Introducing the new Lexus RC 200t: a premium two-door coupe that delivers impressive design, Lexus luxury and craftsmanship, and a refined and engaging driving experience, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine.
Read more: Introducing the Lexus RC 300h
Powered by a 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbo petrol engine, the RC 200t features a range of advanced technologies to improve thermal efficiency and fuel economy. It also provides fast throttle response and high torque at low engine revs. The four-cylinder unit develops 241bhp and 350Nm of torque, which helps the car dispatch the benchmark 0-62mph dash in 7.5 seconds before continuing to a 143mph top speed.
The engine drives the rear wheels via Lexus’s eight-speed Sports Direct Shift transmission – a unit that was originally developed for the high-performance Lexus RC F coupe. It provides paddle shift controls on the steering wheel and incorporates G AI-SHIFT control, which adjusts the gear shifts according to the G-forces being experienced.
The Lexus RC is designed to provide the highest levels of safety, using both passive technologies like airbags and active technologies such as stability control, traction control and advanced braking assists. All versions of the coupe are fitted as standard with Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management; a Pre-Crash Safety system that also provides Adaptive Cruise Control as an option on Premier grade models.
Further details are available in the Lexus RC review.
Design and packaging
The Lexus RC presents an elegant and powerful two-door exterior and a premium quality interior with a snug, driver-focused cockpit. Particular attention has been paid to providing ideal ergonomics with advanced HMI (human-machine interface) technologies that ensure quick and clear communication of important vehicle data and controls. The area around the driver is divided into two distinct areas – an upper display zone and a lower operation zone.
The RC’s exterior design features a compact cabin area, powerfully flared wings and contoured bodywork with deeply sweeping lines. The coupe presents a low profile and wide stance, measuring 4,695mm long, 1,840mm wide and 1,395mm high, with a 2,730mm wheelbase.
Lexus’s approach to designing the interior of the RC was to produce a snug, driver-focused cockpit with ideal ergonomics, supported by use of the advanced HMI technologies.
The layered centre console within the lower operation zone integrates the multimedia and navigation systems. Luxury and F Sport models feature the Lexus Media Display, operated using a Remote Touch rotary control. Premier versions of the RC are fitted with Lexus Premium Navigation and the Remote Touch touch pad (this is available as an option on other grades).
More information can be found in the Lexus RC review.
Engine and transmission
The RC 200t’s 1,998cc four-cylinder petrol turbo engine is compact and remarkably light, tipping the scales at 160kg.
It features a combination of advanced technologies that improve combustion and deliver increased thermal efficiency. They include the D-4ST direct fuel injection system, a twin-scroll turbo, a water-cooled cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold and VVT-iW – intelligent variable valve timing with a ‘wide’ function.
The engine’s characteristics include fast throttle response and high torque at low engine speed. It produces 241bhp (180kW) and maximum torque of 350Nm, giving nought to 62mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds and a 143mph top speed. Fuel economy is 38.7mpg with 168g/km CO2 emissions (combined cycle).
The D-4ST combines high-pressure direct cylinder injection with low-pressure intake port injection. This secures the best possible, uniform combustion, even under high loads and in cold temperatures.
The advanced fuel injection works together with turbocharging to create high compatibility between the high tumble ratio (achieved by optimising the shape of the cylinder head intake ports and piston tops) and turbo boost control.
The water-cooled cylinder head has an integral four-into-two exhaust manifold, which pairs the cylinders according to their expansion or compression stroke. This innovative structure works in conjunction with the highly efficient twin-scroll turbo, preventing interference between the exhaust gases from each cylinder, generating high torque across the widest possible rev band.
Using an air-to-liquid intercooler mounted directly on the engine significantly reduces the intake volume downstream of the turbocharger, minimising turbo lag and supporting a rapid throttle response.
The turbocharger is equipped with an active waste gate valve. When the valve opens during low-load driving, exhaust manifold pressure and, thus, pumping losses are reduced, improving combustion efficiency.
The engine also benefits from intelligent variable valve-timing technology (VVT-I) on the exhaust valves and VVT-iW on the intake valves. This combines wide open throttle performance with optimised torque delivery throughout the rev range. It allows the engine to start running in the powerful Otto cycle, before switching to the more fuel-efficient Atkinson cycle when cruising. Under acceleration, the engine returns to the Otto cycle.
Eight-speed SPDS transmission
The turbo engine drives the RC’s rear wheels via an eight-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission that Lexus originally developed for the high-performance RC F coupe.
This exceptionally smooth and quiet transmission gives the driver the option of a manual override using shift paddles on the steering wheel. Other features include Uphill Downshift Control, Downshift Lock-up Control, Deceleration Flex Lock-up Control, Power Saving Control, Stop and Start Control and G AI-shift Control which varies gear shifts in line with the G forces being generated.
The RC 200t features an Eco Driving Indicator which helps the driver use the accelerator in a way that supports fuel efficiency. When you are driving in an efficient manner, the indicator light is illuminated and the display shows the accelerator operation within a defined zone. If throttle use moves outside this zone, the right-hand side of the display will begin to flash.