Who is Yukihiko Yaguchi and What Is the New Lexus F Series?
If you’ve ever appreciated the unique beauty of a Lexus or found yourself drawn to a Lexus because of its ultra-modern design, you have one man to thank: Yukihiko Yaguchi.
Yaguchi began his career in 1977 as Toyota’s head of development and planning. He made a name for himself as a visionary who didn’t shy away from taking risks while working on the Supra. Yaguchi went on to work on all four generations of the Supra, even creating a prototype premium car using the Supra’s suspension and engine. That project would become the IS F — the vehicle that led to his first position as lead designer.
The Supra is now regarded as a classic and the shockwaves of its innovative design are still felt today, most recently with the new 2016 RC F. Yaguchi is now the chief F cars designer at Lexus and served as the chief engineer for the Lexus RC F and the forthcoming GS F. As a designer, Yaguchi ensures that each vehicle represents Lexus’ mission to blend high performance with unique styling but seems particularly excited about the 2016 GS F. Modeled as the design forerunner of the F line, the GS F emphasizes style elements that double as aerodynamic features. The goal was to create a Lexus line for the person who loves to drive — maybe even has fantasies of being a professional racer — but probably won’t find themselves on the track any time soon.
“The GS F will offer a Lexus F brand performance experience with a focus on fun and an easy-to-drive experience while balancing its street and track character,” Yaguchi told Automobile Magazine. Both the RC F and GS F will pack a 467-hp punch from their respective 5.0-liter V8 engines. Independent track testing found the RC F to be slightly faster on-track than the M4 and the Audi RS 5. Motorweek says it’s capable of hanging with the best on any racetrack.
So the F series is full of speed demons, but what if you can’t find the time (or the place) to really let loose? Well, you’re in luck because Yaguchi says the ease of switching from public-road to track driving is one of the F series’ signatures. “In the GS F, this transition is remarkable as the car is strong, feeling uncompromised for its purpose in both situations,” he explained.
Who can compete with that? Yaguchi says he doesn’t care. When Motor Trend asked him which cars on the market he bench-marked the RC F against, he said, “No benchmark. I don’t care about the competitors. I want to create what I want, which is a really high-performance car offering driving pleasure to anybody, even regular drivers.”
While you await the RC F, visit us at Highland Park Lexus for a test drive of any of our other new models. We can’t take you out on the track but we aren’t afraid to tell you which cars might give you the experience you’re looking for.