2021 Lexus RC
When you want something that is special in an automobile, what is your criteria?
If you want a coupe that rewards you on the road, there are several choices out there. One of them is the Lexus RC.
The RC is a 2+2 premium sports coupe that is made for driving. Plain and simple.
But, is it really that simple? We drove one to find out.
The basic shape of the Lexus RC was inspired by classic sports coupe from the past. Coupes, such as the Jaguar E-Type/XKE and the Datsun 240Z set the tone with its long hood and sloping roofline. While it does have an extra-long hood and a short rear end, the RC offers its own luxurious interpretation of that design philosophy.
The Spindle Grille is integrated into the front clip, flanked by available triple-lends LED headlamps, clustered with turn signals and “checkmark” driving lamps. The roofline stops short of the rear end, giving you a short trunk deck area. The taillights also have the “checkmark” signature with a set of LED lighting.
Our RC 350 F Sport tester adds a mesh-like grille along with a set of 19-inch alloy wheels and F Sport badging. In all, it has the right combination of classic and modern elements in a 2+2 coupe.
In terms of the interior, you do get an instrument binnacle influenced by the Lexus LFA supercar, with the sliding large dial and information screens. An infotainment screen sits far back on the center stack, controlled by a touch pad on the center console. There are plenty of controls and switches all around from the lower part of the instrument panel to the center console and steering wheel, controlling practically every function of the RC.
The front seats are very supportive with deep bolsters and upholstered in white perforated NuLuxe, which are also heated and cooled. Rear seat room is very tight, probably best for two children. A plastic “console” separates the two rear seats. Lexus rated the trunk capacity at 10.4 cubic feet, which is also deep for some luggage.
Powering our RC 350 F Sport tester is a 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. It is connected to an all-wheel drive system through a six-speed automatic transmission. If you choose a rear-drive version of this car, you get an eight-speed automatic transmission instead.
Throttle response is very good. If you push it, it likes to climb up the rev range with some brio. However, the RC’s V6 is a superb cruiser that is relaxed at highway speeds.
As for fuel economy, we observed an average of 23.2 MPG.
The driving dynamics offer a balance between a smooth ride and great handling in Normal mode. Flip the drive mode knob to Sport S+ and you get a heavier steering feel and improved cornering response. The RC is also quick to manage evasive maneuvers on the road.
No matter if it is in Normal or Sport S+ mode, steering feel and response is quite sharp and precise. On-center feel is very good. Braking power is also good with solid stops in normal and panic situations. Pedal feel is superb with great response down to the wheels.
The RC lineup offers a choice of performance levels, along with rear- or all-wheel drive. The F Sport is available on all performance levels. Pricing starts at $42,220, with our RC 350 F Sport AWD tester coming in with a sticker price of $56,590.
Lexus offers the RC in a higher performance model – the RC F. That version has a 472-horsepower V8 with rear-wheel drive and a host of available equipment up to a racing-inspired model.
With its superb driving dynamics, the Lexus RC is a standout among this crowd of premium/luxury sports coupes. It retains a classic profile, while forging its own style. We always appreciate something that sparks the imagination – which is exactly what the Lexus RC does.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors