FRANSCHOEK, Western Cape - The real coupe has arrived and Lexus South Africa has claimed the title with cheeky confidence. Meet the Lexus RC F Sport with killer looks and a beast under the bonnet that will make everyone do a double take.
Lexus, to me, has always been a premium and sophisticated brand. Yes the cars are always refined, the facia is neat and tidy and the drive is smooth. And, yes, I’ve been a fan of the IS350, but that car lacked the grunt usually associated with sportier cars.
The 3.5-litre V6 RC Coupe and its 233kW/380Nm have been fiercely anticipated and its arrival in South Africa has been welcomed with a pre-order of 60 units.
BUT HOW DOES IT DRIVE?
Like a freakin' dream. All I wanted to do was put foot to the throttle and because the car has an intake sound generator which makes the RC F Sport have an even more assertive engine tone.
The steering is light but firm and because the front chassis is 15% stiffer than that of the GS you really feel confident behind the wheel and it made me eagerly want to chuck it into the corners of the glorious Franschhoek Pass. It kicks out a yummy 233kW from 6400rpm and 378Nm from 4800rpm. It sprints to 100km/h in 6.3sec and can reach 230km/h.
I also love that although it hardly looks like one the car is a four-seater. Boot space is a big, even though it’s a coupe. Luggage space is always appreciated: this Lexus can take six luggage bags for two women, or two huge golf bags.
There are also six new colours in the range including a new shade of red and blue. There are way too many things to write about so here’s a quick list of all the standard goodies, including driving assistant systems:
• Drive mode choice (eco, normal, sport, sport plus)
• Adaptive variable suspension
• Variable gear-ratio steering
• Dynamic rear steering
• Lane departure alert
• Auto high beam
• LED head and fog lights
• Smooth leather-accented interior
• Eight-way power-steering column adjustment
• Power front seats with memories, heatable ventilated seats
• Smart entry and start
• Satellite navigation
• 18cm multimedia display
• Reversing camera
• Third-generation Lexus touch navigation pad
•10-speaker audio system with Advanced Bluetooth and USB input
• Parking sonar front and rear
• Eight crash bags
• 19” twin 10-spoke F Sport alloy rims
• Electrochromatic mirrors (internal and external)
• Electrostatic aircon (touch sensitive)
• 60:40 folding rear seats
• Power moonroof
As usual with a Lexus vehicle, there are few options as everything comes standard. And there’s only one model for now so expect to pay R730 900.
The RC 350 F Sport comes with a four-year or 100 000km full maintenance plan and a four-year or 100 000km warranty.
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