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by Tim Beissmann

The first official details and images of the Lexus RC have been released, revealing the hotly anticipated compact sports coupe ahead of its unveiling at this month’s Tokyo motor show.

Effectively a coupe version of the four-door IS sedan, the all-new Lexus RC provides the Japanese luxury car maker with a rival for the likes of the Audi A5 coupe, BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe.

Lexus Australia has confirmed it will introduce the RC to our market, though is yet to announce launch timing at this stage.

Lexus-RC-1

The performance-oriented RC line will initially comprise two variants from launch, the RC300h and the RC350, with each tipped to mirror the output of its IS equivalent.

The Lexus RC300h hybrid is expected to team a 133kW/221Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a 105kW/300Nm electric motor for a maximum system output of 164kW. A continuously variable transmission will send drive to the rear wheels.

The Lexus RC350 is set to score the IS350’s 233kW/378Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, which, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, should motivate the coupe from 0-100km/h in a sedan-equalling 5.9 seconds or less.

A less-powerful RC250 is also expected to join the line-up ahead of an anticipated Lexus RC F, to based on the upcoming IS F performance sedan.

Lexus-RC-2

At 4695mm long and riding on a 2730mm wheelbase, the Lexus RC is 30mm longer than the IS but is 70mm shorter between the wheels. It is also 30mm wider (1840mm) and has a 35mm-lower roofline (1395mm).

Heavily inspired by the Lexus LF-LC concept that debuted at last year’s Detroit auto show, the car maker says the RC has been designed to increase the brand’s appeal with a broader audience and new customers as well as inject more emotion into its model range.

The Lexus RC integrates the lowest and widest application of the brand’s signature ‘spindle’ grille, with vertical grille slats creating a unique front-end character.

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Triangular headlights are positioned above independent V-shaped LED daytime running light strips reminiscent of the IS, while deeply contoured intakes add width to the RC’s face.

Flared wheel arches contribute to a muscular stance, while flowing lines extend to the L-shaped LED tail-lights at the rear.

Sharp angles define the rear bumper, which features vertically stacked side outlet slats and (on the RC350 at least) an understated diffuser with twin exhaust outlets.

Lexus-RC-5

The Lexus RC’s cabin is closely related to the IS on which it’s based, differentiated predominantly by its twin-binnacle instrument cluster and some more subtle trim elements.

The RC also debuts a new interior lighting package for the brand, with illumination reflected upwards rather than downwards to lift the cabin ambience.

Full details of the Lexus RC will be reveal at its Tokyo motor show debut on November 20.




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