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Tokyo show: Lexus RC coupe is go

Sleek and sexy: The production-ready RC coupe (left) will be front and centre on the Lexus stand at Tokyo alongside the LF-NX SUV concept.

Lexus reveals petrol and hybrid powertrains for RC coupe ahead of Tokyo debut


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4 Nov 2013

LEXUS has revealed images and powertrain details for its IS-based, BMW 4 Series-fighting RC coupe ahead of its world debut at the Tokyo motor show later this month.

In addition, the premium Japanese car-maker also revealed it will showcase a further development of its wild LF-NX SUV concept, this time with a turbo-petrol powertrain.

GoAuto reported early last month that Lexus would debut the RC coupe at Tokyo as well as a two-door sportscar that could be a near-production ready version of the LF-LC hybrid super coupe.

Lexus is using the RC coupe to boost its image from sensible luxury car-maker to a desirable performance-focussed brand, with a statement saying the RC has been developed to appeal to a broader customer base “while injecting emotional appeal into the Lexus DNA that is synonymous with build quality, refinement and reliability”.

The two-door RC even heralds the brand’s first use of the word ‘sexy’ as a design catchphrase.

The design is unmistakably derived from the stunning LF-CC coupe concept from last year’s Paris motor show, and while it features a slightly toned down look, it maintains a number of elements that saw many motoring writers and punters crowning the LF-CC ‘best in show’.

The fence-like mesh grille of the show car is gone in favour of a more conventional slatted grille and front bumper set-up, although it keeps Lexus’ now familiar spindle shape.

Lexus says in its release that it is the widest and lowest version of the spindle grille on any Lexus car to date.

Sharp L-shape daytime running lights sit under the small but bold headlights and the L-shape theme continues at the rear with the tail-lights.

Long air dams at the front of the car between the grille and the wheel are taken straight from the concept, and Lexus has kept the shapely wheel arches, high shoulder line and side crease that runs to the tail-lights.

The tail-end of the car bares little resemblance to the concept, with the striking, aggressive downward-sloping tail-lights replaced by higher-set, upward slanting units, while the rear bumper also appears to be a new design.

Lexus says the red hero colour features a brighter and more contrasting tone thanks to a new painting process that uses multiple layers of deep-coloured coating.

Two aluminium wheels feature, depending on the model – a 10-spoke 19-inch set or five-spoke 18 inch wheels.

Toyota’s luxury arm has confirmed the RC will be available in two trim levels with two different powertrains – the RC350 powered by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and the RC300h hybrid matched with a 2.5-litre petrol unit.

The cabin is pure IS, with a seven-inch touch-screen sitting high up in the centre stack, but a number of new features differentiate it from its four-door sibling.

“Lexus-first” features include an upward-reflecting lighting package that is said to envelop the cabin, while the centre console houses a new ‘Remote Touch Interface’ that allows the driver to instruct the sat-nav or infotainment system using their fingers.

The seats in the coupe use an integrated foaming construction method to ensure high levels of comfort and support for occupants.

Other cabin highlights include a new interior trim called ‘Clove’ and ‘shimamoku’ wood trim.

Meanwhile, Lexus will use Tokyo to show off a further development of its sharp and chunky-looking LF-NX compact-SUV concept.

The LF-NX was unveiled at the Frankfurt show in September this year and will likely go into production as the NX, sitting under the RX as the brand’s entry-level crossover offering.

The Frankfurt show car featured a hybrid powertrain, but the Tokyo concept car is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and features a front under-spoiler, while the cabin gets a ‘Remote Touch Interface’ with touch-pad.

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