New & Used Lexus RC Coupe: In Depth
2015 Lexus RC 350 F SportEnlarge Photo
The Lexus RC Coupe is an upcoming model, which is due to hit the market in summer 2014 as a 2015 model.
The 2015 RC Coupe will effectively replace the IS C hardtop convertible—a special derivative of the IS sport sedan—and give Lexus a true two-door luxury sport coupe in the lineup. When it hits the market, it will compete against the likes of the BMW 4-Series and Audi A5—along with the upcoming Cadillac ATS Coupe.
Initially, the RC will be offered in two different models: the RC350, with a 314-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6, and the RC300h, with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and strong full hybrid system, making 217 horsepower altogether. There's no manual gearbox on offer, but the eight-speed automatic transmission has paddle-shifters, and the hybrid even gets manual 'step' gear control. Some models will get all-wheel drive—a first in a mainstream Lexus coupe.
At about 185 inches long, the RC is just slightly longer than the IS Sedan models and, like the IS, shares a platform with the somewhat larger GS sport sedan. But a wheelbase that's several inches shorter should give the proportions a different look than either sedan (we've seen it in person and think it has a more swept-back look). The spindle grille in front is still one of the more abrasive parts of the appearance; behind there it's all grace, with nice, flowing sheetmetal from the fenders, a smooth roofline, and a surprisingly well sculpted rear deck that escapes anonymity. Sporty 18- and 19-inch alloys fill out the fenders nicely and set a good stance.
Inside, the multi-tier cockpit look given to the latest IS and GS looks fresh here, too, with excellent materials, including real wood and leather. We anticipate that the RC will ride firmly but with just enough compliance, and filter out road coarseness quite well—although based on recent GS and IS redesigns, we anticipate a sportier engine note.
The 2015 RC300h and RC350 are four-seat coupes, so while you might get enough space to fit adults for short trips across town, this is by no meant a comfortable cruiser for four. Expect interior materials that shed the drab look in former versions of the IS and IS C, with new colors and trims, supportive front seats, and plenty of impressive finishes and soft-touch materials.
Lexus says that the RX will be the first Lexus to get a revised Blind Spot Monitor system that detects vehicle approaching from behind at higher speeds. Otherwise features haven't yet been detailed, although you can expect the latest version of the Lexus Remote Touch system, blending navigation and other services with touch-screen feedback and a remote, mouse-like controller.
See our full review pages on the 2015 Lexus RC Coupe lineup for more details—including more pictures of the production model when they're released, plus specs, related news, and eventually a first drive.