Lexus RC review: Sporty RC is the full package
Then the reality of a family hatchback or people carrier brings you crashing back down to earth. Of course the other thing we associate with sporty cars is youth, which is one of the biggest myths in the car industry
The company describes it as “a two-door coupe that delivers… a refined and engaging driving experience” but that word “refined” gives the game away, especially when the company admits that although it is aimed at younger buyers than its usual clientele, that usual clientele is already in its mid-50s.
If Lexus is right, that means the RC will be the kind of car that those buyers hitting a significant birthday (ending in zero and starting with five) will be buying to celebrate a minor midlife crisis.
The RC has a 2.5-litre engine
It’s a sporty-looking machine. First up is the 300h hybrid version that you now expect to find in every Lexus model range.
A 2.5-litre petrol engine is paired with an electric motor to produce 220bhp, which enables it to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 8.4 seconds and continue on to a top speed of 118mph.
The sportier option is the 200t, a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that produces 241bhp. It feels slightly more responsive but it’s still sluggish in comparison with a really focused sports car, so its 0 to 60mph time of 7.3 seconds sounds about right.
It’s not quite as bad once it gets going, but the eight-speed automatic gearbox does its best to keep the engine within a more economical rev range, so you have to fight to countermand its instincts with the gear-change paddles behind the steering wheel.
T he RC is a sporty-looking coupe, but the performance figures are a useful hint at just how sporty the car is to drive (not very). First, it’s hamstrung by its weight: the 300h has a kerb weight of more than 1.7 tonnes, while the 200t is only slightly trimmer.
On the road the car feels heavy, which has a detrimental effect on its agility, although it does feel balanced and body control is suitably well contained. The steering is accurate, especially in the 200t, so from that point of view, it can be pretty rewarding to drive.