- Published: Tuesday, 09 September 2014 07:01
New York -
We love coupes. Coupes are our life. Gimme coupe.
Yes, we know you do. Given the tsunami of cars with newly-raked A-pillars, tiny greenhouses and possibly fastback rear hatches, the coupe-style craze is in still full swing. But here’s a real coupe (i.e. it has two doors and that’s it) that should have been made long ago - the Lexus RC.
You mean it’s from ancient Japan?
No, we mean Lexus should have built a ‘proper’ hard-top coupe long ago. To tick ‘em off: the first SC from 1991 was a hard-top - since then there have been only convertibles (second-gen SC 430) and million-dollar hypercars (LFA). Since 1991 Lexus has been concentrating on what it does best: super smooth cruisers and hybrids, but since Akio Toyoda has ascended the Shogun-ship in 2009, it’s been full sport ahead for Lexus.
Is that why this one looks katana-sharp?
Yes. It’s the new Lexus design language - full of angles and edgy-edges and huge grilles - put on something that’s not a sedan (new GS, IS and ES) or a SUV (see NX) and the unsurprising result is a rather stunning looking vehicle. It looks especially stunning in its signature colour - Radiant Red Contrast Layering - the latter referring to a new five-coat paint process with a silver primer to make the metallic sheen pop gorgeously.
READ MORE: The latest Lexus machines reviewed
Lexus NX 200t
Lexus IS 300h F Sport
Lexus ES 250
Ah but does it drive sharp, too?
It sure does - F sharp that it! Puns aside, like we’ve seen on recent Lexii, the 350 has an F Sport variant which means bigger wheels, tuned adaptive-suspension, sportier steering and racier interior and exterior trim. Exclusive to the RC 350 F Sport is the dynamic handling system (LDH) that has four-wheel steering. Like the system on the BMW 7 Series, it turns the rear wheels up to two degrees in the opposite direction at speeds of up to 80km/h, then in the same direction above 80km/h. All this gives the RC an added spring to its step - it’s still comfortable and refined, like all Lexus cars, but now there’s an added edge that keen drivers can exploit.
It’s fast too, right?
317bhp puts it at the top of the class for power output, although the fact that there’s no start-stop and there’s no turbocharging means it can be quite thirsty. There’s a mechanical sound induction device so the V6’s voice, an enjoyable rorty burr, is quite clearly heard. It’s more or less what the doctor ordered: a Lexus coupe that’s fast, fluent and fun to drive and enjoys being pushed a little. If you want more, you can try the 477bhp, maniacally fun-to-drive Lexus RC F too.
Lexus RC 350 F Sport
Engine 3,456cc, 24V, V6
Power 317bhp at 6,400rpm
Torque 378Nm at 4800rpm
Gearbox 8-speed automatic
Top Speed 230km/h (limited)
0-100km/h 6.3 seconds
Fuel efficiency 9.7L/100km
Price TBA Q1 2015
Reviews: If you it coupe-like….
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