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Lexus introduces its sporty new RC F Sport luxury coupe

2019-01-30 14:33
LEXUS RC F SPORT

Image: Motorpress

A new version of the Lexus RC luxury sports coupe has made its debut in South Africa in exclusive F Sport guise.

Since its local introduction in 2015, the RC has spearheaded Lexus’ commitment to delivering a more emotional quality in the driving experience provided by its vehicles, with its sporty appearance and versatile driving character.

New found elegance

The car retains all the virtues of what RC is renowned for but takes them to a higher level by adopting the latest evolution of Lexus’ signature design language and sharpened driving dynamics inspired by the brand’s flagship luxury coupe, the LC.

GALLERY: 2019 Lexus RC 350 F

The exterior styling remains as sporty as the preceding 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 has been crafted to maximise driving pleasure.

READ: Here's why the new Lexus ES is one of the safest cars you could buy

Enhancements have also been made to the RC 350 F Sport’s aerodynamics, tyres and suspension with concomitant improvements to engine response and steering feel, all of which reflect the 'sharper and more refined' drive philosophy that was introduced by the LC. This new RC is more stable than ever under a wide variety of driving conditions.

LEXUS RC F SPORT

                                                                        Image: Motorpress

This provides a high level of driver confidence and a reassuringly flat ride quality, making the RC an ideal grand tourer, whether you’re negotiating a twisty mountain road or simply making a long-distance commute on the open highway.

A 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 design – the accentuated corners flow down from the headlamps.

There is also a new grille mesh pattern comprising shapes which gradually transform from top to bottom, creating intriguing visual tension. The vertical arrangement of the 'micro' triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights add to the car’s more distinguished appearance.

Moving to the rear, air ducts have been added to the corners of the rear bumper, resulting in better handling stability and enhanced overall driving response.

Lexus RC F Sport

                                                                            Image: Motorpress

A wider stance and lower centre of gravity reflect the RC’s heightened ability to maintain grip in varied road conditions. The rear combination lamps now house more pronounced L-shaped lenses that are a new signature design feature for Lexus coupes.

Ten different exterior colours are available in the RC, including Naples Yellow and Poseidon Blue, shades which perfectly communicate the car’s dynamic nature.

The rest of the line-up includes White Nova, Sonic Titanium, Solar Storm Red and Graphite Black. Brand new to Lexus RC are Lava Orange, Mercury Grey, Black and Sparkling Meteor.

It also features many other custom exterior and interior items that are exclusive to F Sport. These include powerfully-styled 19" alloy wheels, featuring a striking 10-spoke design finished in a dark premium metallic hue.

Refined luxury

A brushed treatment has been applied to the heater control and audio panels, generating a higher sense of quality, while the cushioned knee pads on either side of the centre console have been made larger and raised higher, creating a greater sense of space in the front of the cabin. 

The driver’s palm rest has been reshaped and a stitching pattern has been added to the surface, showcasing the designer’s close attention to detail.

Lexus RC F Sport

                                                                          Image: Motorpress

A new analogue clock, identical to the one in the LC, sits high on the instrument panel in another identifying feature of Lexus coupes- other small details include newly designed and ergonomically-defined cup holders.

Interior trim colours include Black, Flare Red, White and Mustard – the latter features subtle yellow accents on a black background.

Sharper and more graceful

Adopting the driving concept of a 'sharper and more graceful' drive, Lexus engineers have succeeded in making the new RC thoroughly fun to drive by focusing their attention on details, such as enhancing the car’s aerodynamics and fine-tuning the suspension system and powertrain.

Endowed with a flatter and more stable ride quality and sharper handling characteristics, 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.

Lexus RC F Sport

                                                                        Image: Motorpress

New 19" wheels shod with higher-grip tyres support excellent steering response. The tyres now have a reduced Rolling Resistance Coefficient, which aids in achieving the excellent ride comfort.

New shock absorbers, which provide significant damping force from low suspension stroke speeds, and stiffer suspension bushings have also been introduced. It also underwent extensive real-world testing, with chassis engineers constantly fine-tuning performance, to improve ride and handling.

It's wheelbase is just 2 730mm in an overall length of 4 700mm with a rear overhang of just 1 040mm, highlighting the coupe's purposeful and squat stance. 

Furthermore, the RC’s suspension delivers a focused driving experience while enhancing ride quality.

Engine specs

The 3.5-litre Lexus dual-injection 2GR-FKS V6 in the Lexus RC 350 F Sport delivers a rare, charismatic concoction of power, torque and responsiveness for a thoroughly engaging driving experience. This engine has been proven in Lexus models around the world and meets driver expectations for responsive acceleration.

