By: Roger Rivero |
The Lexus RC series is young. I remember my test of this car when it came to the market two years ago, because it has been one of those models that you notice as the eyes follow you as you pass through the street. “Radical Coupe” is the explanation behind the RC, and was designed to compete with similar luxury sports cars like the BMW 4 Series, Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Infiniti Q60.
Offered on 200t, 300 AWD, 350 and 350 AWD models – each with an F Sport variant – this was the Japanese manufacturer’s closest attempt to get into this segment … but: How are you doing? Can RCs beat their opponents?
These questions have no easy answer. I have only tried the smallest of the series, the 200t, and the consensus is that there is still some way to go. Luckily, it’s not so much, and not on many fronts. Let us first speak of his virtues. The biggest achievements are focused on the exterior design and the interior of the car.
While for some the RC looks somewhat sinister, with the debated Lexus hourglass grille, there are harmonic elements in this design that provide fluidity and continuity, especially on the sides. In coupé body it looks attractive, with an elegant roof line and its back that, without being bulky, harmonizes well with the front. It is an adventurous and daring design that moves looks, precisely what any designer intends with his creation.
The interior is of excellent quality of manufacture and choice of materials, possibly unrivaled in that field. I practice, organized and clean. The front seats, while in a formidable position, do not enjoy enough support to not begin to accommodate the rear, after an hour of sitting in them. In the back there is no space for adults without traveling like canned sardines, and that’s what this Lexus, has more room there than most of its competitors.
Driving the RC 200t is less life-giving than what its outward appearance reveals. From a coupé with this design you expect a phenomenal performance, like that of a hardy young man for the first time in bed. Unfortunately, under that beautiful frame are hidden several pounds more. With 3,796 pounds in its armor, the in-line four-cylinder 241-horsepower turbo engine does not respond quickly. To reach the 60 miles needs 7.3 seconds, while a Mercedes C-300 consumes the distance in 6 and the BMW in 5.5 seconds.
We have not had a chance to try other RC models this year, with more powerful 6-cylinder engines. Lexus also offers the option of a 5.0-liter V8 engine, capable of teaching muscle with 467 horses. Despite not being so fast, the 200t offers decent handling, worthy of a sports coupé. The steering responds with sufficient agility and feels seated. The suspension is woven in the firm area, and some roughness of the terrain can be felt with intensity.
The RC lineup comes with the latest in safety technology, though not much comes standard. They are basically limited to the rear view camera and the Lexus safety notification system, which will send an emergency notification in case of an accident or locate your vehicle if they steal it.
The RC offers a frontal collision warning system that comes with adaptive cruise control. The same sensors alert drivers of an impending collision; at low speeds, the RC equipped with the system will apply the brakes in an effort to avoid the accident altogether or mitigate its gravity. Other features also available in additional packages include blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, parking assistance and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
Perhaps the main selling point of the RC is its price. Starting at $ 40,155 for the 200t model, this car looks appetizing for those who want to drive in style, and do not worry too much for a couple of seconds or so to get to 60 miles.
On the other hand, its reliability is very high, as well as safety records. This is the smallest of Lexus coupes, appealing perhaps to young executives and business owners, or to those fortunate enough to be able to have a second car at home, for the relaxed weekend rides.
The RC is a very young model, with a lot of field available for refinement. A good diet could do no good, but for now, those little books are hardly noticeable … Or is it?