A new version of the Lexus RC luxury sports coupe has made its debut in South Africa in exclusive F Sport guise. Since its local introduction in 2015, the RC has spearheaded Lexus’ commitment to delivering a more emotional quality in the driving experience provided by its vehicles, with its sporty appearance and versatile driving character.
The fresh new RC 350 F Sport retains all the virtues of what RC is renowned for, but takes them to a higher level by adopting the latest evolution of Lexus’ signature design language and sharpened driving dynamics inspired by the brand’s flagship luxury coupe, the LC.
The exterior styling remains as sporty as the preceding model, but subtle changes in the details, inspired by Lexus LC design cues, imbue it with a new-found elegance. Inside the cabin, everything from the high-quality materials to the precise layout of controls and gauges has been crafted to maximise driving pleasure.
Enhancements have also been made to the RC 350 F Sport’s aerodynamics, tyres and suspension with concomitant improvements to engine response and steering feel, all of which reflect the ‘sharper and more refined’ drive philosophy that was introduced by the LC. This new RC is more stable than ever under a wide variety of driving conditions.
This provides a high level of driver confidence and a reassuringly flat ride quality, making the RC an ideal grand tourer, whether you’re negotiating a twisty mountain road or simply making a long-distance commute on the open highway.
EXTERIOR DESIGN LANGUAGE
Lexus designers sought to maintain the RC’s dynamic coupe proportions, while adding a high level of elegance to the exterior. Key to achieving this was the addition of distinctive design elements, such as a new front bumper design – the accentuated corners flow down from the headlamps. There is also a new grille mesh pattern comprising shapes which gradually transform from top to bottom, creating intriguing visual tension. The vertical arrangement of the ‘micro’ triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights add to the car’s more distinguished appearance.
Moving to the rear, air ducts have been added to the corners of the rear bumper, resulting in better handling stability and enhanced overall driving response. A wider stance and lower centre of gravity reflect the RC’s heightened ability to maintain grip in varied road conditions. The rear combination lamps now house more pronounced L-shaped lenses that are a new signature design feature for Lexus coupes.
Ten different exterior colours are available in the RC, including Naples Yellow and Poseidon Blue, shades which perfectly communicate the car’s dynamic nature. The rest of the line-up includes White Nova, Sonic Titanium, Solar Storm Red and Graphite Black. Brand new to Lexus RC are Lava Orange, Mercury Grey, Black and Sparkling Meteor.
The new RC 350 F Sport many other custom exterior and interior items that are exclusive to F Sport. These include powerfully-styled 19-inch alloy wheels, featuring a striking 10-spoke design finished in a dark premium metallic hue.
DRIVING PLEASURE HEIGHTENED BY INTERIOR REFINEMENTS
A brushed treatment has been applied to the heater control and audio panels, generating a higher sense of quality, while the cushioned knee pads on either side of the centre console have been made larger and raised higher, creating a greater sense of space in the front of the cabin. The driver’s palm rest has been reshaped and a stitching pattern has been added to the surface, showcasing the designer’s close attention to detail.
A new analogue clock, identical to the one in the LC, sits high on the instrument panel in another identifying feature of Lexus coupes- other small details include newly designed and ergonomically-defined cup holders.
Interior trim colours include Black, Flare Red, White and Mustard – the latter features subtle yellow accents on a black background.
‘SHARPER AND MORE GRACEFUL’ DRIVING CONCEPT
Adopting the driving concept of a ‘sharper and more graceful’ drive, Lexus engineers have succeeded in making the new RC thoroughly fun to drive by focusing their attention on details, such as enhancing the car’s aerodynamics and fine-tuning the suspension system and powertrain.
Endowed with a flatter and more stable ride quality and sharper handling characteristics, the new RC is more athletic and responsive than ever.
Enhanced aerodynamics, achieved with details such as a new fin shape in the side window mouldings and a duct in the rear bumper, give the car better handling stability.
New 19-inch wheels shod with higher-grip tyres support excellent steering response. The tyres now have a reduced Rolling Resistance Coefficient, which aids in achieving the excellent ride comfort.
New shock absorbers, which provide significant damping force from low suspension stroke speeds, and stiffer suspension bushings have also been introduced. The new RC underwent extensive real-world testing, with chassis engineers constantly fine-tuning performance, to improve ride and handling.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
The 3.5-litre Lexus dual-injection 2GR-FKS V6 in the Lexus RC 350 F Sport delivers a rare, charismatic concoction of power, torque and responsiveness for a thoroughly engaging driving experience. This engine has been proven in Lexus models around the world and meets driver expectations for responsive acceleration.
This powerplant features intelligent dual variable valve timing (VVT-i) for inlet and exhaust camshafts, an intelligent electronic throttle and the Lexus D-4S system of direct and port fuel injection. The quad cam V6 engine has two petrol injection systems, including high-pressure direct injection.
Lexus designed the all-alloy 60-degree V6 for a combination of high performance, fuel efficiency, package efficiency, reliability and serviceability, coupled with light-weight, low NVH and low emissions.
It delivers 232kW of power at 6600rpm and 380Nm of torque at 4800rpm, equating to a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6,3 seconds, topped off by a maximum speed of 230km/h.
Lexus’ innovative touch-sensitive Remote Touch Interface links the driver more directly to the audio and navigation systems of the vehicle. The unique new control interface was developed to amplify the tactile feedback of the RC’s sports-coupé driving experience.
The steering wheel and shift knob combines exquisite craftsmanship with exceptional comfort. The interior features an unmistakable F Sport shift knob and steering wheel which is trimmed in hand-selected perforated leather.
The RC’s high-efficiency speakers create an unprecedented listening space for every person in every seat. It features Quantum Logic® Immersion, the most sophisticated 3D audio technology available.
The RC also comes standard with a full electric moon roof. Its electric tilt and slide glass function lets the desired amount of moonlight or sunlight, as well as fresh air into the cabin. One-touch control is quick and convenient.
LEXUS RC PRICES AND SERVICE INFORMATION
The Lexus RC 350 F Sport retails for R939 100. The RC model also boasts a Lexus best-in-class, 7-year/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan as well as a Lexus Distance Plan Complete. The vehicle service intervals are at every 15 000km, alternatively once a year.