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2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport Adds Flash But No Extra Dash to New RC Lineup

By: Jeff Youngs, 3/5/2014
Lexus is working overtime to change its image. Long known for making well-appointed and comfortable cars, this luxury division of Toyota Motor Corp. is slowly but steadily injecting pizzazz and performance into its various models, and that includes the all-new 2015 Lexus RC that debuts this fall as a 2-door coupe, and which was revealed in new RC 350 F Sport trim at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

Built on the same rear-wheel-drive platform that serves as the basis for the Lexus IS and Lexus GS sedans, the 2015 RC Coupe is as wide as the GS but shorter than the IS. In standard format, the RC 350 model is equipped with the same 306-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is installed in the IS 350 and GS 350 models. That's about 150 fewer horsepower than the 5.0-liter V-8 under the hood of the performance-tuned RC F model, but it is also considerably less expensive compared with the RC F.

For consumers wanting a more aggressive look and better handling than a standard RC 350, but who aren't interested in paying a lot more to attain the RC F variant, then the RC 350 F Sport introduced in Geneva may be ideal. On the outside, it can be identified by its special mesh grille design and unique 19-in. mesh F Sport aluminum wheels with dark metallic paint and a machined-finish surface. Inside, the RC 350 F Sport features LFA-style instrumentation, an F Sport steering wheel and shift knob wrapped in perforated leather, and a unique Rioja Red leather interior complete with contrast stitching.

An adaptive variable suspension is standard for the RC 350 F Sport model, responding to body motion, road surface, and the selected driving mode in order to improve handling, according to Lexus. For example, if the driver chooses the Sport+ calibration, the RC's suspension delivers more precise steering, a firmer ride, and more athletic handling, according to the automaker.

A Lexus Dynamic Handling System with Dynamic Rear Steering and Variable Gear Ratio Steering is optional. As the driver maneuvers the vehicle, the system turns the RC 350 F Sport's rear wheels up to two degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels at lower speeds in order to tighten a line in city driving and parking lots, and up to two degrees in the same direction as the front wheels at higher speeds in order to make the car feel better planted and more stable. The system takes into account vehicle speed, steering angle, driver inputs, and yaw rate in order to improve the RC 350 F Sport model's turn-in character, grip while cornering, and overall agility, Lexus claims.

Pricing and an on-sale date for the RC 350 F Sport have not been announced, but Lexus confirms that the new 2015 RC Coupe is scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms in the fall of 2014.

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