2015 LEXUS RC 350 F SPORT
After years without a sport coupe Lexus have invented the RC using bits and pieces from other proven platforms. Most enthusiasts saw the concepts and were excited to have luxury RWD platform from Toyota and Lexus again. If anything it proves they are trying and committed to injecting some soul back into the brand.
The RC has been out for almost a year, with that fresh paint smell worn off we dive into our testing.
We expected this to be very similar to the IS350 F Sport given they share an identical motor and transmission. However the chassis on the RC and rear wheel steering give this vehicle a much more dynamic and lively driving experience. It feels more like a rear wheel drive car. It can be a bit more visceral which means the tail will move around. However, moving around is a matter of inches not feet as the stability control is so obtrusive even with traction off it’s almost impossible to get any serious slip angle. We found the pedal dance does work to disable stability however that is an unsupported mode which could have adverse effects.
The power and suspension design help blend a great balance between fun and fuel efficiency for the street. This is something most people would enjoy for a daily driver. This is not a track or autox car, but more of a touring sports coupe. Pushed to the limit on the street and the driver will feel all the sensations of true sports car. The RC has double wishbone front suspension, multi rear, with rear steer. That combined with good damper tuning make the RC one of the better riding cars we have been in recently. They managed to blend sport and comfort in an adaptive package.
The nagging issue remains, we don’t have a manual transmission option and the auto gear box despite the trickery is a simulation and a slow one at times. While it blends quickness with smoothness it tends to neuter the sporty nature of this platform. The motor will be an argument for most, while class leading in cases, to reach greatness it could use 30HP or they could also drop 400lbs.
Smooth, quick revving, tried and true reliability and good efficiency. The conservative tuning makes the overall experience head scratching. Car’s best performance is in Sport+ with TC off in manual mode.
Great smoothness, does a good job playing dual roles between sport and efficient. Holds revs and will bounce off limiter in Sport+ and TC off. However gets whiny in manual mode.
With 4 wheel steering, adaptive damping, double wishbone and VGRS the car feels like a true sports car with instant reflexes. In normal drive mode damping is excellent and ride is smooth and composed over almost all pavement.
One of the best Lexus interiors to date, materials, design, and interior illumination are wonderful. The LCD gauge cluster is nearly perfect and seats are as comfortable and supportive as possible. However, seat coolers were not effective when hot outside, rear seats were almost unusable and the power front seats were so slow to move forward it makes this car more of a two seater. The door storage compartments are a waste and don’t hold a bottle or much of anything and the glove box is wasted by the War and Peace manual.
Fuel Economy Observed:
20MPG Worst Tank