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2015 Lexus RC Preview

2015 Lexus RC Preview

By Jeff Youngs, January 16, 2014
Fast Facts:
  • RC 300h with 217-horsepower hybrid system
  • RC 350 with 314-horsepower V-6
  • RC F with 450-horsepower V-8
  • Seating for four
  • New features and technology

Introduction
Lexus is introducing a new sports coupe to its lineup for the 2015 model year, named the RC. It is based on the same platform that spawns the GS and IS models, but is otherwise distinctly different from both of those sedans. In the United States, the new 2015 Lexus RC will be offered as the RC 350 and the RC F performance model, the latter introduced at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Exterior Features
Wider, lower, and shorter than the Lexus IS, the new 2015 Lexus RC 350 features the company's new signature spindle grille design, L-shaped headlights and taillights, and standard 18-inch aluminum wheels. The 2015 Lexus RC F takes the styling a step further, thanks to a bulging hood required to clear the most powerful engine Lexus has ever offered. Additional changes include engine cooling vents, aerodynamic modifications, an active rear spoiler, and 19-inch, staggered width, forged aluminum wheels.

Interior Features
As is true of other recent Lexus models, the new RC's dashboard is divided into operational and display zones. High-contrast color selections and layered wood trim are standard for the RC 350, as well as a new Lexus Remote Touch Interface system. According to Lexus, the RC is a 4-passenger vehicle.

Compared with the RC 350, the performance-oriented RC F gets unique instrumentation with a large, centrally mounted tachometer. A new steering wheel with an elliptical cross-section thick-grip rim is standard, and the RC F model's seats, pedals, and interior trim are unique to this version of the car.

Optional Features
Lexus plans to offer a special interior lighting package for the RC 350, one employing illumination sources that reflect up rather than down. A Carbon Fiber package is optional for the RC F, adding exposed carbon fiber to the car's roof and active spoiler.

Under the Hood
The 2015 Lexus RC 350 is equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated to make 314 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 280 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. An 8-speed Sports Direct Shift transmission with paddle shifters and a Manual mode delivers the power to the rear wheels, and all-wheel drive is optional. The RC 350 rides on a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension.

Unconfirmed, but possible, for the U.S. market, the Lexus RC 300h is a gas-electric hybrid version that pairs a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 105-kW electric motor and an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) to generate a combined 217 horsepower. The CVT is programmed to feel like it has six traditional gears.

As the performance flagship, the 2015 Lexus RC F gets a 5.0-liter V-8 engine making a minimum of 450 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. When cruising on the highway, the engine switches from the Otto combustion cycle to the Atkinson cycle to help conserve gas. A specially-tuned 8-speed Sports Direct Shift transmission with paddle shifters directs power to the RC F Coupe's rear wheels, and a Torque Vectoring Differential offers Standard, Slalom, and Track driving modes. Gas-charged shocks, a front lower structural brace, and a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system equipped with a vertical G-sensor all improve the car's overall stability, which is good, considering that Lexus claims the top speed is 168 mph.

Safety
With the 2015 RC Coupe, Lexus is offering a new version of its blind-spot monitoring technology that can detect when vehicles are approaching at a high rate of speed in order to discourage the driver from switching lanes while it is unsafe.

Technology
Standard equipment for the new Lexus RC includes a new touch-sensitive Remote Touch Interface for the audio and navigation systems. The performance-oriented RC F model includes a G-force meter and a stopwatch as a part of its unique instrumentation.

Additional Research:


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  2011 Lexus LFA Preview
Critical Knowledge:Lexus' first supercarFlagship of the "F model" rangeMid-mounted, 552-hp, 4.8-liter V-10 engine6-speed automated sequential gearbox transmissionRear-wheel driveTop speed of 202 mphCarbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) constructionCarbon ceramic brake discsLimited to just 500 hand-assembled unitsLease-only policy in the United StatesProduction begins in December 2010IntroductionLexus introduced the IS F, a high-performance variant of its compact IS-series sedan, in early 2009 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The enthusiast-oriented vehicle featured a 416-hp engine mated to an 8-speed transmission. Oversized brakes, re-tuned suspension, and an upgraded interior completed the package. The IS F was the first of the new "Lexus F" models-a new high-performance division for the automaker (the "F" marque, conceived years ago, originally referred to "flagship").
     
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Critical Knowledge:All-new redesign for 2010Body-on-frame designNew 301-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 engineNew 6-speed automatic transmissionFull-time 4-wheel drive (4WD)Standard 10 air bags with optional Pre-Collision systemStandard 7-passenger capacityOptional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)Fuel economy improved 13 percent over predecessorSide-hinged rear door features convenient flip-up glass panelIntroductionThe Lexus GX 470 was launched in late 2002 as an all-new 2003 model. The midsized luxury SUV joined the Lexus lineup as the smaller sibling to the Lexus LX 470. In contrast to the Toyota Camry-based Lexus RX 300 crossover, the GX 470 shared a body-on-frame platform and heavy-duty off-road mechanicals with the Toyota 4Runner. Its underpinnings included a 270-hp, 4.7-liter V-8 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission and a permanent 4WD drivetrain. The GX 470 offered seating for up to 8 passengers within its luxuriously appointed cabin. Its long list of standard features, including an Adaptive Variable Suspension, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and privacy glass, set it apart from its Toyota twin.
     
  2010 Lexus IS 250 Convertible Preview
Critical Knowledge:All-new model for 2010Based on forthcoming 2-door coupeFirst convertible IS modelThree-piece aluminum retractable hardtopStandard 2.5-liter V-6 engine6-speed automatic transmissionRear-wheel driveArriving in showrooms late summer 2009For more information: See 2010 Lexus IS 250 Convertible Pictures Browse other Lexus models Read more Previews
     
  New for 2009-Lexus
Critical Knowledge:Mild facelift outside and a more extensive interior update for the IS 250 and IS 350High-performance IS F also gets interior updatePebble Beach Special Edition of SC 430 includes Mercury Metallic paint, unique wheels, Ecru seats with black stitching and arm rests, black bird's-eye maple wood trimLuxury package for LX 570 includes 20-inch wheels, Smart Card key, Bubinga wood trim and "cool box"2009 Lexus ES:One of the original Lexus models, the ES entered its fifth generation for the 2007 model year with the launch of the ES 350. The so-called entry-luxury car takes its numbers from the 3.5-liter displacement of its V-6 engine, which pumps out 272 hp. The ES 350 carries over unchanged into the 2009 model year.
     
  2008 Lexus IS F Preview
Critical knowledge:Lexus entry-level sedan gets a 416-hp, high-performance versionFirst Lexus production model with "F" performance designationFirst IS with a V-8 engineEight-speed direct sports-shift, paddle-controlled transmissionFastest Lexus model: Zero-to-60 mph in less than 5.0 secondsNorth American sales of 2008 model to begin by MarchIntroductionLexus has become well known as Toyota's luxury vehicle division. But before it was publicly unveiled, the development of the new division was a closely guarded secret. Even within Toyota, the working group was known simply as "Circle-F," the F representing flagship.
     
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