Lexus and Kia are just the latest automakers to offer a peek behind the curtain for their plans at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
Lexus, Toyota’s fancy division, has confirmed what we originally suspected earlier this month: it will use the 2014 Detroit Auto Show to unveil a high-performance F version of its yet-to-be-released RC Coupe.
Lexus hasn’t revealed details about the unnamed variant, but it will build on the base RC Coupe unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November. That car is a rear-wheel-drive model based on the midsize GS platform.
That version will come in two strengths: the RC 350 will have a 314-horsepower V-6, while the RC 300h will have a 217-horsepower hybrid drivetrain.
Just how much more power the F version of the R Coupe will have remains to be seen. Just don’t expect it to be sleepy. BMW’s M4 coupe -- a likely competitor that’s also debuting in Detroit -- clocks in at 425 horsepower, courtesy of a twin-turbocharged V-6.
The outgoing Lexus IS F, a sedan the F version of the RC Coupe will replace, currently uses a 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V-8. It pumps some 416 horsepower to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Without a turbocharged V-6 readily available in the Lexus lineup, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the automaker use an updated version of this V-8 engine in its new coupe.
Another coupe headed to Detroit is a sports car concept from Kia. And that’s all we know. No name or specifics were announced, with the automaker saying only that it would be a 2+2 concept (two front seats and two you-probably-won’t-put-adults-back-there rear seats).
The car was designed at Kia’s Irvine studio and “is intended to turn heads while delivering superb driving enjoyment on both road and track,” the automaker said in a statement.
By mentioning this concept’s track capabilities, smart money is on this being a rear-wheel-drive model loosely based on the Genesis Coupe made by Kia’s sister brand Hyundai. If it’s front-wheel-drive, expect the sports car to be Kia’s take on the compact Hyundai Veloster.
We’ll know more details on the Kia and the Lexus in the coming weeks leading up to their official debuts on Jan. 13.
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