: How did the IS F CCS-R influence the RC F?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: The IS F CCS-R was used as the real life benchmark for the new RC F. We wanted to create a car for the enthusiast who is looking for an unparalleled driving experience, and tested it on courses like the Nürburgring, Paul Ricard, Fuji Speedway and even competed in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

    Lexus Europe: Which is your favourite racetrack in Europe?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: (After some thought) Circuit Paul Ricard in France, where we also tested the IS F CCS-R.

    Lexus Europe: What did Akio Toyoda say after driving the new RC F?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Toyoda-san drove RC F prototypes many times, making suggestions to make sure the car fully met his unwavering “fun to drive“ philosophy.

    Lexus Europe: What are you most proud of on the new RC F?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Making people smile;) My main goal was creating a car that can be enjoyed by any driver, of any skills level. It makes me so proud every time I see drivers get out of the RC F with a smile on their face.

    Lexus Europe: We’ve heard a lot of talk about TVD. What is this?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: To transfer the V8 power to the road or track we developed a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) to ensure amazing handling and performance. The driver can select from 3 modes, depending on their needs. STANDARD realises fine balance, SLALOM places emphasis on steering response and TRACK enhances consistent, stable behaviour.

    Ayd T Mkize: How much of the LFA’s DNA went into the RC F’s suspension? And how many LFA engineers were involved with the RC F?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Whilst the LFAs are hand-built supercars, the RC F is based on the GS platform with a shorter wheelbase. Using advanced production technology such as laser screw welding and adhesives, we have made significant improvements to rigidity and safety. And yes, many LFA engineers and technicians were involved in the RC F project team, so plenty of know-how was carried over.

    Vlad Gugleș: In the future, will Lexus make sports (coupe) cars using hybrid technology?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Well, we’ve just announced the launch of the RC 300h – the world’s first Full Hybrid coupe. It will be fitted with a dual-injected 2.5-litre four cylinder Lexus Hybrid Drive that develops a total system output power of 220 DIN hp.

    Emil Stefan: So, what are the series it’s (RC F GT3) gonna race in?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: We are currently studying this. We will sell it to several teams in EU, Japan, Asia and we expect that a team in EU will enter it in the FIA GT3 championship series.

    Erich Kerner: Is the RC F Coupe developed to add a convertible in the near future?? Keep up the great work Lexus!!
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Thank you! We do not discuss future product development plans, but the new RC F is incredibly strong so a convertible would be possible.

    Abed Haj Yihia: Why is the RC F so heavy? Because of its weight the IS F was beaten in every comparison against the M3.
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Well Abed, firstly, a lot of strengthening was required to meet very strict US crash requirements. However, this strength (in the form of extra thick rocker panels and use of body adhesives for the chassis) make the RC F great fun to drive. And it is worth remembering, even the LFA looked a little heavy on paper, but proved to be one of the best cars ever built.

    Lexus Europe: What is special about the RC F’s new V8?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Every part is new, except the engine block that is carried over from the IS F. We’ve added the Atkinson-cycle system for better fuel efficiency when cruising. Working together with Yamaha Motorsport (as we did for the IS F and LFA), the cylinder heads and all rotating and sliding parts are newly designed with the adaption of titanium valve and forged connection rods. Also, the VVT-iE system has been optimised and the exhaust pipes re-designed. Engine friction is reduced and these changes result in more power and refinement. The RC F’s V8 will be hand-assembled in the award-winning Tahara plant in Japan.

    Andre Martins: Did you considerer the use of a high performance Hybrid powertrain using the technology that Toyota has on the TS030 ?!? Do you think that’s a possibility in the near future?!?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Well currently this is motorsport technology and not yet suitable for road-going performance cars like the RC F. But who knows, in the future, maybe?

    Alexander Traub: Why didn’t you use a turbocharged engine for the car?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: As with the LFA V10 supercar, we wanted the driver to have a very close, direct and close relationship with the car. In our view this is only possible with a normally aspirated engine that responds incredibly fast to the driver’s throttle commands.

