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Lexus RC 350 priced from $66,000

2014 Lexus RC 350 - F Sport (left), Sports Luxury (right) and Luxury

Lexus all-new global coupe, the RC 350, has arrived Down Under. Arguably the most emotive model the Japanese luxury brand has produced since the streaking LFA supercar, the RC is the latest coupe to herald the reinvention of the Lexus brand ahead of its 25th anniversary.

Joining Lexus’ increasingly exciting line-up, the RC 350 showcases the brand’s new direction in design and driving experience. An all-new mainstream coupe since the Lexus SC, the RC has been tasked to reach out to a younger audience, a demographic group where Lexus’ engagement is trailing behind its German rivals.

Lexus says the RC 350 is not an adapted sedan, but designed as a coupe from the ground up. The chassis is formed by combining the front-end of the GS, the middle section of the IS cabriolet and the rear portion of the IS sedan. The platform is further stiffen and strengthen to accommodate sporting yet supple suspension.

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

The new coupe has a unique track and wheelbase of 2730mm and its rigidity is unlike any other vehicle in the Lexus line-up. Its roof height of 1395mm combined with a width of 1840mm provides a low-slung profile and considerable road presence befitting a modern sports coupe.

“The RC 350’s spirited handling and performance were born on the track,” said Eiichi Kusama, Chief Engineer for the RC 350. “I spent considerable time working with the chief engineer of the upcoming RC F – Yukihiko Yaguchi – and we benchmarked both vehicles against the competition over many days and countless laps.”

“Circuit testing enabled us to further hone RC 350’s front double wishbone and rear multi-link suspension,” said Kusama.

The RC 350, designed to take on the likes of BMW 4 Series, Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Infiniti Q60, provides the segment with a new, compelling alternative. Lexus says its latest coupe has “an involving chassis to deliver driving pleasure, a high output drivetrain with smooth, responsive power delivery and a bold, show-stopping styling package”.

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury

Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said the introduction of the RC 350 was a necessary step in lifting the brand’s ability to stir emotions.

“The RC 350 is a very important vehicle for us – it provides a clear aspirational target and injects a stronger connection to the brand, combining with its strong quality and innovation hallmarks,” Mr Hanley said.

“Our LFA supercar from 2010 previously embodied Lexus’ passion and acted as an emotional drawcard, and it was one of the most important models we’ve ever produced. However, it was off limits to most buyers.”

“This new vehicle brings a portion of LFA’s excitement to a more attainable market segment, and it will boost the brand’s appeal even further,” he said.

Lexus RC 350 follows Lexus’ ‘Y’ strategy across its three model offerings: starting with Luxury followed by two arms with F Sport and Sports Luxury. Typical of Lexus, the RC 350 range offers a high level of standard equipment, beginning with the $66,000 Luxury grade. The sharply priced range-opener is equipped with Keyless Entry, satellite navigation, seven-inch multimedia display, reverse camera, third generation Lexus Remote Touch, 10-speaker audio and digital radio.

The $74,000 F Sport ups the ante with the Lexus Dynamic Handling system which incorporates Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Dynamic Rear Steering, as well as unique interior and exterior treatments.

Sitting at the top of the range is the Sports Luxury. With a sticker price of $86,000, it adds Adaptive Variable Suspension, exclusive 19-inch alloy design, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio, Shimamoku ornamentation, power front seats with driver memory and semi-aniline leather accented trim.

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport interior

RC 350’s Lexus firsts include a significantly upgraded Blind Spot Monitor which can detect vehicles within a range up to 60 metres. It also introduces a unique paint application technique together with new custom colours – Infrared and Cobalt Mica (blue). In order to give the RC 350 the deepest, most brilliant finish possible, Lexus’ new coupe features a five-layer paint work, the first time such a system has been used in mass production.

All variants are powered by a 234kW/380Nm 3.5-liter V6 teamed to an eight-speed Sports Program Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission driving the rear wheels. The RC 350, tipping the scale at a hefty 1,740kg, completes the sprint from zero to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 9.4L/100km.

Key technologies that get credit for the broad torque curve and quick response include intelligent dual variable valve timing (VVT-i) and the Lexus D-4S system of direct and port fuel injection. With one injector installed in the combustion chamber and a second mounted in the intake port, D-4S combines the strengths of both for maximum efficiency and low emissions.

The 8-speed auto uses G-sensor (in Sport and Sport+ mode) to automatically downshift during hard braking to set up for a corner, hold a lower gear through the corner for greater control, and then give the driver a greater power response on corner exit by selecting a suitably low gear.

Lexus RC 350 features three model variants: Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury.

Luxury

• 3.5-litre V6 developing 233kW and 378Nm 
• Eight-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic transmission (SPDS)
• Drive mode select (three modes: ECO, NORMAL and SPORT) 
• LED head and fog lamps
• Smooth leather-accented interior 
• Four-way power steering column adjustment 
• Power front seats with heating and ventilation and one-touch entry for rear passengers 
• Smart entry and start 
• Satellite navigation
• Seven-inch multimedia display
• Reverse camera
• Third generation Lexus Remote Touch 
• 10-speaker audio 
• DAB+
• Advanced Bluetooth and USB input
• Parking sonar front and rear
• Eight airbags
• Five-spoke machine finished 18-inch alloy wheels
• Electrochromatic mirrors (internal and external)
• Electrostatic climate system controls (touch sensitive)
• 60:40 rear fold seats

Enhancement pack one

• Moonroof 

F Sport (builds from Luxury)

• 19-inch twin 10-spoke F Sport alloy wheels 
• Four mode Drive Mode Select (ECO, NORMAL, SPORT S and SPORT S+)
• Adaptive Variable Suspension 
• Variable Gear Ratio Steering 
• Dynamic Rear Steering 
• 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio 
• F Sport steering wheel
• Power front seats with memory function
• LED high grade headlamp 
• Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert 
• Lane Change Assist
• Exterior styling enhancements
• Interior styling enhancements

Enhancement pack one

• Moonroof 

Enhancement pack two

• Pre Collision Safety System 
• Active Cruise Control 
• Moonroof
• Lane Departure Warning 
• Auto High Beam
• Smart Key Card

Sports Luxury (builds from Luxury)

• 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels
• 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio
• Adaptive Variable Suspension 
• Semi-aniline leather-accented interior
• Power front seats with memory function
• Shimamoku interior ornamentation
• LED headlamps with auto high beam
• Pre Collision Safety System 
• Active Cruise Control 
• Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert 
• Lane Departure Warning
• Smart Key Card
• Moonroof 

Lexus RC 350 Australian pricing

Enhancement Pack 
ModelPrice (exc. on-roads)12Enhancement Pack Specification
Luxury$66,000+$2,500Moonroof (MR)
F Sport$74,000+$2,500MR
+$7,300Pre-Collision Safety, Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Smart Card Key, Auto High Beam, MR
Sports Luxury$86,000

 

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