Lexus RC review

The Lexus RC is a desirable new a two-door, four-seat Lexus coupe that offers fantastic looks and exciting performance – all in addition to Lexus’s traditional hallmarks of luxury and premium quality.

The RC has a bold design that’s backed up by its dynamic abilities and a choice of powerful engines. The RC 300h, available in Luxury, F Sport and Premier trim levels, utilises a petrol-electric Lexus Hybrid Drive powerplant to deliver decisive performance without sacrificing economy. The range-topping RC F uses the most powerful V8 engine ever fitted to a Lexus for the ultimate in power and performance, on road or on track.

Lexus RC

Key to the Lexus RC’s appeal are its engines, each of them offering buyers excellent performance with the refinement and reliability expected of a premium Lexus vehicle. The RC 300h uses a full hybrid powertrain, pairing a powerful electric motor with a 2.5-litre petrol engine. The 217bhp Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain is twinned with an E-CVT automatic transmission driving the rear wheels, and this transmission has a six-speed manual override option for drivers wanting even greater involvement. The system combines the driving experience of a performance coupe with the excellent fuel economy of a hybrid Lexus.

The RC’s strong chassis and specially developed suspension are aimed at making it a fantastic car to drive, with predictable responses to the driver’s inputs that build confidence and increase driving pleasure. On the F Sport models, further enhancements include Adaptive Variable Suspension which has two settings: Normal for everyday use, and Sport for even more precise responses and improved body control.

The high-performance RC F is even more powerful and dynamically focused. At its heart is the most powerful V8 that Lexus has ever produced, a 5.0-litre petrol engine delivering over 450bhp. It’s clever too, using a different engine cycle when cruising to gain better fuel economy. Developed exclusively for the RC F, the V8 has been tuned for maximum driver involvement, even down to the sound of the engine and feel of the eight-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic transmission.

The RC F is also the first front-engined, rear-wheel drive car in the world to use a clever new differential that improves traction and control, especially during performance driving. Called a Torque Vectoring Differential, it has three settings: Standard for everyday use, Slalom for increased steering responses, and Track for stable handling during circuit use. The RC F’s handling is further helped with aerodynamic aids, including an active rear wing that makes the car more stable above 50mph.

Lexus prides itself on high levels of luxury and refinement across all its range, and the new RC coupe pushes this even further. The cabin, which seats up to four people, has a modern, aesthectically-pleasing design with a clever use of contrasting colours, materials and lighting to emphasise the interior’s style. The Shimamoku genuine wood trim,with its distinctive ribbon graining, is an example of the craftsmanship that goes into producing Lexus vehicles, being made using a painstaking layer process.

The seats use an integrated foaming technique for excellent levels of comfort and support, allowing the driver to focus on the two-zone dashboard, with the instrument panel and 7″ navigation screen in the upper display zone and the latest iteration of Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface in the lower operation zone.

F Sport models receive sportier design cues like a driver’s meter and perforated leather steering wheel and shift knob, while the driver-focused RC F has an instrument panel inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar, different seats, pedals and trim, and thick-grip steering wheel for better control during performance driving.

Lexus RC interior

The RC is designed to provide the highest levels of safety, using both passive technologies like airbags and active technologies such as stability control, traction control and advanced braking assists. All versions of the coupe are fitted as standard with Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management; a Pre-Crash Safety system that also provides Adaptive Cruise Control as an option on Premier grade models.

Features that can help prevent an accident from occurring include aBlind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic High Beam, and Auto Location Tyre Pressure Warning System that indicates which of the car’s wheels might be losing air (available according to model grade).

All versions of the RC are fitted with eight airbags: driver and front passenger front, knee and side airbags, and full-length curtain airbags. The front airbags deploy in line with the severity of impact force, as determined by sensors.

The fundamental strength of the RC’s bodyshell reflects Lexus’s commitment to achieving the best possible impact performance in head-on, offset, side-on and rear collisions.

In the cabin, there are additional head, abdomen and hip impact-absorbing structures, built into the headlining, pillars, door trims and door armrests.

The pop-up bonnet provides pedestrian impact protection while still allowing for the low profile you would expect of a coupe.


The technologies available include a choice of multimedia and navigation systems with co-ordinated control between the 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument binnacle and the seven-inch screen in the centre console. The new generation Lexus Remote Touch provides intuitive touch tracer control via a multi-function touch pad.

A bespoke 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround system is part of the standard equipment for the RC Premier models and is optionally available on F sport grade. It has been developed with an emphasis on achieving high resolution and musicality with the delivery of excellent natural dynamics and rich harmonies.

The RC’s performance doesn’t come at the cost of economy, for the RC 300h benefits from Lexus’ extensive experience with hybrid technology, balancing performance with economy. The V8-powered RC F has similarly been designed to maximise economy without impacting on the driving experience. Further specific information on the RC’s running costs will be published later in the year.


The Lexus RC range begins with the entry-level RC 300h Luxury grade model at £34,995 on the road.The F Sport models come in at £36,495 (RC 200t) and £37,495 (RC 300h). At the top of the range, the Premier models retail at £39,495 (RC 200t) and £40,495 (RC 300h).

Pricing for the V8-powered Lexus RC F begins at £59,995 on the road – read the full RC F review for more details on this model.

For further information about the RC range, visit the designated section of the Lexus UK website. If you’d like a test drive, leave a comment or contact us through one of the Lexus UK social media channels.

The new Lexus RC is on sale now with UK customer deliveries starting in January 2016.

*Prices correct as of January 2016

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