Lexus RC

Sports cars are usually fast, vociferous, attractive and precise. Many of those words describe the Lexus RC.

The RC 300h is an efficiency-focused, muted motor with a mutinous face. The vehicle is propelled by a hybrid unit, which is uncommon for a sports car. The Japanese coupe doles out 223PS, but the unification of a 2.5-litre petrol unit with electric propulsion isn’t exactly adrenaline-generating. This is especially the case when it dawns on you that Lexus has regulated the top speed to 118mph for thriftiness reasons.

The zero to 62mph time isn’t mind-blowing, either, taking 8.6 seconds to get to the target. To be fair, it’s not sluggish either - and a cost-effective 57.6mpg is possible. Furthermore, the 114g/km CO2 emissions figure is on the green side.
While it isn’t a titleholder in the ‘first-off-the-line’ category, the Lexus does handle magnificently - and is unexpectedly comfortable for a car of this class. It is quite a heavy vehicle, but the RC stays flat on the twisty tarmac, even if the lack of ‘get-up-and-go’ from the hybrid powerplant doesn't inspire you to push on to unearth the limits. Instead, the model is far more gratifying to waft around in than it is to drive like a sports coupe – and that is not a bad thing at all.

When it comes to appearances, the RC is hard to miss - it is an attractive machine by anybody’s standards. And concerning style, the Lexus is the most 21st Century car in its segment. It is tilted forward like the way felines arch their backs before springing upon their unsuspecting quarry.
The design of the cockpit is agreeably upscale, too. A substantial infotainment system screen is housed behind a bar-shaped assembly, encompassing a couple of air vents and a clock. The lion's share of the controls though is on the centre console that runs from underneath. It looks fabulous, and the quality of materials used in the cabin corresponds to the brilliance of the design.

The car has rear seats, but in reality, it is built for the driver and passenger. You can squeeze two short people or kids in the back, but no one is going to want to be there long. Regarding kit, Lexus does a top job of packing in lots of toys as standard. Indeed, the Japanese auto-maker is well known for not overdoing its options list. Instead, it looks to consumers to choose the most suitable trim level for their requirements.
There are three trim levels to select: Luxury, F-Sport, and Premier. All RC 300h models are fortified with heated hide-covered seats, cruise control, climate control and parking sensors. Sport boosts the dynamic look of the RC, fitting both interior and exterior design touches and adaptive suspension. Meanwhile, Premier adds an upmarket sound system and some additional safety features.

Spend some time with the RC, as I did, and you will soon appreciate that this isn’t an outright sports car. Instead, it’s a very relaxing machine with an appetising squirt of coupe charm. 
And, if you want a vehicle with kerbside appeal, then the RC will do the job of pulling in the crowds. But it will always do it classily. Indeed, as you drive your Lexus softly, stylishly and cost-effectively past people in the street, you’ll notice nothing but approval in their eyes.

Pros ‘n’ Cons
  • Stylish √
  • Comfortable √
  • Fit and Finish √
  • Efficient √
  • Measured Pace X

Fast Facts (Lexus RC - as tested)
  • Max speed: 118 mph
  • 0-62mph: 8.6 secs
  • Combined mpg: 57.6
  • Engine layout: 2494cc 4-cylinder 16v petrol/electric
  • Max. power (PS): 223
  • CO2: 114 g/km         
  • Price: £39,145
Written by motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.
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