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Lexus RC: First Generation

Lexus RC & RC F Chief Engineers Discuss the Coupe’s Weight

Lexus RC F Rock Hard Place

Lexus RC chief engineer Eiichi Kusama has addressed the weight debate currently surrounding the new coupe — from Motoring Australia:

“How fun to drive is more important than the other things I think,” Kusama told motoring.com.au at least week’s RC launch in New York.

“But of course after launch if the market needs other performance, maybe in the future we think we study the other things.”

“Body structure, very good rigidity and passive safety and big diameter tyres, then the body weight becomes a little heavier,” Kusama explained. “But I think you don’t feel the weight so much.”

RC F chief engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi believes the vehicle’s safety features are the biggest factor when it comes to weight:

“It’s always better to be lighter, but for this purpose… safety, regulatory, that’s something we have to prioritise as well.”

[Source: Motoring Australia]

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    Lexus Cohen
  • September 25, 2014
Lexus, no matter how much you want to dispute it, this car needs to go on a diet. Aim to be ahead of the competition, not behind. It's just like When Sony introduced the PS3, they said the controller didn't need rumble because it had six axis, a couple years later they added it, why? They were behind the competition and it showed in their sales. We don't want the RC F to be a big flop, this is your first production couple since the highly praised SC 400, this should be a well balanced car in very competitive segment.
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      Lexvvti
    • September 25, 2014
    I don't see why you guys care about the weight so much, it has the tech to back it up with performance. The TVD helps you throw this car in corners with ease and 0_60 in 4.3 sec is in no way bad from a NA engine. Mercedes got away with heavy cars and their cars drove like boats, jag got away with heavy cars and nobody seems to care that the challenger weighs 400 pounds more than this AND it drives like a boat...this is heavy but doesn't drive like a boat on wheels like the other heavy weights do and it's still fun to drive and I applaud lexus for that. Get over it and stop holding weight against it on paper when it doesn't affect it in reality...I mean, on top of all that you still get 25mpg out of this heavy V8...what more can you ask for?
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      abed
    • September 26, 2014
    I have to tell you...if i gonna buy a performance car then without even thinking its going to be the RC-F...and i dont care for the weight because i am not gonna drive it on race tracks...but in order for lexus to be the best it has to go on diet....i know that lexus is the best but the other people dont...so they have to prove that they are the best by beating the best....thats the hall story...
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      lafars
    • September 27, 2014
    i think they need to eliminate body roll, yes the examples you brought up were good, but how many of them suffers from a body roll that affects the cars cornering if they lower the weight and eliminate the body roll they will have a pretty much perfect car
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      Lexvvti
    • September 25, 2014
    It's funny you brought up sony tho because I said a similar thing once before...but unfortunately rumble affected game play which messes up Sony where as weight isn't hindering this car much That's actually more like how BMW is now saying they don't need hydraulic steering anymore and the way it's messing up the heritage of their cars
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      Lexus Cohen
    • September 26, 2014
    The weight will not hinder me from getting this car, Lexus is my obvious choice for a high performance coupe, but you have to factor in prospective RC F buyers, this might push them into another direction.
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      leopard08
    • September 26, 2014
    Lexus clearly stated even the LFA was not as light as was expected but it still ended up being the best. even the IS f sport is heavy but what it did to the 3series? wait for the compatitive tests lol, it not over until the fat lady sings. one thing i garanteed the RCF can exit the corners much cleanly then the M4. and that for lap times
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      MD
    • September 28, 2014
