The latest addition to the Lexus lineup made its official debut in Tokyo this week, as the cover was pulled back on the RC Coupe. Looking very much like one of Lexus’ concept cars, the RC has been translated to reality with an aggressive, road-ready look and more attitude than we’ve seen from Lexus in the past.
The RC Coupe appears at a glance to be gunning for cars like the Infiniti and BMW coupes. Based on the rear-drive GS platform, this svelte coupe shows off muscular lines and an extravagantly sloped spindle grille leading back into a powerfully bulged hood. Vertical folds and vents give the car some visual lineage to the Lexus LF-S, and the silhouette doesn’t look quite like anything else. For Lexus, who’s got an unfortunate history of derivative styling, this is a definite breakthrough.
The RC Coupe is motivated by a choice of V6 or hybrid powertrains. In the RC 350, Lexus’ 3.5 liter dual-injection V6 produces 314 horsepower and is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission adapted from the ISF sedan. A manual mode and paddle shifters enable control over the gears for spirited driving. In the RC 300h hybrid, a 2.5 liter four-cylinder is linked to a 105kW electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. The RC Coupe is available with rear- or all-wheel drive, with a double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear.
A handsome two-tone interior is comfortable for two, though it looks to be just as snug for rear-seat passengers as the current SC 430. Upward-reflecting interior mood lighting gives the car a warm feeling inside, and high-quality shimamoku wood is used on the dash. Lexus’ new Remote Touch interface is used to control accessories via a seven-inch navigation screen, a system that was predicted by past Lexus concept cars. An updated blind spot monitor now detects fast-approaching cars sooner, providing more time for the driver to react to changing traffic conditions.
The RC Coupe launches some time in 2014. We’ll have more information closer to its introduction.