Lexus has a long and storied history of offering luxury cars at a price that many can afford. With a badge that hasn’t been known for speed and power, but rather one that offers a smooth ride, luxurious feel and more features for the money than any other, a serious sports car has been missing for quite some time. Enter in the brand new Lexus RC. The RC is a sports coupe with a fixed roof and only two doors that hasn’t been seen from the Lexus brand in well over 15 years.
The Lexus RC 350 is made to show off against the likes of the BMW 4 Series, Audi A5 and Cadillac ATS Coupe with the RC F model taking on the BMW M4 and Audi RS 5. Offering a very aggressive design and amazing luxury features the RC is a coupe that will surprise and amaze any owner with price, features, capability and power on any road. For long time Lexus lovers the look of the RC might suggest it is built on the IS platform, but it is in fact built on its own platform making it unique and all its own.
With a pillow-soft suspension and an aggressive style the RC offers a ride that is both smooth and dynamic. The car handles corners like a dream and takes on any challenges the road may throw its way. The steering is highly responsive allowing the car to move through traffic easily as well as taking on a long canyon run or other winding and twisting road with pleasure and ease not found in many other cars. The ability to set this car up with either a high performing rear-wheel drive or a fully controlled all-wheel drive gives owners the ability to have all the racing control they desire with the luxury aboard.
With the two different models available, two very different engines are housed in the power compartment of the Lexus RC. The first engine is found in the RC 350 and shows up as a 3.5-liter V6 engine that churns out 306 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission when the car is set up for RWD which helps to achieve a fuel economy of 19 city/28 hwy mpg. When equipped for AWD the transmission is a six-speed automatic that helps create a fuel efficiency of 19 city/26 hwy mpg. This car is capable of reaching 60 mph in less than six seconds with this power plant on board making it a very fast car off the line.
The second engine with is found in the sportier and more performance laden RC F model is a 5.0-liter V8 engine which cranks a strong 467 horsepower and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. This model is attached to the eight-speed automatic transmission and gives a decent fuel mileage of 16 city/25 hwy mpg. With this engine under the hood, the RC F can reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 170 mph, more than enough to get anyone’s heart racing with pleasure.
With power and performance as the main ingredients the interior of the RC is still luxury laden. The front two seats are comfortable and room with plenty of hints at the sportiness of the car and a vast amount of controls for any driver to get to know and allow the car to reach its full potential. Even though there is a back seat to this car, it’s made for adults to sit in at all and is better suited for small children or luggage to take the space.
On the outside the RC offers a sloping hood with a low hood to roof angle, a long curve to the rear and more racing looks than many high performance sports cars. Add the hourglass shaped grill to the front along with the narrow headlights that give Lexus models some added personality and this car has an appearance that is simply polarizing and attractive. A full set of gorgeous Lexus wheels carry the load and plenty of chrome trimmings set off the racing look to finish the look and give the car a drooling effect on anyone who watches as it screams past them.
The Lexus RC of course is not just a racing machine, but a luxury one and as such offers a great list of standard features to enjoy. For the RC 350 this list includes automatic climate controls, a HomeLink garage door opener, Siri Eyes Free iPhone integration, a self –dimming rearview mirror, a seven-inch display screen, a ten-speaker 256 watt audio system with HD Radio, dual USB inputs and Bluetooth audio streaming. Moving up to the F Sport model the features include a variable suspension and Sport+ driving mode, heated and ventilated front seats, a sport tuned suspension, a power adjustable steering wheel, NuLuxe faux leather upholstery, Brembo brakes, sport front seats and forged BBS aluminum wheels.
Adding the options available to the RC models only enhances their sex appeal even more by including a navigation system with a rearview camera, the Lexus Enform App suite, heated and ventilated front seats for the 350, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof, a Mark Levinsion premium audio system, blind spot monitoring and a pre-collision braking system. For the F model only a few more options include a torque-vectoring rear differential, a carbon fiber roof and a rear spoiler.
With only two models to choose from it would be an easy choice on any Lexus lot with only price in mind as to which one to buy. The Lexus RC 350 starts out with a very reasonable price of $43,000 which is a lot less than the competition. The RC F model carries in a starting price near $63,000 which keeps it well under its competitors as well. Loading either up with features is going to increase the price, but even at the highest price point the Lexus RC models come in under their competitors and offer better power and performance across the board.