Hide and chic
The Lexus coupe has similar equipment at similar money to rivals. There are Luxury, F-Sport and Sports Luxury versions at $64,000, $73,000 and $83,500 respectively. All get leather, heated and ventilated seats, high-end satnav, LED headlights, reverse guide monitor and camera, premium audio and other quality kit. Better yet is the autonomous emergency braking, precollision preparation and active cruise control in all models. Servicing for three years costs $1200. The warranty is four years/100,000km.
The RC200t delivers characteristic Lexus smoothness and quietness that loses nothing in comparison to its rivals. All models have performance suspension and the option of “sport” mode, which makes the throttle response and steering sharper. On the F-Sport and Sport Luxury there’s also a “sport+” mode that firms the suspension for sharper cornering.
The eight-speed direct-shift auto is smooth as silk to the point where you can’t hear or feel it changing up or down. The cabin is stylish and functional in a clinical Lexus way. The front seats are big and supportive but rear seat room is compromised.
It’s engineered to exceed five stars but not ANCAP rated. Safety is helped by plenty of driver assistance equipment. The base Luxury is well endowed in this department and the F-Sport and Sports Luxury have blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert. All versions have eight airbags and the inherent safety from responsive dynamics — steering, brakes, suspension, tyres.
This car makes the RC350 V6 and RC-F V8 superfluous because it’s as quick in real world driving as the V6 and looks the same even with 18-inch wheels instead of 19s. The turbo engine has no lag and throttle response is sharp, despite the weight of 1675kg1750kg. Rear-drive provides its own feel that can’t be matched by front- or all-wheel-drive. From a driver’s perspective, the RC200t is engaging with a semi-sporty feel and plenty of luxury kit.
BMW 420i $68,900, Audi A5 1.8 TFSi $68,200, Benz C200 Coupe $65,900 and Infiniti Q60 Coupe $63,900.
Lexus styling has come a long way in a short time and this one is awesomely desirable. Parked against any of its competitors, the RC200t loses nothing. And it’s a good thing to drive too, perhaps a little too luxury biased but that’s the buyer it is aimed at.