RC is part of a ride and handling revolution at Lexus, something which began with the latest-generation GS and gained further momentum with the launch this of the new IS. Although it’s built on the GS platform, the RC is not simply a two-door derivative of a saloon, but differs in all its dimensions from the GS and IS.
Two versions were revealed: the RC 350, with a 3.5-litre V6 engine teamed with an eight-speed sequential transmission; and the RC 300h hybrid, with a 2.5-litre petrol unit.
The designers have endowed the RC with deeply contoured lines and crafted the widest and lowest-set interpretation yet of the Lexus spindle grille.
Triangular headlamps capture the sporty characteristics of the earlier LF-LC concept, along with the novel three-lamp LED configuration that was part of the show car’s design. Both front and rear lighting units use the Lexus L design motif.
The aluminium wheels further express the concept-to-production design philosophy, with two designs: a deeply sculpted, 10-spoke 19-inch wheel and a muscular, five-spoke 18-inch version. Both are precision-machined and finished with elegant black and platinum caps.
The hero colour for the RC is red, with a new Lexus painting process giving brighter and stronger contrasts through using multiple layers of clear and deeper-coloured coating.
The four-seat interior of the RC is strongly influenced by Lexus’s sports concepts, reflected in the extensive use of contrasting colours, materials and lighting.
The purpose-designed lighting package gives a sense of occasion, with illumination that reflects upwards rather than down to envelop the cabin.
The high-contrast interior colours emphasise the elegant lines around the interior, together with shimamoku highlights – a genuine wood finish created using an intense layering technique refined by Lexus.
The driver’s cockpit follows the established Lexus design principle of an upper operation zone and lower display zone. The upper zone houses the instrument panel and seven-inch navigation screen; lower down the layered centre console integrates the Remote Touch Interface controller.
The seats are made using an integrated foaming construction, similar to the moulding technique used for racing seats, to provide excellent comfort and support.
The RC V6’s specific output per litre is second only in the Lexus range to the LFA. The dual-injection 3.5-litre petrol unit produces a maximum 314bhp (234kW) at 6,400rpm and peak torque of 380Nm at 4,800rpm.
The eight-speed Sports Direct Shift transmission with paddle shift controls is adapted from that used previously in the IS F, optimised for power delivery and economy. In M (manual) mode, full torque converter lock-up from second to eighth gear allows for downchanges in just two tenths of a second.
The hybrid – the first Lexus hybrid coupe – uses a dual-injected 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 141bhp (105kW) electric motor driven through an electronic continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) with a shiftmatic function providing six step-gears.
According to market, RC will be offered in front-wheel or all-wheel drive configuration. Further details of European powertrain line up will be announced in 2014.