It’s officially here now, Lexus’ newest and most radical take on the luxury sports car coupe segment, the Lexus RC 350 and RC F coupes. Launched at Lexus Malaysia’s showroom located at Life Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the RCs are staring at the BMW 4-Series and Audi A5 right in the eye.
|Name||Lexus RC 350 Coupe||Lexus RC F Coupe|
|Engine||3.5-litre V6, DVVT-i and Lexus D-4S; 2GR-FSE engine||5.0-litre V8, 2UR-GSE engine|
|Transmission||8-speed Sports Program Direct Shift automatic||8-speed Sports Program Direct Shift automatic|
|Max Power||312 hp @ 6,400 rpm||470 hp @ 7,100 rpm|
|Max Torque||378 Nm @ 4,800 rpm||530 Nm @ 4,800 to 5,600 rpm|
|Price (OTR without insurance)||RM526,000 (OTR without insurance)||RM782,000 (OTR without insurance)|
The RC coupes first made their appearance at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, and Lexus aims to sell about 25,000 units of it worldwide, with the bulk of deliveries being the RC 350.
First things first. The all-new Lexus RC is built from the ground up, using the main underpinnings derived from the IS and GS sedans. It features Lexus’ signature spindle grille design, very enticing three L-designed LED powered headlights and daytime running lights, and the 3D L-shaped rear taillights.
The front bumper houses air inlets that improves cooling and aerodynamic performance, whereas the rear bumpers have been specifically sculpted to maximise airflow and reduce drag. The rear also features a four-link active rear wing sourced from the LFA, which automatically deploys at 80 km/h, increasing stability. The underside of the RC Coupe has been made as flat as possible, allowing air to flow smoothly without causing turbulence, thus increasing high speed stability and handling.
Standard on the RC coupes are keyless entry with push-start ignition, analogue clock in the centre, instrument clusters taken from the LFA, a 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, Remote Touch Interface, 7-inch electro multi-vision screen and – get this – an ultra-thin Smart Card Key which is essentially your car key.
Paddle shifters, dual-zone air conditioning and eight-way electrically powered leather upholstered seats are also standard offerings.
The higher volume RC 350 is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine that is made wholly out of aluminium. It makes 312 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 378 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm; numbers that are relatively high for a naturally aspirated mill. It’s paired to Lexus’ eight-speed automatic transmission with Sports Program Direct Shift, channeling all the power to the rear wheels. It manages the century sprint in6.3 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h.
For the hardcore enthusiast, the RC F gets a 5.0-litre V8 engine which Lexus claims to be the most powerful V8 engine they’ve ever produced to date. It makes 470 hp at 7,100 rpm and 530 Nm of torque at 4,800 to 5,600 rpm – 12 percent more than the same engine found in the IS F. The 0 to 100 km sprint is done in 4.5 seconds and the RC F can go up to 270 km/h.
Internal parts of the V8 engine have been redesigned and features titanium valves, forged connecting rods, optimally configured exhaust layout and an air-cooled oil cooler, thereby increasing engine response and engine speed. The V8 is also paired to the eight-speed transmission driving the rear wheels.
On the safety front, the RC Coupes gets an advanced Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) which intelligently computes all the active safety systems. It’s able to independently control the Vehicle Stability Control and engine control systems which include steering-assist torque.
Standard safety features are ABS with Brake Assist, VSC, Traction Control System, EBD, Hill-Start Assist, Tyre Pressure Warning System, Blind Spot Monitoring System (up to 60 metres detection), and reverse camera.
There are six exterior colours to choose with the RC F -Radiant Red, Starlight Black, Sonic Silver, White Nova, Lava Orange and Heat Blue. The RC 350 on the other hand, gets four – White Pearl, Sonic Titanium, Radiant Red and Starlight Black. The painting process (Contrast Layering) is similar to the LF-C2 Concept car that was previewed at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, and Lexus claims to be the first to mass produce cars with the paint technology.
The RC 350 is priced at RM526k, whereas the RC F is priced at RM782k (OTR without insurance). Both variants are fully imported from Japan and comes with a three-year or 100,000km (whichever comes first) warranty programme.