Our spies have captured the first pictures of the new Lexus IS Coupe during a disguised test run in Europe. These pictures not only confirm that the Lexus 4 Series rival is well under way, but also seem to suggest that a high-performance replacement for the V8-powered IS-F is also in the works.
Sharing much of its design with the stunning LF-CC concept from last year's Paris motor show, you can clearly spot the huge air intakes either side of the enlarged 'spindle' grille and the sleek body has grown vents in the bonnet and behind the front wheels.
Tell-tale signs that this model is far more than just a beefed up F-sport mode appear at the back, where quad exhaust pipes sprout from an enlarged bumper. There appears to be a retractable spoiler mounted on the boot lid as well. The car looks a lot wider and lower than the four-door saloon and a new set of bigger brake discs and calipers can also be spotted through the 19-inch anthracite alloy wheels.
A source confirmed that Lexus has trademarked both the names 'RC-350' and 'RC-F' which is the badge the IS-F coupe will use once it reaches production. That hints towards two models in the range - one a development of the 3.5-litre V6 petrol from the GS350 and the other a heavily reworked version of the wonderful 5.0-litre V8 from the previous car.
Lexus is also keen to fast track development of its larger GS-based coupe as well - based on the popular LF-LC concept that was developed by its Californian design studio. This model would be designed to go up against the BMW 6 Series while the new RC-F coupe - due to appear as soon as late 2014 - is aimed squarely at the forthcoming BMW M4.
A manual version of that car designed for the European market is being considered and Auto Express understands that the V8-flagship is likely to arrive in showrooms in 2015 with the lesser-powered V6 model to follow later that year.