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The Lexus RC returns for 2019 with updated styling around the front grille, headlights and taillights, including new daytime running lights and new, sleeker looking exterior mirrors. Inside, a new clock, a new start/stop button and a knee pad make things a little more comfortable for drivers and passengers. In addition to the aesthetic changes, Lexus have recalibrated the suspension and the power steering for improved handling. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa have also been integrated into 2019 models.
The RC sports coupe is not based on another of Lexus' previous sedan platforms and is instead designed from a clean sheet. The RC's exceptionally stiff chassis builds on Lexus' reputation and manufacturing excellence. The automaker itself claims the RC "the best-handling regular production Lexus yet."
The RC's performance begins under the hood. Power comes from a choice of two engines, a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder that is capable of 241 horsepower and 258 lb-feet of torque, or a naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 is good for 260 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0L is only available with rear-wheel drive, while the RC300 and RC 350 are offered with a choice of either rear or all-wheel drive.
Lexus' "all-weather drive" system uses an electronic center differential to vary torque from the standard 20/80 front/rear to as much as 50/50. Braking in all RC models is quick and powerful, thanks to big 13-inch front brake rotors.
Outside, all RC models feature standard 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Inside, the RC includes NuLuxe interior surfaces with aluminum and wood accents, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, automatic climate control, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, cruise control, HomeLink, a 10.3-inch VGA screen, a 256-watt, 10-speaker audio system, back-up camera and more. The all-wheel drive RC 350 also features heated front seats.
Factory options abound, including 19-inch wheels, a blind spot monitor, leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, parking assist, a moonroof, navigation and an 835-watt Mark Levinson 17-speaker premium surround sound system. The all-wheel drive can be optioned with an All-Weather Package that includes headlamp washers, an instant-heat PTC heater, and a windshield de-icer. The Luxury Package adds many standalone options such as the blindspot indicator, heated/ventilated leather seats, rain-sensing wipers and more. Finally, the optional F Sport Package adds a mesh grille, 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive variable suspension with a Sport+ driving mode, aluminum pedals, sport seats with contrast stitching, unique badging, and more.
From Lexus' ultra-performance range of vehicles comes the RC F, which differs from the other RC models in significant ways. For starters, it is powered by a 32-valve 5.0L V8 that makes 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel-drive only the RC F includes the 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic, a Torsen limited-slip differential, huge 15-inch front and 13.6-inch rear vented disc brakes, and unique "F" exterior and interior treatments. Lexus claims the RC F will hit 60 mph from a stop in just 4.4 seconds, on its way to a 170-mph top speed.
Safety is paramount on the RC, and standard features include the Lexus Safety System+ multiple airbags for front and side, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist and traction control.