Lexus F brand chief engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi, has suggested turbocharging could be adopted in future F hi-po models provided they meet key drivability and sonic benchmarks.
Speaking to media at this week’s launch of the new flagship RC F coupe at Mount Panorama, Yaguchi, who Lexus describes as “the father of the F brand”, expressed a decision to go turbocharged would largely be an emotional one.
“(An F turbocharged engine) would have to deliver linear power like a naturally aspirated engine,” he revealed. “And it would have to create the right sound.”
Yaguchi also confessed a personal dislike of forced induction and expressed that natural aspiration remain as the cornerstone of the F range experience which, to date, has encompassed the IS F, LFA supercar and the just-launched RC F two-door on the Aussie market.
Lexus Australia chief executive, Sean Handley, suggests that the recently released NX200t, powered by a 175kW 2.0-litre turbo four, is a sign of things to come not just for the flagship F stable but for wider Lexus range which, to date, has bucked petrol forced induction.
It also seems inevitable that the turbo 2.0-litre formula will supplant the V6 format used widely across the Lexus range, including its rear-driven models.
Indeed, Lexus has already developed a turbo 2.0-litre race version of the new RC F coupe – which boasts a 351kW 5.0-litre V8 in road-going form - to campaign in Japan’s Super GT championship.
Lexus is open about wanting to maintain natural aspiration for F-badged line-toppers, though one insider confided at the RC F launch that future hi-po engine formats will largely be dictated by increasingly stringent global efficiency legislation.
Indeed, the lifeline to any carmaker’s future performance ‘natural aspirations’ largely hinges on whether future legislation adopts model-specific emission/consumption targets or whether aggregate targets are to be met across a brand’s broader range.