The much anticipated Lexus RC coupe has bowed in at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Designed to raise Lexus’ profile with a broader audience and inject emotional appeal into the brand, the production-ready RC coupe is Lexus’ take on the BMW 4-Series, Mercedes C-Class coupe and the Audi A5.
“Our focus is to strengthen the brand’s emotional appeal through our products and RC is another demonstration of this focus,” said Mark Templin, Lexus International executive vice president.
“The emotional attachment of a coupe is found in its purity of design and its engaging driving experience, and with RC the engineers have achieved the balance.”
Junichi Furuyama, RC and IS chief engineer, echoed Templin’s comment in saying “We developed RC to deliver extra response that exhilarates rather than overwhelms drivers, in keeping with the true spirit of Japanese hospitality, or omotenashi.”
RC is part of a ride and handling revolution at Lexus, which started with GS mid-size luxury sedan and continued with the new IS sport sedan. The RC is a stand-alone model, rather than a two-door derivative of a sedan. Based on the GS platform, the coupe differs in all dimensions from the GS and IS lines.
The aggressively styled coupe will be available with two powertrains: 3.5-liter V6 teamed with an eight-speed sequential transmission and 2.5-liter Lexus Hybrid Drive system.
The RC has been infused with deeply contoured lines, integrating the widest and lowest application yet of the Lexus spindle grille. It is 1.2-inches wider, 1.4-inches lower and 2.8-inches shorter in wheelbase than the new IS sedan, providing a road stance that emphasizes the sporting characteristic of a premium two-door coupe.
The unique headlamp design adopts the symbolic Lexus L-shaped motif front and rear. There are two choices of aluminum wheels – a deeply sculpted 10-spoke 19-inch and a muscular five-spoke 18-inch.
A new red exterior paint color is made brighter and shows more contrast thanks to a new painting process.
The RC interior makes maximum use of contrasting colors, materials and lighting, in a similar design based on the IS interior.
A purpose-built Lexus-first lighting package aims at providing a great sense of occasion, with illumination that reflects upwards, rather than downwards, to envelop the cabin. High contrast interior colours emphasise design lines and accentuate the cabin. Genuine shimamoku wood highlights – the result of an intense, layered wood production technique refined by Lexus – are used to emphasize the surrounding trim.
The driver’s cockpit is divided into operational and display zones. The upper zone houses the instrument panel and a seven-inch navigation screen while a layered center console integrates a new generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface.
The seats utilise an integrated foaming construction method, much like the molding of racing seats, to ensure optimum occupant comfort and support which is important in a sport coupe.
According to Lexus, the RC’s strong and purpose-built chassis is the latest evolution of the brand’s objective to achieve a world class driving experience, epitomized by the improved performance of both the GS and IS lines.
Extra thick underbody rocker panels greatly increase the two-door’s rigidity to support driving performance. New manufacturing techniques pioneered in the LS and IS models, including the use of body adhesives, have strengthened the chassis.
Aerodynamic aids, especially on the underbody, contribute to the handling package. The RC uses double wishbone front suspension and multi-link suspension at the rear.
The dual injection 3.5-liter V6 gas engine produces maximum power of 234 kW (314 hp) at 6,400 rpm, and peak torque of 380 Nm (280 lb.-ft.) at 4,800 rpm.
The RC 350 features an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift with paddle shift transmission adapted from the IS F performance sedan. In manual (M) mode full torque converter lock up from second to eighth gears allows for down changes in just 0.2 seconds.
The RC 300h hybrid variant – the first Lexus hybrid coupe – uses a dual-injected 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with a 105 kW electric motor driven through an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with six step gears in a sequential shift-matic feature. Total system power is rated at 162 kW (217 hp), accompanied by 221 Nm (163 lb.-ft.) of torque.
The RC coupe will be offered in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive (AWD), depending on specific market.
The sound generated by the engine has been tuned to ensure it delivers a stirring exhaust note under spirited driving conditions.
The RC offers several advanced technology features including an updated Spot Monitor and new Remote Touch Interface (RTI).
RC is the first Lexus to adopt the revised Blind Spot Monitor system which detects vehicles that are approaching from behind at a higher speed and from a greater distance than is covered by the current system.
The innovative touch-sensitive Lexus Remote Touch Interface for audio and navigation systems is particularly important in a coupe in which tactile reaction is a desirable part of the driving experience.
|RC 350||RC 300h|
|Seating capacity persons||4||4|
|Driven wheels||Rear-wheel drive||Rear-wheel drive|
|Horsepower||234 kW (314 hp) @ 6,400 rpm||131 kW (176 hp) @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||380 Nm (280 lb.-ft.) @ 4,800 rpm||221 Nm (163 lb.-ft.) @ 4,800 rpm|
|Total System Output||–||162 kW (217 hp)|
|Tire||255/35 R19 (front)|
275/35 R19 (rear)
|255/35 R19 (front)|
275/35 R19 (rear)
Lexus RC Coupe High Resolution Wallpaper