Lexus RC 350 F-Sport

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Some of the most striking new features on the RC coupé are the headlights that now include a cornering function in a redesigned spindle grille with brake ducts that emphasise the RC’s aggressive stance.

By RUBIN VAN NIEKERK

Aesthetically pleasing changes to the rear incorporates new air ducts on the bumper and tail lamps while the new 19-inch alloy wheels blend beautifully with the elegant silhouette of the coupé. Interior changes include a brushed metal surface around the audio controls, larger knee pads and stitched leather detailing. Ten different colours and interior detailing adds many options to buyers who enjoy individuality. Typically, everything is standard, and the best-in-class 7-year maintenance plan bolsters future value significantly. Our test unit came in a new black that really sparkles and contrasted well with a striking red interior. The best thing about the well-designed cabin is that none of the surfaces reflect sunlight into your eyes. 

An Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) has new shock absorbers and the electronically controlled damping force significantly improves the absorption rate on bad roads. Sport S+ Mode engagement stiffens the suspension for a sportier drive and greater stability. Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) on the front wheels and Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) on the rear wheels work in conjunction with an electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering (EPS) to provide superior straight-line stability with responsive steering. VGRS means less actual steering is required at parking speeds, while high speed driving gives a firm steering feel.

The engaging 3,5-litre V6 engine is mated to an 8-speed transmission with close gear ratios to enhance performance and economy. You have a choice between D Mode (automatic) or M Mode that allows manual shifting. Linking the transmission to the Lexus Drive Mode Select Function with Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport-S + settings means you can radically change the car’s character.

This grand tourer loves long bends and a G-Forces sensor finds ideal gear engagement to maximise speed out of corners after substantial braking. A low centre of gravity and body-hugging seats keep you stable during spirited driving. A 60-40 split rear seat allows items of up to 1,5 metres to be loaded and is conveniently controlled via a lever in the boot. A powerful speaker system features Quantum Logic Immersion, which is the most sophisticated 3D audio technology available. Upward facing indirect door illumination creates a welcoming ambience and dims to an appropriate level during driving. 

Exceptional levels of safety features include 8 airbags and head impact absorbing structures in each pillar and roof head lining. An Auto High Beam system automatically dims the LED headlights for oncoming traffic or when you approach preceding vehicles, making night driving a pleasure. In fact, any driving in the RC is something to behold, whether in town or heading for the wide-open spaces and releasing the horses indulges you with a whole set of divine aural sensations.

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