Lexus RC F Chief Engineer Explains Why He Chose a V8

Lexus RC F Chief Engineer Explains Why He Chose a V8 1 photo
We are eager to get our hands on Lexus newest performance coupe and we’re sure its going to be spectacular. But until later this year when its going to come out we’ll still have to feed our craving with photos, occasional videos and other information.
Speaking of information, Lexus chief engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi recently explained in an interview with Lexus Blog UK why he chose to fit this awesomely designed lump of car with a beefy 5-liter V8 naturally aspirated gasoline engine.

The thing is that unless you want to make a supercar these days, the hood of your new-designed sportscar is “recommended” to house a turbocharged engine with a capacity of around 3 liters in order to offer decent performance and stick with the harsh emission levels imposed by law.

Still, Lexus decided that fitting an engine in a performance coupe with turbo or superchargers is somehow like fitting a woman with silicone and botox to force its level of beautifulness. Which may look good at some levels, but then you know its fakery an it will come with certain disadvantages.

But Yaguchi-san is a purist and he considers that a sportscar should have a V8 heart, the heart of motorsport... at least in the past.

”First of all, the V8 engine format is the most appropriate for a sports car engine. The reason is that when we talk about sport driving, the torque feel – the acceleration – is most important, and that’s what the V8 format gives. This can also be said for the V10 in the LFA, but if you put under load the torque characteristic [of the V10] is very smooth, but as you go under load it [the V8] gives almost a heartbeat feeling,” explained Yaguchi.

This explains the part of the right feelings you’ll get from the RC F, but how the engineers solved the emission and fuel consumption issues dictated by the Euro 6 laws? Well, you know Toyota and Lexus have a special affair with the variable valve timing, right? Now there’s your answer.

“By adjusting the valve opening, we can change the engine’s performance – making it run like an Atkinson cycle engine. This gives you an equivalent downsizing of 800cc, and the efficiency of a 4.2-litre engine.” further explained Yaguchi-san. “Of course, when you go to a wide-open throttle, you get the Otto cycle so get maximum power, [and] being naturally aspirated, you get a really high responsiveness.”

The issues of using a smaller six-cylinder bi-turbo engine like BMW does has been also disputed. The reason was that the car would have gone to complex and not offer the same responsiveness. However, regarding the company’s future plans for turbocharged engines, Yaguchi said this naturally aspirated technology won’t be able to cut it out and turbos won’t be that avoidable.

So, unless the automaker has another supercar on the drawing board, this might be the last naturally aspired performance V8 Lexus will put out.
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