2015 Lexus RC 350 – First Look and Review
Lexus was first introduced in the United States in 1989, and I can think of no better way for the luxury car brand to celebrate its 25th anniversary than with the launching of the new RC 350 and RC F, and doing so appropriately enough at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, in New York. (Lexus says RC stands for Radical Coupe but we don’t think the location was a coincidence.)
The RC 350, also available as the sportier RC 350 F Sport, was designed as a stand-alone coupe, unlike many other coupes, which are two-door derivatives of their sedan counterparts, and it marks the first fixed-roof coupe the automaker has offered since the SC range, which ended production 14 years ago.
Meanwhile, the RC F is part of Lexus’ F brand, which launched in 2007 with the IS F model, followed in 2010 with the Lexus LFA, a vehicle that drew comparisons to the Ferrari 599 GTO. Although the GTO produced more horsepower than then LFA, Lexus’ model was significantly lighter, and, according to many drivers, had considerably better control.
Production of the LFA was halted in 2012, and the RC 350 F Sport is the first car in the F brand to be produced since.
The “F” in the company’s F brand stands for Fuji Speedway, the Japanese racetrack where Lexus conducts most of its high-speed development. The former Formula One course is a fitting birthplace for the RC 350 F Sport, as the model’s engine is “among the loudest and sweetest sounds the Lexus brand has ever produced,” according to a Lexus spokesperson.
The RC 350 was designed to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A5, and Mercedes-Benz C Class, while the RC F will directly compete with the sportier versions of these cars, such as the BMW M4, the Audi RS5, and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe.