Lexus is a luxury brand that has been reinventing its image. Each new model carries the new L-Finesse design language that incorporates their menacing Spindle Grille front end, effectively changing the character of each model that receives the treatment. This time though, the Lexus in topic is a completely new model, and it rivals the BMW 4 Series, Audi A5, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. Welcome, the all-new Lexus RC and RC F.
The Lexus RC is Lexus’s answer to those German rivals, and they responded with a design that is unlike any other vehicle on the road today. The signature spindle grille, Tri-L shaped LED headlamps with the LED daytime running lights separated from the main headlamp clusters are instantly recognizable from afar, and the L-shaped LED rear lights that also pierce through the boot lid adds further aggression to the rear end of the Lexus RC.
The Lexus RC F, meanwhile, is the Japanese luxury marque’s rival to the venerable BMW M4, and the RC F’s unique selling proposition? Its naturally aspirated V8 engine. Whereas its German rivals have switched to smaller displacement turbocharged engines, Lexus stuck to the proper sportscar powertrain. Naturally aspirated engines provide a much more raw engine note, and the lack of turbos means there is no turbo lag to worry.
Underneath the sheemetal, the Lexus RC is a combination of three vehicles. The front came from the GS’s, the middle from the previous generation IS convertible for stiffness, and the rear from the IS sedan. What do all these three cars possess? They lead the way in Lexus’s sporting character, and combining them all three should lead to a car that’s very exhilarating to drive, unlike any other Lexus created.
The are two RCs currently offered. The standard RC 350 and the RC F (not to be confused with F Sport). The RC 350 is powered by the same 3.5 liter 2GR-FSE V6 that powers the Lexus IS and GS. It is equipped with D-4S direct and port injection, producing 306 hp and 375 Nm of torque, which is sent through the rear wheels via an 8-Speed Automatic Transmission.
The RC F is the full-on package, packing a potent 5.0 liter 2UR-GSE V8 that produces 467 hp and 550 Nm of torque, and this power is produces without any turbos or superchargers, an amazing feat since all its rivals are switching to small displacement, turbocharged engines in order to create more power but less fuel consumption. The downside to this trend is that the engine notes are not that raw.
The secret to the RC F’s fuel efficiency is its Dual Mode Cycle. Typical combustion engines run using the Otto Cycle, while for the petrol engines with hybrids, they use the Atkinson Cycle. The benefit of Atkinson Cycle engines is fuel efficiency, but its downside is a lot less power. So, in order to utilize the best of both worlds, Lexus enabled the engine to run on the Otto Cycle on heavy driving, and on Atkinson Cycle when simply cruising down the road. Each cycle counteracts the negatives of the other.
Inside, the Lexus RCs carry the interior design of the Lexus IS, which is also inspired from the LFA supercar. It has a predominantly horizontal design and a rising center stack that proves to be very ergonomic and unobtrusive in operation.
Being a Lexus, the Lexus RC is filled with creature comforts. Standard on all models include a leather interior, seat cushions that are integrated into the upholstery itself so that weight is distributed evenly, Lexus’s Remote Touch Interface (RTI) with a touchpad and Navigation, and the Lexus Drive Mode Selector. Features unique to the Lexus RC F, meanwhile, includes the virtual gauge cluster inspired from the LFA, a G Sensor and a Lap Timer, both of which are included in the TFT LCD virtual gauge cluster.
The price for all this menacing goodness? Thanks yet again to the Japan Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), the Lexus RC and RC F are priced competitively. The RC 350 sells for P3,648,000 and the RC F sells for P5,868,000. These are not affordable prices, but when compared to its German rivals, the BMW 420d (P3,990,000) and the BMW M4 (P8,000,000 est.), the value proposition of these luxury sports coupes are further noticed.