    Lasse J. Nordvik: How and when did your interest in cars begin?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: I’ve been fascinated by cars and mechanical things for as long as I can remember. So, for my whole life really – and I started driving the very minute I could (laughing).

    Samuel Plamondon: Wow! What is the powertrain in the RC 350 F SPORT?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Yes, the The RC 350 F SPORT is powered by a V6 3.5-litre engine with direct-injection. An eight-speed Sports Direct Shift with paddle shift transmission makes it amazing to drive.

    Jethro Hayes: Is there going to be a RC F CCS-R?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Good question, we are thinking about it (smiling)

    Jethro Hayes: Is there going to be a GTE racecar for Le Mans?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: We are thinking about this too (still smiling)

    Noel Farrugia: What is the actual bhp? We know it’s more than 450 but how much more please?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Well, it is going to be above 450 bhp, (pointing upwards in the air)

    Garry Davis: Does the RC F have active stabiliser bars?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: No, these were not required.

    Lasse J. Nordvik: If you could develop any kind of car you like for Lexus, what would it be?
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: Well, to tell you the truth Lasse, I’d love to keep developing the RC F right through its lifetime, just as I did with the IS F.

    Mike Forsythe: Why the choice of a N/A V-8 over a forced induction 6 cylinder?”
    Yukihiko Yaguchi: We believe the new V8 we’ve developed best fits the character of this unique car and delivers the most driving pleasure.

  • blkpantha

    Am sorry but how can you justified the weight of a sedan vs a coupe and Lexus is supposed to build cars to win bias magazine competitions!! blah:-/

  • MD

    Coupe automatically does not mean lighter. A coupe is technically a sedan minus two doors. RC has more mechanical equipment for handling such as, 4 wheel steering and torque vectoring differential. IS is built on a different platform so you cannot compare an IS to an RC.

  • Thomas

    Those two extra doors of a sedan that you are talking about(like it’s nothing) has a massive impact on the ability to make a rigid bodyshell. A coupe should be easier to make liteweight.

  • MD

    You answered your own question. Not having the two extra doors requires added chassis reinforcements in order to make the body shell more rigid with the absence of the B-pillar.

    It is silly and nonsensical to expect in these days and times for a coupe to be lighter than a sedan. Even the E90 M3 and E92 M3 sedan weighed within 50 lbs of each other. It is the same for the C63 where the coupe is heavier than the sedan.

    BTW, there is no currently sedan counterpart for the RC-F. It is a stand alone model that has its own unique chassis and suspension.

  • Thomas

    I did not have a question so I didnt answer it. I tried helping you With Your misundarstandings, see.
    Not having two extra doors doesnt ruquire extra stiffenig, no. Its the lack of the extra doors(or the holes for the doors more exactly) that makes a coupe naturally stiffer(except the bloated RC-f).

  • leopard08

    you not listening. RCF have more technical staff then the IS Fsport. it a big bang 5liter V8, toque venturing differential and a sofisticated rear wheel steering, it even have motors to raise that rear spoiler. it might be hevy then the M4, note; the M4 have none of these technologies. so dont be fooled by weight

  • http://www.lexusenthusiast.com/ Tif

    It’s important to remember that the we have no current-generation IS F sedan. The current IS F we have is based on the previous-generation model. Also based on what the Chief Engineer of the RC F has said, the RC F (and RC platform in general) is exceptionally stiff. Also similar to what the Chief Engineer has stated, the LFA was criticized for having a high weight on paper too. Yet anyone knowledgeable about the LFA, or having been lucky enough to drive an LFA, knows just how well the car performs and handles. It performs and handles as if it’s much lighter than it’s weight on paper suggests.

    Criticising the RC F for it’s weight on paper is far too simplistic. I’m sure Lexus thoroughly looked at the benefits versus trade-offs of adding certain features or characteristics that increased the weight. Many factors go into a car’s handling and performance, far more than simple weight on paper. Things like weight distribution, moment of inertia, center of gravity, instant center of rotation, torsional rigidity, stiffness, minimal weight transfer via centrifugal force during cornering,

    Chief Engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi mentioned that some members of the LFA team worked on RC F development, so that right there should give you high confidence the RC F will exceed many people’s high expectations.