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by Tony West
Lexus is one of our favorite car companies because they keep trying new concepts, and most of them make it to production. The new Lexus RC is Lexus’ attempt at a luxury performance coupe. Luxury combines with superb handling and efficiency. The new RC Coupe is made for evil on the road, shorter, lower, yet wider than the IS-with 19-inch wheels and a sexy red paint job.
The RC Coupe comes with a 3.5 liter V6 engine and offers a hybrid companion, the RC 300h that has a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine with a 105kW electric motor. The RC 300 V6 boasts 314 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid combines 176 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque from its 4-cylinder with the electric motor’s output for a combined 217 horsepower.
The RC V6 comes with an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift transmission with paddle shifters. In manual mode the 8-speed transmission yields 2-second downshifts. I prefer a real shifter in my sporty coupe. Other performance enhancing features include added rigidity and dense underbody rocker panels.
The Lexus RC intends to give the racing experience to the luxury coupe. Its interior combines racing components like the tuff leather bucket-type seats with familiar Lexus luxuries like the Remote Touch Interface. Lexus also offers some cool color combinations for the interior along with shimamoku wood trim.