Twenty five years ago, the LS 400 flagship vehicle debuted in a building in the heart of the Motor City and the home of the “Big Three” American car companies at the time. The North American International Auto Show is a historical place for Lexus as it’s been a place of many world debuts and it’s also the place that the “F” marque was officially announced. It all started seven years ago with the first “F”, when a Skunk Works team of rogue engineers defied the corporate SOP of developing a car. Fast forward seven years later, history repeats itself again in the exact same room the IS F debuted in. Now known as Room W-152 (formerly The Riverview Ballroom) at Cobo Center, the stunning RC F performance coupé was revealed officially this past Tuesday in front of journalists from all over the world.
Because we are immersed in a digital and internet age, anything that gets posted up can immediately become viral. As for the case of the RC F, someone at Road & Track spoiled the surprise by posting up actual and pics and info ahead of time forcing all the other publications to post their pre-debut coverage. I was invited by Lexus to experience the debut of RC F first hand. My first visit to Detroit was seven years ago during the IS F world debut. Back then I had a chance to meet with then Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter (now Senior V.P. of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor Sales) and IS F Chief Engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi. This time I had the opportunity to sit in the front row at the RC F debut with my friends Kevin Watts of the Lexus Enthusiast and Joaquín Ruhi of my.IS and my co-editor. This time I had a chance to talk to Yaguchi-san and his design team in detail about the new RC F. Despite the leak, there were still plenty of surprises in store for the debut.
Being a longtime Toyota and Lexus owner and enthusiast, I have owned several Toyota and Lexus models in my lifetime including but not limited to the 2004 Lexus IS 300 and a 2009 Lexus IS F. My first impressions of the RC F are excellent. A few years ago, I was approached by the Lexus to take part in meeting with the product planning team which also included Chief Engineer Yaguchi on a future “F” model. At the time there was no real explanation on what Yaguchi-san’s exact role was but I had a feeling he would be instrumental in the development of the next “F” model. I will be talking about this meeting and what we discussed on the next write up. I am happy to report that Lexus really does listen and Yaguchi-san addressed many of our suggestions and concerns we had for what we now know as the 2015 RC F. Seeing is believing and I am certainly impressed with what I see so far.
For those that missed the press conference, here’s the press release and the Livestream video below:
Lexus Press Release: 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) – Lexus RC F Reveal
Here’s some of the photos I took from the front row at the 2015 RC F press conference. Stay tuned for Part 2!