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Published Date: 07/08/2017

Lexus is primarily renowned for luxury and hybrid cars, but when the RC arrived in 2015 the automotive world could sense that the brand’s sports-focussed concept cars were increasingly becoming a reality. Currently the sportiest car in Lexus’ range, the RC is set to be joined by a larger and sensational-looking coupé in the form of the LC 500 that goes on sale in autumn 2017. How do Lexus’ newest and sportiest coupés stack up?

Radical and revolutionary

RC stands for ‘radical coupé’ and certainly makes an impression. With a newfound design philosophy focussed on muscularity and aggression, the RC sports coupé oozes deeply contoured lines and sits lower than any other Lexus, with the widest spindle grille yet. Road presence is guaranteed, yet the RC still exudes the sophisticated classiness synonymous with the brand.

If the RC is radical, the soon-to-arrive LC is downright revolutionary. Taking up the position of Lexus’ flagship luxury coupé, it’s a petrolhead’s dream, sticking wonderfully closely to the LF-LC concept car that left motor show crowds speechless. Long, ultra-low and fantastically futuristic, the LC’s styling is dramatic enough to stand proudly alongside supercars costing double if not more.

Conclusion: The RC certainly excites, especially in range-topping RC F guise, but the new LC just takes awesome to a whole new level and will command attention everywhere it goes.

Heart-racing interiors

The Lexus RC’s interior stirs up the desire for sporty driving through a combination of elegant and daring lines, high-contrast colours, Japanese ‘Shimamoku’ wood highlights and beautifully crafted sports seats that are as supportive as they are stylish. A genuine four-seater coupé, the RC’s rear seats are easy to access and even split 60:40, making it a very practical sports car indeed.

Unsurprisingly, the Lexus LC’s cabin is just as extraordinary as its L-finesse-inspired and dramatic exterior. Handcrafted by highly experienced Takumi masters, the same skilled craftspeople that lovingly produce the firm’s remarkable LFA supercar, perfection and opulence are evident throughout. The curvaceous design language, supreme comfort, array of technology and exceptional ergonomics are sure to impress anyone privileged to drive or ride in this breath-taking 2+2 seater grand tourer coupé.

Conclusion: Both cars’ interiors are a sight to behold, but the RC is the more practical, providing genuine room for four people. 

Cutting-edge power

Three distinct engines are available for the RC, opening the experience up to a range of tastes and budgets. Remarkably, the full hybrid 300h powertrain is not only the greenest and most advanced; but is also the most competitively-priced RC. It delivers zestful performance and engaging handling whilst emitting just 113g/km CO2 and returning upto 57.6mpg.

Parent company Toyota’s hybrid expertise really does shine through. The RC is also available in 200t F Sport guise, powered by a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, peaking at 245bhp. Or in range-topping RC F form with an exhilarating, naturally-aspirated V8 engine at its heart, enabling it to reach 60mph in just 4.5 seconds.

The LC 500 also boasts the same mighty 5-litre V8 engine that hits 60mph in 4.4 seconds, which is incredible considering how the flagship car’s overall footprint and weight exceed that of the RC. Lexus’ revered hybrid knowledge translates into the LC 500h which combines an electric motor with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. Both LC iterations feature the world’s first 10-speed automatic gearboxes – direct shift in the LC 500 and multi-stage in the LC 500h, promising effortlessly smooth acceleration.

Conclusion: Anyone wanting to combine punchy performance with environmental awareness will be thrilled with the RC 300h

In numbers…

 

Lexus RC

Lexus LC

 

Min

Max

Min

Max

Power (HP)

181

477

190

477

Fuel (comb MPG)

26.2

57.6

24

44

Emissions (CO2, g/km)

113

251

145

267

Top Speed (mph)

118

168

155

168

0 – 60mph in…. (seconds)

4.5

8.6

4.4

4.7

Price

£37,145

£72,869

£76,595

£88,565


Since Lexus reinjected sporting intent into its model range like never before, it has created two simply stunning cars in the form of the RC and LC. The larger of the two unsurprisingly dominates in all areas, including price, causing a stir wherever it goes. The more manageable RC therefore represents a formidable argument for drivers seeking power, agility and luxury combined with efficiency and practicality.

 

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