Lexus are proving that they are very serious about improving the fun-factor throughout their range. Over the new year, the new two-door RC drops in Australia: for the moment, it’s available only in 3.5-litre RC350 guise. Hitting the road at just $66,000, this is serious six-cylinder power for German four-cylinder money. Later on, a track-ready RC F will follow, motivated by a tremendous five-litre V8.
While it’s not entirely based on the IS sedan, the RC benefits from, and improves on, the IS sedan’s dynamic prowess. Rear-wheel-drive balance will combine with the RC350’s 233kW of power and 378Nm of torque, and initial reports suggest that the RC is, predictably, a hoot on a country road.
Lexus have stitched together the best parts of the chassis and suspension components from the GS and IS sedans, plus the bespoke IS convertible, to create the foundations for the RC. Straight-line performance isn’t dull, with sprints to 100 achieved in just 6.1 seconds. That’s certainly not the six-cylinder benchmark—the BMW 435i will do it in 5.1 seconds. But it will cost you $110,000, or roughly forty grand more than the Lexus would.
The marvel here is that Lexus is achieving all of this relatively cheaply: the base Luxury model may not look particularly athletic, but at just over $70,000 on road, the value looks great: the base car gets satellite navigation, heated and ventilated leather, and a ten-speaker surround sound system standard. The mid-range F Sport ($82,000 on road) is shaping up to be the sweet spot, with additional chassis and steering tuning, making the RC very enthusiastic about cornering. There will be a $95,000 range-topping Sports Luxury that includes everything on the menu.
Chasing Cars is scheduled to take delivery of a Lexus RC for a week in late January.
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