    No completely wrong. LFA has not parallels regarding weight or driving dynamics with the RC-F. Lexus LFA weighed between 3400 - 3500 lbs, which was considered lightweight for its time. A carbon fiber Aventador weighs 4100 lbs despite having rear mid-engine configuration which helps in making the car lighter since there is no prop shaft etc. Most importantly, everyone who drove the LFA said LFA felt lighter than it actually was because its chassis, suspension, steering and engine was so responsive that it made the car hyperalert on the race track. You are also wrong regarding LFA's acceleration. LFA never got out accelerated by most supercars. it was near the very top in terms of acceleration on the race track based on satellite GPS data and it helped LFA putting down those super fast lap times. It had some of the highest speeds on the back straights compared to other supercars. The only issue was launching due to lack of enough sticky tires that could allow it to put all those 553 HP down off the line. The 125 - 126 mph trap speed was one of the quickest in its time before F12 and Aventador, MP4 etc. came out. In a Top Gear episode, LFA beat the Viper SRT-10 on the Vegas drag strip everytime according to TG despite having less horsepower. Still, LFA doing 11.4 - 11.6 seconds with 124 - 126 mph trap even with a weak 3.9 - 4.2 seconds 0 - 60 mph shows how powerful the car was despite being handicapped off the line with poor traction.
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      05rollaxrs
    • September 28, 2014
    Agreed. LFA is considered the greatest because it did everything exceptionally well and its engine is simply unmatched even to this day in terms of throttle response, sound and ability to rev to 9500 rpm. LFA was plagued with poor 0 - 60 mph times because it was a very difficult to launch due to lack of traction and also a conservative launch control, but once at a roll, it had absolute monster acceleration right up to 285 km/h.
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      lafars
    • September 28, 2014
    "The 125 - 126 mph trap speed was one of the quickest in its time before F12 and Aventador, MP4 etc. came out." if i'm not mistaken the ferrari enzo, SLR and CGT had higher trap speeds, think it was something closer to 130mph "In a Top Gear episode, LFA beat the Viper SRT-10 on the Vegas drag strip everytime according to TG despite having less horsepower." if you paid notice to the race than you would notice that jeremy NEVER had wheelspin when taking off, while both vanquish and viper suffered from it, think it was the combination of sticky tarmac and low torque
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      James Hatcher
    • September 28, 2014
    It might be sticky compound on the race track. However, LFA has massive wheel spin issues off the line. If you read most of the reviews said with lack of sticky tires and massive power combined with no inertia, it either goes up in smoke or the car bogs off the line. LFA is geared very short combined with an engine that has almost no inertia, it makes a lot of "virtual torque" in the lower 4 gears.
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      MD
    • September 29, 2014
    SRT-10 Viper was wearing Cup 2 racing slick tires while LFA was wearing just the normal S001 tires. There might be compound powder on the race track, but LFA's short gearing gives it lots of torque multiplication to the wheels and the engine spins up faster than just any other engine out there. The automated gearbox might have been an advantage as well. Regarding the trap speed. I said, "one of the highest". Not the highest. Still, they were tested in different times. SLR had mostly 125 - 126 mph trap speed as this C&D test shows: http://media.caranddriver.com/files/mercedes-benz-slr-mclarenmercedes-benz-slr-mclaren-specs.pdf http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/112_0501_2005_mercedes_benz_slr_mclaren/specs_price.html
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    Don Colione
  • September 26, 2014
At this point I'm not sure how much weight can be 'lost'... but I think that some stuff was unnecessary like a motorized spoiler.... Why is this even needed on a car of this level? Just make it a static add/delete option. It can still be carbon. I just don't understand why its necessary to go up at 50 and down at 25 when it can just be up all the time, who cares about wind resistance when you have downforce. It also alerts police. This should at least save 50 lbs in unnecessary wiring and mechanical parts. Also pre-empting its possible failure later on. Was this a marketing ploy? Get rid of it in an updated version to cut lbs.
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      leopard08
    • September 26, 2014
    the spoiler is to keep the car stable and planted at high speed. it stays down on eco mood to avoid drag to save fuel. just because BMW dont have it now lexus must take it off to be like a BMW? Please guys, just leave lexus alone. this car perfoms and these nothing wrong with it. if the extra weight means im getting a much safer car and rigid car then im down with that.
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      Don Colione
    • September 26, 2014
