An athletic Grand Tourer the Lexus RC 350

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I enjoy gorgeously sculptural cars. They are a sign that their designers had a greater degree of freedom when penning their lines. You can sense their creators’ excitable passion in each of the car’s curves.

The Lexus RC (Radical Coupe) is loaded with an artistic flair. The car is simply beautiful.

Originally launched locally in 2015, the RC along with its sedan sibling - the IS, have both undergone a mid-life nip and tuck. The adjustments are subtle. There is a new front bumper design, a new grille mesh pattern comprising of shapes which gradually transform from top to bottom, a vertical arrangement of the ‘micro’ triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights which add to the car’s more dynamic appearance.

Moving to the rear, air ducts have been added to the corners of the rear bumper. Not just for aesthetic reasons - the new design improves the RC’s handling. The rear combination lamps now house more pronounced L-shaped lenses that are a new signature design feature for Lexus coupes.

Enhancements carry on into the interior and the engineering of the vehicle. Basically, the RC is the best version of itself.

The RC coupe features its own bespoke chassis which was purposefully built by Lexus. Albeit, the RC is a hybrid of other Lexus products. It borrows its front-end from the GS - giving it stiffness; its mid-section is from the IS C (convertible) - providing rigidity; while the rear is from the IS - endowing the RC with a sporting rear-wheel drive dynamic and finally, just a smidge of the Lexus LFA supercar that can be seen in the RC’s spectacular looks.

Lexus’s RC coupe has been created and designed to compete against the likes of Audi’s A5 coupe, Mercedes-Benz C and E-Class coupes and BMW’s 4-Series. Similar in concept to its German rivals – luxurious sports coupes – it’s unique in its manifestation of a GT coupe. Lexus, like other brands, obviously design and engineer their cars for their customers, asking them what they like and creating a product specifically tailored for them. All Lexus products are renowned for being quiet, supple, luxurious, modern, unique-looking and featuring a host of fancy electronics as part of the standard package.

The RC F-Sport is no different - menacing to look at and better than ever after its mid-life tweaks. Glance quickly and your eye automatically looks back for further study. Its lines are bold, looking like nothing else. Driving the RC is a sublime experience – solid and purposeful all while doing so in absolute silence. The RC’s chassis is its backbone and it feels like granite – solid as a rock. Its suspension strikes the perfect balance between being luxuriously comfortable and sporting, with an agile nature.  

The RC is driven by a 3.5l engine and mated to a slick shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox. The naturally aspirated V6 offers 233kW/380Nm which means 0 to 100km/h in around 6.5 seconds, topping out at a maximum speed of 230km/h.


Lexus claim fuel figures of 9.4-litres/100km combined. My week with the coupe yielded a figure above 11-litres/100km.

What’s impressive about the Lexus RC is its Aladdin’s cave of bells and whistles that come as a standard, adding a feeling of value to the car’s overall package. The high-level of standard features coupled with great attention to detail leave you feeling assured of the RCs elevated standards.

This is an excellent product. If I were to throw some shade, it would have to be regarding its naturally aspirated engine. It is as refined as a well-aged whisky, but it’s competing against other motors that are turbocharged. This is like an athlete with performance-enhancing drugs versus a natural one. There is an advantage. Is it unfair?

 

Plus +

  • Beautiful
  • Well-made
  • Ride quality
  • Quiet

 

Minus –

  • Heavy
  • Not as quick as its competition

 

The competition

Mercedes-Benz C and E-Class, Audi A5/S5 Coupe, BMW 4 Series, Ford Mustang Fastback and Nissan 370Z.

 

Pricing

RC 350 F-Sport R939 100

 

Service and Warranty

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.

www.lexus.co.za

 

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