Last month I drove over to Pirate Radio with my latest test car, the 2015 Lexus RC-350 F Sport, which was painted Ultra white and featured a red leather interior. Pirate Radio is FM 104.7 in Greeley, and the car was there to be analyzed by the DJ’s, George Gray and Matt Arguello. Their impression of the Lexus was positive, and if they had driven it they would have really gotten excited.
I took care of the driving of the RC-350 for a week and can report that the Lexus is a solid, smooth performer with enough horsepower (306) to accelerate to 60 mph in under 6 seconds. In the past I have driven the Lexus RC-F, which is identical except for the engine, and of course it was excellent, as well. The power in the RC-F was a V-8, so performance was more exhilarating.
What I will say about the RC-350, the subject of this evaluation, is that with the V-6 in it the performance was very satisfying, in somewhat of a surprise. I expected it to pale in comparison (to the V-8), and that was not the case. In it (the RC-350) is a 3.5 liter, 306 horsepower unit with 277 lb. ft. of torque. The ultra-smooth power plant features 24 valves, dual overhead cams, direct/port injection, and variable valve timing. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic with floor shift and paddles on the steering column. Top speed of this rear-wheel drive car is reportedly 155 mph. As for fuel economy, the automobile rates 28 mpg highway, 19 mpg city, and a combined figure of 22 mpg. The tank holds 17.4 gallons.
Inside the four-passenger coupe is leather seating for four adults. It was upholstered in a dramatic red material with intricate stitching, and black accents were employed successfully throughout the cabin. The F Sport has badging on the steering wheel (on fenders, as well) and alloy foot pedals are on hand. Four driving modes are accessible when operating the RC, and they are normal, eco, sport, and sport+. When in sport+, the dash output changes to red accents and a large tachometer/digital speedometer. The ride is great and visibility is about as good as can be expected considering the sporty performance and design.
Lexus has knocked it out of the park with regards to styling of the RC-350, which in the case of my test car featured an Ultra White metallic paint job. Fifteen-spoke two-toned 19″ alloy wheels were fitted with Bridgestone Potenza 235/40R19 (265/35R19 on the rear axle) summer radials. When I’m testing a vehicle with different size tires on the front and the rear, I know I have my hands on a hot rod. The large black “spindle” grill is out front, a spoiler is integrated into the trunk (10.4 cubic ft.), and stainless exhaust finishers are under the rear fascia.
M.S.R.P. of the Lexus RC-350 F Sport is $54,220.00, including a base price of $42,790.00, fog lights ($410.00), F Sport package ($3,985.00), navigation/audio ($2,610.00), intuitive park assist (500.00), moonroof ($1,100.00), and variable gear ratio steering ($1,900.00). Freight was $925.00.
The RC-350 is a surprising value, as performance coupes go, and with its stellar styling and interior appointments, I would recommend it to a prospect in the sector.