It has been a few years now since Lexus first introduce their luxury coupe to a market that was already being cornered by the Germans. The Lexus RC coupe brought a breath of fresh air after having a long hiatus since the early years of the Lexus and the SC 300 – we can’t count the IS coupe as it was essentially a convertible. But as such with time, a few more players have entered the playing field and the Lexus RC faces the hard facts that it’s no longer the new kid on the block.
Seeing changes for 2018, the RC 350 encompasses a host of new technology and updates to keep things lively in todays rapid world of change. A new, larger 10.3-inch high-definition infotainment screen replaces the small clunky unit with a more user-friendly mouse pad operation. Other changes incorporate the new standard Lexus Safety Sense system that’ll help protect your luxury coupe from the world.
Utilizing the corporate standard 3.5-liter V-6, the RC 350 gets a 5-horsepower bump, now a total of 311-horsepower. It continues to be a dynamic being with all the right grunts in all the right places that provides both an energetic driving style with the comforts and convenience that follows the Lexus name plate. Unfortunately, this has always been the drawback to the RC coupe – like a middle-aged junk food addict, the RC has struggled with its weight these past few years. Even with a bump in power, it still falls short of the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport and BMW 435i.
Matted to an eight-speed transmission that swapped out the old six-speed sometime last year, the RC coupe upholds a nimble behavior – its shifts respond like a dual-clutch system with a crisp transition between gears. It moves swiftly to 60 mph in about five and half seconds with sound being piped through the speakers for a more hearty soul. Tweaks have been made to the sport mode system to increase its driving style more aggressively under SPORT + mode. However, with all its electronic gizmos in place and with the help of the $390 TORSEN limited slip differential, the RC maintains fluid power distribution and a well-planted chassis in the corners with minimum body lean.
The biggest change for the RC coupe, there is a new color – Flare Yellow. And boy is it yellow. It cost $595 and is only available on the RC 350 F SPORT. Our sampler here was truly brought to life with this colorful paintjob – but then it was matched with $300 painted orange brake calipers and the stunning $1160 triple beam LED headlights. It caught many wondering eyes attention as well as some attention we didn’t want from those covered in black and white.
There is an underling problem to this revamped RC coupe – you see, while all these minor updates help keep the current RC coupe up-to-date, there is an even bigger change coming for 2019. With a more bold, muscular enhancement, the 2019 RC coupe has been enhanced to look similar to the LC 500. So, if you can wait just a few more months. The new 2019 RC 350 F SPORT might just be the car worth waiting for.