Lexus says the new RC 350 is to “experience amazing,” and after our test drive, agree wholeheartedly. In typical Lexus fashion, the RC is superlative driving machine that delivers a smooth ride, fresh new look and style. The Lexus RC is ready to roll. With the Lexus brand’s dedication to high performance and world-class craftsmanship, drivers can count on an emotional driving experience with the RC coupe.
The idea of “sharper and more graceful” defines the LC flagship, so Lexus engineers have applied the same concept to the new RC. This included enhancing the car’s aerodynamics and fine-tuning the suspension system and powertrain. Armed with a more stable ride quality and sharper handling characteristics, the new RC is more athletic and responsive than ever.
Lexus RC 300 rear-wheel drive is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. This smooth operator produces 241 horsepower with 258 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 1,650-4,400 rpm. It’s paired with an eight-speed sport direct-shift automatic transmission with paddle shifters and consumes fuel at a rate of 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 24 mpg combined manufacturer estimated fuel economy.
The RC 300 all-wheel drive has a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It produces 260 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. torque at 2,000-4,800 rpm, and is teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The RC 350 (our test vehicle) gets a 311-horsepower version of the V6. With rear-wheel drive, it gets the eight-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic transmission with paddle shifters; with all-wheel drive, it’s a six-speed automatic.
The luxury coupe also comes with new standard 18-inch alloy wheels (19-inch wheels available) with a distinctive split-5-spoke design. In addition, a total of 10 different exterior colors will be available for the RC, including a new vibrant color, Blue Vortex Metallic.
Drivers will feel right at home in the luxury coupe cabin. To enhance the look and feel of the interior, a new Dark Gray Streamline treatment has been applied to the heater control and audio panels. The design also includes enlarged knee pads to create a heightened sense of space, a new analog clock and cup holder.
Lexus offers six different combinations of interior trim. Colors for the standard coupe include Glazed Caramel, Playa and Black. The RC F SPORT models will get three new bold colors: Circuit Red, Black with Yellow Accents and White.
Lexus Safety System+ is standard, which includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Intelligent High-Beams. Also, Lexus Enform Safety Connect is complimentary for the first 10 years of ownership with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365.
The 2019 RC has an available Blind Spot Monitor. This feature is designed to assist the driver when changing lanes by providing information not only about vehicles in the side mirror blind spot zones, but also by helping to detecting vehicles approaching from the rear in adjacent lanes. The option also includes Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, which helps detect approaching vehicles from both rear sides to assist the driver when backing out of a parking space or driveway.
The 7-inch high-resolution multimedia display provides immediate, simultaneous access to audio or climate controls and various systems.
The new Apple CarPlay compatibility keeps the driver connected in a multimedia environment. Customers can access the interface from their iPhone through the vehicle’s multimedia display. Simply connect an iPhone to get directions, make calls, send and receive message via Siri, and get access to favorite apps like Spotify, Audible and Apple Podcasts.
With the new Amazon Alexa integration, the feature offers the driver hands free capability. You can listen to audiobooks, play favorite music, make lists, check the weather, get news briefings, and much more. Users can also control compatible smart-home devices such as lighting, thermostat and security systems. Offering added in-vehicle convenience, Alexa even syncs to the navigation system to provide on-the-go recommendations.
With Lexus Enform Service Connect, also complimentary for the first 10 years of ownership, the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. The Lexus Drivers mobile app or LexusDrivers.com website can be used to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues.
Lexus Enform Remote (complimentary for the first year of ownership) lets you lock and unlock doors, start the engine and climate controls, check the fuel level, and more all through your smartphone, smartwatch or using the Lexus skill for Amazon Alexa-enabled devices at home.
Pricing for the RC 300/350 models are:
• RC 300 RWD – $41,145 RC 300 AWD – $43,835
• RC 350 RWD – $44,075 RC 350 AWD – $46,240
Our test model was the 350 with the 3.5-liter engine, all-wheel drive, and with all added options as tested was priced at $53,605 excluding shipping. For more information, see your local Lexus dealer or visit www.Lexus.com.