Lexus RC 2016
The RC coupe brings sexy back to Lexus, with a blend of style and performance that has been lacking in the brand’s recent offerings. The RC200t offers a 241-hp turbo four with rear-drive and an eight-speed automatic. The RC300 has a 255-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive with a six-speed automatic; the RC350 has a 306-hp V-6 and rear-drive with an eight-speed automatic; all-wheel drive is optional and has a six-speed automatic. The F Sport adds adaptive dampers, special gauges and interior trim.
With a starting price of $40,935, the RC200t comes in $2625 under the RC300 and $2795 less than the RC350. Our test car was enriched by the $4105 F Sport package, which contains performance items (firmer suspension, upgraded brakes, 19-inch wheels with summer tires), luxury goodies (heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert), and spicier visuals. It also packed a premium audio system and navigation ($2610), $1000 worth of safety assists, a $460 limited-slip differential, and orange brake calipers ($300). Our RC200t rang the register at $49,410.
Backing up this engine is any transmission you’d like—as long as you prefer an eight-speed automatic. (The A5, 4-series, and ATS all still offer manual transmissions.) To its credit, this well-behaved gearbox can be paddle-shifted when the driver feels frisky. Disabling stability control (which must be done with the car stopped) grants the driver full authority over upshifts.