You may have seen ads for the sexy new 2015 Lexus RC coupe, the ones where a cute little remote control car slides around with uncanny precision, threading through chains, parking against a wall, even striking a match with its rear bumper. We have just spent some time driving a real RC F-Sport on real roads (and definitely not sideways) and I don’t care how much fun it is to play with toys, and as the saying goes, there’s nothing like the real thing, baby.
The RC is basically the coupe version of Lexus’ tight little IS sedan. Right now, it’s available in several potencies: adequate (RC200t), better (RC300t), fast (RC350) and stupid fast (RC-F); the F-Sport is a blend of the latter two, basically an RC350 with some slick body addenda, an adaptive suspension, and gorgeous 19-inch “F” mesh wheels. Now, admittedly, Lexus’ current “spindle-grille” face isn’t for everyone, but in the case of the RC, controversy becomes it. The rest of the body is no less shapely, with the wide rear stance in particular making me think dirty thoughts.
No less arousing is the sumptuous interior, which, based as it is on the IS, fits an average-to-above-average sized guy like a pair of perfectly tailored, gourmet brand jeans, complete with perfectly placed contrasting stitching. The futuristic instrument cluster is cool as hell, but the rest of the dashboard is a bit busy, and the touch pad interface used to access all but the most basic vehicle systems is rather fussy. But it can be learned, and if all else fails, it offers voice activation for most controls. As for the rear seat, well, it’s best left to pocket gays.
Happily, it drives as good as it looks. While it doesn’t offer the turbocharged rush of some of its competitors, the 306-hp V-6 certainly pulls hard when you keep your right foot buried. Steering and brakes are also highly responsive and feel delightfully natural, engaging the driver in a wholly organic way, a character we don’t always get from cars these days. Or people, for that matter.
Alas, nothing this good comes cheap; indeed, the F-Sport’s base price or $49,235 is rather startling considering that it doesn’t include navigation or leather seats. Then again, its six-cylinder-powered competitors are all priced in the same neighborhood, and not all of them are as emotional as this car. That’s right, the RC350 F-Sport is both an emotional car and a Lexus, an idea that until recently, has been pretty much oxymoronic.
2015 Lexus RC F-Sport
Base Price: $49,235
Power: 5.0-liter V-8 (306 hp, 277 lb-ft of torque)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy, city/hwy mpg (EPA est): 15/25
Or you could buy:
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
Cadillac ATS Coupe