With new vehicle genres and formats emerging so frequently, vehicle classification is not as simple as straightforward as it is used to be, and often times the lines become blurred in certain segments. The Lexus RC may have missed its calling when it was classified as a coupe.
A slow slung, well sculptured muscular body with a wide stance on a set of 19-inch wheels is a short description of the RC 350 F Sport in its most natural state. At a glance, it’s physique conveys sporting prowess, not the kind you find in BMW and other vehicles of similar ilk. The RC has an aura of maturity – it’s the vehicle you purchase when in need of something that will set you apart from the masses. Lexus as a brand has always occupied a niche space, offering well-equipped alternatives to the popular German three, and the RC model is no different.
This is an elegant piece of Japanese engineering, and what’s even more satisfying is that you won’t see as many these on the road as you would its competitors. The 350 F Sport variant is calm and self-assured in its demeanour, the Idris Alba of vehicles if you will. A trait that’s also evident in the way it carries itself on the road.
When piloting the sleek Lexus, it honestly feels like a well accomplished GT car; comfortable and composed. This is aided by a soulful, naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. Such units are rare specimens nowadays, with nearly every engine on offer being fitted with at least one forced induction unit. On command, the six-cylinder comes to life with a passionate hum void of any artificial pops and crackles from crafty exhaust work – a treat to the ears. There’s a subtle whine accompanying the deep-throated hum of the V6 under acceleration, making the behind-the-wheel experience all-the-more rewarding. You could easily mistake this for the wail of a supercharger, only more subdued. Undoubtedly, what makes this motor special may also be seen as a flaw by some. It lacks the urgency found in the force-fed generation. Momentum is built up gradually and steadily, with peak outputs of 232 kW and 380 Nm.
Despite its compliant ride which translates to a pleasant driving experience, (another reason why it fits the GT mould so well) the RC can navigate curved sections of road with respectable poise.
The interior remains very much Lexus-like; clean and modest in its layout. If you’re wondering whether that irksome touchpad still exists in here – it does. Rear legroom is limited due to its coupe design, but what the Lexus lacks in leg space it makes up for with impressive luggage room – a more desirable feature in a vehicle of this category.
From the soulful V6 engine, well-balanced dampening for comfort and performance, and impressive luggage space. These traits prove why the Lexus would make for such an accomplished grand tourer.
If however, you’re unimpressed with its performance figures and require more potency, there are still two, more jacked up variants of the RC on offer. These rival the likes of the Mercedes-AMG C63 S coupe, Audi RS5 and BMW M4. The RC F and RC F Track Edition are both powered by a 5.0-litre naturally breathing V8, making the RC one of the last in its class to offer this none-turbo spec.
RC 350 – R1 029 300
RC F – R1 385 300
RC F Track Edition – R2 204 800
By Gugu Masuku