Lexus reimagines the RC luxury sports coupe

A new version of the Lexus RC luxury sports coupe will make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show on 2 October. Sales of the new model will commence from late 2018.

Since its introduction in 2014, the RC has played a major role in promoting our commitment to deliver a more emotional quality in the driving experience of our vehicles, with its sporty appearance and versatile driving character. The fresh new RC retains all the virtues of the current model but takes them to a higher level by adopting the latest evolution of Lexus’s signature design language and sharpened driving dynamics inspired by the brand’s flagship luxury coupe, the LC.

The exterior styling remains as sporty as the current model but subtle changes in the details, inspired by Lexus LC design cues, imbue it with a new-found elegance. Inside the cabin, everything from the high-quality materials to the precise layout of controls and gauges was crafted to maximise driving pleasure.

Enhancements have been made to the RC’s aerodynamics, tyres and suspension, and there are also improvements to engine response and steering feel, all of which reflect the “sharper and more refined” drive philosophy that was introduced by the LC.

The new RC is more stable than ever under a wide variety of driving conditions. This provides a high level of driver confidence and a reassuringly flat ride quality, making the coupe an ideal grand tourer, whether negotiating a twisty mountain road or making a long-distance commute on the open highway.

Adopting the LC’s exterior design language

Lexus designers sought to maintain the RC’s dynamic coupe proportions, while adding a high level of elegance to the exterior. Key to achieving this was the addition of distinctive design elements, such as a new front bumper corner that flows down from the headlamps and a grille mesh pattern comprising shapes which gradually transform from top to bottom, creating an intriguing visual tension. The vertical arrangement of the triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED clearance lamps add to the car’s more distinguished appearance.

Air ducts have been added to the corners of the rear bumper, resulting in better handling stability and enhanced overall driving response. A wider stance and lower centre of gravity reflect the car’s ability to maintain grip in different road conditions. The rear combination lamps now house more pronounced L-shaped lenses that are a new signature design feature for Lexus coupes.

Eleven different exterior colours will be available for the RC, including Naples Yellow and Sky Blue, shades that perfectly communicate the car’s dynamic nature.

The new RC F Sport features the same grille mesh pattern that graces all Lexus F Sport models, together with many other custom exterior and interior items that are exclusive to this special grade. These include powerfully styled 19-inch alloy wheels, inspired by those used by the flagship LS and LC models.

Driving pleasure heightened by interior refinements

A brushed treatment has been applied to the heater control and audio panels, generating a higher sense of quality, while the knee pads either side of the centre console have been made larger and raised to create a greater sense of space in the front of the cabin. The driver’s palm rest has been reshaped and a stitching pattern added to the surface, showcasing the designers’ attention to detail.

A new analogue clock, identical to the one in the LC, sits high on the instrument panel in another identifying feature of Lexus coupes. New ornamentation options, including real aluminium Naguri and Brushed Metal finishes will be available for the RC F Sport. In all, RC customers will have five options to choose from.

Interior colours include Ochre, which is also featured in the LC, and Mustard, which comprises subtle yellow accents on a black background. Seven interior colour combinations will be available, including those reserved for the F Sport.

Sharper and more graceful driving concept

Adopting the driving concept of “sharper and more graceful” that defines the LC, Lexus engineers aimed to make the new RC fun to drive by focusing attention on details, such as enhancing the car’s aerodynamics and fine-tuning the suspension system and powertrain. Endowed with a flatter, more stable ride quality and sharper handling characteristics derived from the LC, the new RC is more athletic and responsive than ever.

Enhanced aerodynamics, achieved with details such as a new fin shape in the side window mouldings and a duct in the rear bumper, give the car better handling stability.

New 19-inch wheels shod with higher-grip tyres support excellent steering response. New shock absorbers, which provide significant damping force from low-speed suspension strokes, and stiffer suspension bushings have also been introduced. The new RC underwent extensive real-world testing, with chassis engineers constantly fine-tuning performance to improve ride and handling.

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