This powerplant features intelligent dual variable valve timing (VVT-i) for inlet and exhaust camshafts, an intelligent electronic throttle and the Lexus D-4S system of direct and port fuel injection. The quad cam V6 engine has two petrol injection systems, including high-pressure direct injection.

Lexus designed the all-alloy 60-degree V6 for a combination of high performance, fuel efficiency, package efficiency, reliability and serviceability, coupled with light-weight, low NVH and low emissions.

It delivers 232kW of power at 6600rpm and 380Nm of torque at 4800rpm, equating to a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6,3 seconds, topped off by a maximum speed of 230km/h.

It produces fuel economy figures of 9.4-litres/100km combined, CO2 emissions of 217g/km and is Euro-5 compliant.

The 2GR-FKS engine is matched to an eight-speed transmission with M Mode, allowing full torque-converter lock-up from second to eighth gears.

The transmission can be used in D (automatic) or M mode, which has full torque-converter lock-up from second to eighth gears for 'clutchless' manual shifting, utilising steering paddle shifts if preferred.

Down changes in M mode are made in just 0.2 of a second, with the transmission's throttle blipping control matching the engine speed to the gear. In addition, the transmission is linked to the Lexus Drive Mode Select function, with its Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport S+ settings.

Normal mode provides the fuel economy and seamless acceleration traditionally associated with a Lexus electronically-controlled transmission. It uses the eight ratios for optimum fuel economy while coordinating control with the throttle to provide smooth acceleration with the minimum feeling of gear changes.

Sport and Sport S+ modes include newly adopted G-sensor AI-Shift Control, which uses information from the G-sensor on driving status to provide the optimal gear ratio for performance driving.

While on the subject of Drive Mode Select, modes can be adjusted via the circular knob beside the gear selector and instrumentation changes colour to reflect the selected mode.

In addition to controlling throttle opening and engine output control, Sport S+ optimises chassis elements including Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Adaptive Variable Suspension output to provide RC’s most dynamic and focused driving experience.

Safety features

The RC has Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist which uses a camera mounted behind the rearview mirror to help monitor the driver’s position in their lane and warns the driver in the event they inadvertently drift out of the lane.

The car’s Automatic High-Beam uses the same camera to switch to low beam when the lights of oncoming or preceding vehicles are detected.

Lexus RC F Sport

                                                                            Image: Motorpress

The Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) has changed from second-generation to third-generation, providing optimised functionality in detecting all-round obstructions in adjacent lanes or when manoeuvring into parking bays.

The Pre-Crash System with Pedestrian Detection reduces the likelihood and severity of collisions by detecting imminent frontal impact and automatically preparing Brake Assist, reacting before you can, while the emergency brake signal acts to prevent rear-end collisions.

Raft of changes

Other technical changes include the upgrade of the analogue clock which has been changed to a GPS automatic adjustable type system.

The heated door mirrors can be folded in electrically to help negotiate narrow spaces and when parked, there is less risk of damage. Electrochromic technology also dims the mirrors to prevent the risk of being dazzled by following traffic.

Rear light clusters feature an array of LEDs to ensure the RC is highly visible to following traffic. When braking heavily, the brake lights – including the high-level centre LED stop lamp – pulse rapidly to provide an effective warning to following vehicles.

It also comes standard with LED cornering lamps which aid in the additional illumination when the turn signal is engaged.

The extra white light is directed towards pedestrians that may otherwise be difficult to see when turning at an intersection using only the low beam headlamps. Hill Start Assist (HAC) comes standard in the RC 350 F Sport. 

This technology is a ‘brake hold’ function that helps keep a vehicle from rolling backwards when the driver pulls away when on an incline or hill. Hill Start Assist is great and allows the driver to execute a smooth start on a steep hill.

Unprecedented quality

Lexus’ innovative touch-sensitive Remote Touch Interface links the driver more directly to the audio and navigation systems of the vehicle. The unique new control interface was developed to amplify the tactile feedback of the RC’s sports-coupé driving experience.

The steering wheel and shift knob combine exquisite craftsmanship with exceptional comfort. The interior features an unmistakable F Sport shift knob and steering wheel which is trimmed in hand-selected perforated leather.

LEXUS RC F SPORT

                                                                         Image: Motorpress

The car's high-efficiency speakers create an unprecedented listening space for every person in every seat.

It also comes standard with a full electric moon roof. Its electric tilt and slide glass function lets the desired amount of moonlight or sunlight, as well as fresh air into the cabin. One-touch control is quick and convenient.

Pricing

The Lexus RC 350 F Sport retails for R939 100.

The RC model also boasts a Lexus best-in-class, 7-year or 105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan as well as a Lexus Distance Plan Complete. The vehicle service intervals are at every 15 000km, alternatively once a year.

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