The final 2015 Lexus RC350 F Sport looks **thisclose** to as sexy and fast as the top-flight RC-F — which is a great thing for buyers and Lexus sales alike.
Available AWD is new to the RC350, as is the paddle-shifted automatic with eight gears, the latest adaptive suspension with adjustable settings, and an all-new four-wheel-steering setup. Very promising indeed!
The only change visible on this pre-production car is a lack of the LED low and high-beams shown on the final concepts, plus missing parking sensors. These two features are likely to be options on customer cars when they start arriving in ~December of 2014 as the 2015 model year.
The Pebble Beach (pre-production) 2015 RC-F in red does not yet include the LED lighting (yet) either.
2015 Lexus RC350 F Sport
At a time when a variety of extremely competent machines are close, close behind the BMW 435i: the Lexus RC certainly represents the most focused effort to date.
This broad strategy now ranges from the base RC coupes, to the RC350 F Sport, up to the Goliath RC F. But is that the top of the range?
Oh no. Not this time.
The RC GT3 takes all the torque-vectored rear-drive promise of the RC F — then strips out all the cushy luxury every Lexus generally delivers in spades.
The RC350 F Sport promises a highly engaging rear-drive layout even without the full torque-vectored rear diff. How?
A variable rack on the steering is tight, responsive and pin-prick accurate to driver demands.
To help the RC350 F Sport chomp corners like the best BMWs, it also employs a next-gen rear-steering setup called Dynamic Rear Steering.
This rear-steer is a far cry from the original systems by reacting faster and with more turn-in crispness than the 1990s-style RWS that were so popular in Japan (…but almost nowhere else).
The old setups were slow-witted and unpredictable on the limit.
These new RWS setups are also employed on various Porsche Turbo models in the future — which is a strong vote in favor of their track efficacy.
The standard RC350 and RC 350 F Sport is likely the best of all worlds for most shoppers.
Yes, the RC F bellows like an LF-A on throttle — but it may cost a similar amount to keep on the road over the years.
(This is no fault of Lexus: bubble-gum-like tires and everything else simply needs more aggressive servicing schedules.)
For big-mile commuters? The RC350 F Sport packs much of the visual drama of the F cars, but in a friendlier and more approachable (read: affordable) package.
High-Res 2015 Lexus RC350 Gallery
But what if you must have the hottest new Lexus performance chassis now? 2014 IS350 F Sport sedan to the rescue!
Official details from Lexus below.
IT’S A TRIFECTA! – F SPORT COMPLETES ALL-NEW LEXUS RC COUPE LINE-UP
RC 350 F SPORT joins RC 350 and RC F for 2015 Model Year
Adaptive Variable Suspension Adjusts Damping to Help Maximize Agility
19-Inch Alloy Wheels Complement More Aggressive Exterior and Interior Design Features
February 28, 2014
GENEVA – Feb. 28, 2014 – And F SPORT makes three. Driving enthusiasts, get ready for more Lexus RC options from which to choose. When the all-new model launches in the U.S. this fall the 2015 Lexus RC 350 F SPORT will join the recently introduced RC 350 sport coupe and RC F performance model.
The RC 350 F SPORT will make its world debut at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show.
The RC is a stand-alone model rather than a two-door derivative of a sedan although it is built on the GS sedan platform. It has the same width as GS and a shorter wheelbase than the IS sedan to help achieve spirited handling and agility.
The RC 350 F SPORT, based on the RC 350, will feature exclusive design elements and enhanced driving performance.
The F SPORT’s dynamic upgrades include Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and the available Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system. These features provide drivers with an even more rewarding and engaging driving experience.
Readily identified by a model-specific “F” mesh design, the RC 350 F SPORT features a further evolution of the Lexus spindle grille.
The unique 19-inch F SPORT mesh alloy wheels feature machine-finish and dark metallic paint.
The RC 350 F SPORT also inherits a descendant of the innovative LFA driver’s meter with a moving center ring, and an F SPORT perforated leather steering wheel and shift knob. The interior design is completed by Silver Performance trim, an F SPORT-exclusive Rioja Red interior and seats with unique contrast stitching.
Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is part of the F SPORT package. In response to driving operation, vehicle body motion and road surface conditions, AVS automatically and independently adjusts the performance of the damping at all four wheels. When the vehicle’s SPORT+ drive mode is selected, AVS changes to allow the driver to feel improved body control and precise responses to steering input.
RC350 GT3 Concept Gallery
The suspension enhancements of the RC 350 F SPORT are complimented by the available four-wheel steering benefits of the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system. This leading edge platform technology offers the integration of Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS).
Monitoring vehicle speed, steering direction and driver inputs, the system calculates the optimum angle for all four wheels. Using VGRS in the front and DRS in the rear, the system can independently manage both front and rear wheel steering angles to help improve turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle control and overall agility when cornering.
The LDH system monitors vehicle speed and yaw rate, steering angle and speed, and lateral G to calculate the required rear wheel steering input up to a maximum rear wheel angle of 2.0 degrees. The front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions at lower speeds, and in the same direction at higher speeds.
Lexus will introduce the RC 350 F SPORT at a press conference on March 4, at 8:45 a.m. Central European Time at Palexpo’s hall 4, stand number 4211.
RC 350 F SPORT Length 184.8 in. Height / mm 54.9 in. Width / mm 72.4 in. Wheelbase / mm 107.5 in. Seating capacity persons 4 Driven wheels Rear-wheel drive Engine type 2GR-FSE Cylinders V6 Horsepower 306 hp @ 6,400 rpm Torque 277 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm Transmission 8AT Suspension Front: Double Wishbone
Rear: Multilink# # #
Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. Lexus is now going beyond its reputation for high quality vehicles with the integration of innovative technology, emotional exterior and interior designs, and engaging driving dynamics and performance. With five models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F models, including the LFA supercar, for top-of-the-line performance. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 233 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.