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2015 Lexus RC F Coupe Spied

Hot Lexus coupe spied.

Our spy shooters caught the 2015 Lexus RC F coupe testing in Death Valley, providing yet more hints about the future Japanese sports car. We now believe that, rather than being badged as an IS coupe, the two-door version of the Lexus IS will be called the RC. It will battle the BMW 4 Series -- and the hot Lexus RC F coupe will take on the upcoming BMW M4.

Lending credence to rumors of its performance potential, our spy photographer caught the 2015 Lexus RC F coupe testing with a BMW M3 coupe and the outgoing Lexus IS-F sedan. As we saw in our last spy photos of the Lexus coupe, the car's nose features Lexus' popular spindle grille, narrow headlights, and huge lower air intakes. Out back are a curved trunklid wing and a quartet of exhaust tips, while the large gray wheels conceal slotted brake rotors. Peeking inside also reveals that this 2015 Lexus RC F coupe prototype has the same interior design as the IS250 and IS350 sedans.

Our colleagues at Motor Trend report that the RC F will be powered by a new 5.0-liter V-8 engine good for 455 hp. While we had heard the outgoing Lexus IS-F's V-8 engine wouldn't meet modern emissions requirements, the new mill is said to use a cylinder-deactivation system to save fuel. An eight-speed automatic transmission will reportedly be standard.

MT says the Lexus RC F coupe will have a shorter wheelbase than the sedan on which it based, and that the scoop we spotted on the hood helps not with air intake into the engine, but instead channels air below the car for better downforce. MT also posits the two-door Lexus will have a stiffer suspension that rides lower than the sedan, and that a pop-up electric spoiler will help keep it stable enough to hit 186 mph. The interior will reportedly boast Recaro bucket seats, as well as exposed carbon fiber and polished aluminum trim pieces.

When it debuts, the Lexus RC F will have its work cut out for it competing with the BMW M3 sedan, M4 coupe, and M4 convertible. The hot BMW sports cars are expected to use a twin-turbo inline-six engine with about 450 hp, putting them on par power-wise with what we expect from the Lexus RC F.

Reports suggest the 2015 Lexus RC F coupe will debut at the Detroit auto show in January, and that it will go on sale about a year from now for somewhere close to $100,000. More mainstream versions of the Lexus RC coupe are tipped to arrive at the New York auto show next March. However, a recent Lexus teaser photo hints the automaker will introduce a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show -- and its squinting headlight looks closely related to the design seen on this test car.