Since its introduction in 2014, the RC has played a major role in promoting Lexus’ commitment to delivering a more emotional quality in the driving experience provided by its vehicles, with its sporty appearance and versatile driving character. The fresh new Lexus RC retains all the virtues of the previous model, but takes them to a higher level by adopting the latest evolution of Lexus’ signature design language and sharpened driving dynamics inspired by the brand’s flagship luxury coupe, the LC.
The exterior styling remains as sporty as the current model, but subtle changes in the details, inspired by Lexus LC design cues, imbue it with a new-found elegance. Inside the cabin, everything from the high-quality materials to the precise layout of controls and gauges was crafted to maximize driving pleasure.
Enhancements have been made to the RC’s aerodynamics, tyres and suspension, and there are also improvements to engine response and steering feel, all of which reflecting the “even sharper and more graceful” drive philosophy that was introduced by the LC. The new RC is more stable than ever under a wide variety of driving conditions. This provides a high level of driver confidence and a reassuringly flat ride quality, making the coupe an ideal grand tourer, whether you’re negotiating a twisty mountain road or simply making a long-distance commute on the open highway.
Lexus designers sought to maintain the RC’s dynamic coupe proportions, while adding a high level of elegance to the exterior. Key to achieving this was the addition of distinctive design elements, such as a new front bumper corner that flows down from the headlamps and a grille mesh pattern comprising shapes which gradually transform from top to bottom, creating an intriguing visual tension. The vertical arrangement of the ultra-compact triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED clearance lamps add to the car’s more distinguished appearance.
A brushed treatment has been applied to the heater control and audio panels, generating a higher sense of quality, while the knee pads either side of the centre console have been made larger and raised higher, creating a greater sense of space in the front of the cabin. The driver’s palm rest has been reshaped and a stitching pattern has been added to the surface, showcasing the designers’ high attention to detail. A new analogue clock, identical to the one in the LC, sits high on the instrument panel in another identifying feature of Lexus coupes. An exclusive, highly supportive sports front seat design is constructed using an ‘integrated foaming’ method.
The front double wishbone and rear multi-link suspension systems combine well-balanced, agile handling with superior straight-line ride comfort. They are designed to reduce understeer, ensure accurate yaw response during steering, effect a smooth transition to cornering attitude and help achieve an integrated feel between steering input and vehicle behaviour, marrying a fine ride quality with agile, engaging handling characteristics. The RC incorporates tried and tested race car aerodynamics to both upper and underbody surfaces to enhance stability during high-speed driving, achieving 0.306 coefficient of drag (Cd). Upper body aerodynamic measures have been introduced to support the “even sharper and more graceful” driving concept. Importance has also been placed on tuning the car’s aerodynamic characteristics to provide a higher level of handling performance, stability, and ride comfort.
The Lexus RC 300h is powered by a self-charging full hybrid system that gives the vehicle the capability of running emissions-free on its electric power alone. The engine featured in the RC’s Lexus Hybrid Drive is a 2,494 cc Atkinson cycle, direct injection, four-cylinder unit that delivers a maximum output of 181 DIN hp/133 kW at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 221 Nm between 4,200 and 4,800 rpm. The electric motor has an output of 143 DIN hp/105 kW. The combined system power is 223 DIN hp/164 kW. The rear-wheel drive Lexus RC 300h accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.6 seconds and has a maximum speed of 190 km/h, yet returns average fuel consumption figures from as low as 5.9 l/100 km (WLTP¹) and CO2emissions from just 131.7 g/km (WLTP¹).
The RC builds on Lexus’ unique Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system with Lexus Safety System + which includes Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with Adaptive Cruise Control. Further active safety technology includes a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Lane Departure Alert (LDA), an Auto Location Tyre Pressure Warning System (AL-TPWS) and an Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp system. Within a highly rigid body structure of exceptional car-to-car impact compatibility, eight airbags are fitted as standard, and a pop-up hood design allows for the lowest possible vehicle front profile whilst optimising pedestrian impact protection.
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