    I never mentioned BMW lol, was just giving a suggestion of what I saw could be a way to remove what I saw was unnecessary weight... I hope you dont buy that line about the car being heavier so its "safer"? In the words of Kasama,“Body structure, very good rigidity and passive safety and big diameter tyres, then the body weight becomes a little heavier,”... I always thought, and some others who are real, also say that they needed all of that extra bracing to make up for the fact that they used different chassis' for this car and had to make sure to brace it extra strong so that it didnt fall apart lol, "safety". I think that had to add a few hundred pounds. Why didnt Lexus go with a bespoke chassis? I dont know, I hope it wasnt to save money, because they are at least at the moment suffering reputation wise. If you havent noticed the topic is up for discussion worldwide whether you consider it to be necessary of attention or not. I am a fan not a fanboy so I can willingly point out if something needs to be improved. I dont just try to gloss over it, when I hold other brands up to the same scrutiny. I got mad when the M cars started getting heavier, and all the reviewers paid so little attention to it. I was just mad that they were getting heavier period, because I am a car fan; I knew the reviewers would let BMW slide, just like they did for the last RS5 and C63 which were in the same ballpark as the RC. Now that a Lexus is heavy its the end of the world. As I said before the car is great even with the weight problem, and I hope to be getting one in the future. I am just not blind or stupid when it comes to sportcar performance targets, neither is the chief engineer, “It’s always better to be lighter,". Now at least we know why it took them so long to release the full specs, because they would have got roasted on this since it got announced earlier in the year. Look at how Mercedes just released everything about the new C63 in one day. BMW also does the same, showing at least they are not hiding anything, and making excuses for it after.
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      leopard08
    • September 26, 2014
    lol it being discussed because it a lexus notice when they mention the RS5 they start by making an excuse for it "the 4 wheel drive Audi" . if the weight was soo bad and effecting the drive, why ain't we seeing massive complains of oversteering? To me some of the reviews were really dumb, they couldn't point out what the car was doing wrong and had the gut to say M4 win just like that. The IS is also rigid and heavy lol and that car excels in crash tests. so why shouldn't i believe lexus if they say it also about safety? Weight issues will be determined by lap times. sometimes u might thing u feeling weight when it infact the it the speed you going that is too much and u dont notice because the care is easer to drive then let say a BMW M4
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      Robert
    • September 30, 2014
    Exactly leopard08. l'm with you
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    Yong Thian Ding
  • September 26, 2014
So , do RC F have better rigidity & safety rating than new C63/C63s & M3/M4 ?
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    Levi
  • September 26, 2014
The Mercedes is as heavy. The M3/M4 is no feather weight. If the RC F is more fun to drive than the others, and you don't really feel the weight, then what is the problem? Missiles are not light, but have a precise and big impact. The RC F is a missile, and would literally be one with turbo and 650 PS.
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    enthusiast88
  • September 26, 2014
What happened to all this light-weight technology that was supposed to trickle down from the LFA? It looks like nothing trickled down from the LFA except "LFA inspired gauges" and an unnecessary power spoiler. The RC F is an excellent and exciting car to drive for sure...but it just seems like Lexus is still trying to play catchup to the competition. Have you seen the specs for the new 2015 C63 AMG?? And it weighs 300 lbs less.
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      leopard08
    • September 26, 2014
    hahaha lol even the LFA was not that light with all the carbon firbe and it took others a while to admit it as one of the best car ever made. IS f sport is also very heavy yet it outperforms the compation. dont you guys ever learn? So please guys leave lexus alone, lexus has long proved they can overcome weight.
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      tinhinnh
    • September 26, 2014
    Neither the LFA or ISF weigh nearly 4000lbs. And from the reviews, it does seem like its affecting the performance - both acceleration and handling.
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      leopard08
    • September 26, 2014
