What Is It?
2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport
What's New About This Model?
Although the 2015 Lexus RC 350 luxury sport coupe has yet to arrive in dealers, this F Sport edition revealed at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show is a performance model aimed at car shoppers who prioritize superior handling.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Expect the F Sport to go on sale with the regular RC 350 and high-performance RC F this fall.
Remind Me. What's an RC 350?
The RC 350 is a new four-seat sport coupe from Lexus that's based on the midsize GS sedan. It is similar in size to the BMW 4 Series and should compete in the same segment.
What's the Difference Between the RC 350 and RC 350 F Sport?
The F Sport can be identified by the black mesh in the RC's enormous grille and its unique 19-inch F Sport dark-finished alloy wheels. Inside it gets a special sport steering wheel with perforated leather, special silver trim and the option of F-Sport-specific Rioja Red leather.
Mechanically, the F Sport includes Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which automatically adjusts suspension damping at all four wheels based on driving inputs, vehicle body motions and road surface conditions. Lexus says that engaging the car's Sport+ driving mode alters the suspension for even better body control and precise responses based on steering input.
The optional Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDG) system includes variable steering gear ratios and rear wheel steering. Based on speed, steering direction and driver inputs, the car automatically manages the turning angle of the front and rear wheels. Similar to BMW's four-wheel-steering system, the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions at lower speeds and in the same direction at higher speeds.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
There is no difference in the F Sport version's engine. Like the regular RC 350, it has a 3.5-liter V6 that sends 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. There are paddle shifters for changing gears yourself.
What's the Difference Between the RC 350 F Sport and the RC F?
The RC F is a much higher-performance model with a 450-hp 5.0-liter V8 and further enhancements to the suspension, brakes, wheels and other components. There is also more aggressive styling, especially the more flamboyantly flared fenders. Think about the difference between a BMW M4 and a 4 Series with a sport package.
For more information, read the Lexus RC F FAQ.
How Much Will It Cost?
Official pricing hasn't been announced for any of the RC models, but expect it to start around $40,000 like other luxury coupes. Meanwhile, the F Sport package on the GS 350 sedan costs $5,580, so a ballpark figure of $46,000 for the RC 350 F Sport seems reasonable.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Audi A5: Although it's getting old, the A5 remains a stylish and competent luxury two-door. It only comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder, which is great for fuel economy, but some may balk that there's no six-cylinder option.
BMW 4 Series: Previously known as the 3 Series Coupe, the new 4 carries the torch as the segment benchmark. It doles out performance and practicality in impressive amounts.
Cadillac ATS Coupe: The other new kid on the block is a little smaller than the others, but its sleek styling and sharp handling are bound to draw lots of attention.
Should You Wait for It?
It's been a while since a Lexus got us excited based on its looks alone, but the RC 350 F Sport promises to be exciting to drive as well. If you're in the market for a luxury sport coupe, we'd certainly wait to see if this newest Lexus delivers.