Lexus-RC-FLexus has announced its new RC F coupe will cost from £59,995: that’s just under £1000 more than a comparable BMW M4 – but Lexus has confirmed the 5.0-litre V8 engine is set to produce at least 20hp more than the BMW…

The Japanese firm’s most powerful V8 coupe yet, the RC F will produce more than 450hp, delivered through a new eight-speed Direct Shift DCT transmission.

Further underlining its performance credentials, Lexus also fits standard Brembo brakes, Sachs monotube dampers and 19-inch forged alloy wheels. The rear wing boasts active adjustment technology – aero functionality so advanced, it’s actually banned in F1.

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There’s also a higher-grade RC F coupe, the £67,995 RC F Carbon. This isn’t just a trimmed-up special, either: impressively, it boasts carbon fibre reinforced plastic roof, bonnet and rear spoiler – the same composites first used on the LFA supercar (and ensuring Lexus can match BMW’s similar use of the material on the M4).

The RC F Carbon also has a torque vectoring differential: Lexus says this is the first time such a differential has been used in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive car. There are three modes, including one optimised for track use.

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LED headlights are standard on both models, as are heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats, Lexus Premium sat nav with DAB radio, reversing camera and keyless go tech. The RC F Carbon adds high-end Mark Levinson Surround Sound Stereo, Alcantara upholstery and a different design of 19-inch alloy.

UK buyers won’t have long to wait for the RC F, either: deliveries begin in January 2015 but ordering is open now and Lexus says it will launch the car in dealers before the end of 2014. The stage is set and both BMW M4 and us eagerly await the challenge.