    You cant go read reviews that are based on one track and call it portable data. again LFA is very heavy for an all carbon firbe car and it get out accelerated by most super cars and yet it still the best car. What you guys are saying about the RCF is invalid for now until it is properly tested against it compatition
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      MD
    • September 28, 2014
    LFA weighed 3400 - 3500 lbs, which is still considered very light for supercars considering Aventador and F12 both weigh over 4000 - 4100 lbs. Even the SLS black series with all of the interior stripped out weighs 3700 lbs. LFA is considered the greatest because unanimously, it is deemed as a car that does everything exceptionally well. Not the fastest, but the greatest once everything is put together. The engine is also unmatched. Even acceleration wise, LFA had some of the fastest back straight speeds on the race track as it trounced majority of the supercars with more horsepower around the race track. At Nurburgring, LFA Nurburgring Edition hit 298 km/h on the long straight, which is still considered one of the fastest speeds on that straight. The 124 - 126 mph trap speed was a good indicator of how fast LFA was despite having poor traction off the line due to lack of proper grippy tires and a very conservative launch control that cut power. In some tests, they were getting 4.0 - 4.2 seconds 0 - 60 mph, which is laughable since they were stomping from idle without any launch. Still the 1/4 mile times mostly were between 11.4 - 11.6 seconds for European and American tests, which was considered one of the quickest back in 2009 - 2010.
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      lafars
    • September 28, 2014
    the LFA was not heavy if we compare apples to apples SLR: 1700kg+ one-77: 1700kg+ LFA: 1600kg+/- front engined carbon fiber chassied cars are rare so there aren't alot of cars to compare
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      James Hatcher
    • September 28, 2014
    LFA was not heavy at all even for a carbon fiber super car. It was a front mid-engine layout so inherently it was a heavier than rear mid-engine design. Still most exotic super cars were heavier than the LFA. Porsche Turbo S, Audi R8 V10, SLS AMG, Ferrari 599 GTB, Ferrari 599 GTO, Ferrari F12, Aventador, LP560-4 etc. all of them were heavier than the LFA. MP4-12C is lighter than the LFA by 300 lbs because it has a rear mid-engine configuration, which eliminates heavy components like the propeller shaft etc. Most importantly all of the critics agreed that LFA handles like no other car. No hint of understeer. It had an extremely responsive engine and a rear biased chassis and suspension, which made it more oversteer and easily break the rear loose.
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    Davidson O
  • September 26, 2014
My family has live and bought cars from Lexus since the Original LS from 1998 am not new to the business I have proof if you aren't satisfied after this. anyway yes I agree with the natural aspirated V8 we all love the sound and power feeling but again the only sole purpose for the RCF was to challenge and beat the M4 where did they go wrong they made a. V10 size of a V8 as light as V6 so V8 weight isn't an excuse they could had push it back on production. 2nd to though ISF vs M3 - 2008 great year for Lexus finally a monster is born to take the thrown of the M3 was in production and selling there was a lot of criticism that was okay Lexus first try amazing debut my ISF stock can take care of an M3 in straight line but never in Curves we all know that so okay weight balance out there at-least one out of 4 Major point is right ( Weight - Handling - No Manual Transmission for real sport drivers - ) But the IS F in Straight line eats the M3 am a happy camper there okay now back to the RCF Power 460ish HP just 50+ for the Insane Price tag now the weight 4,000 pound 400 pound heavier than there Rival No Manual Offering and We all know mighty well M4 will have better handling that's all BMW hands down and now just the last thing it needed it lose in a straight line to the M4 . really the RCF is just a 2014 body with the spec of a 2008 car . While M4 is Lighter Manual Faster in Staightline. Where's the true innovation of the RCF. Keep in mind and I know yall won't believe me I hate how everyone praise BMW best at everything even now my family now bought a 5-Series which could had easily been a GS 350 Fsport easy sell for lexus but they lacking in the power department is 2014 we have sources we know what we buying now is not the old fashioned believement anymore.
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      Levi
    • September 27, 2014
    Indeed there is not a lot of innovation in the RC F, but that goes for the M3/M4 also. However, then engine is innovative, and probably one of the biggest advancements in NA high performance engines, for road cars. I hope we'll one day get camless engines. That would be a HUGE step for ICE.

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