Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Torque: 236 lb.-ft.
EPA ratings: 18/city, 24/highway, 21/combined
Base price: $48,540
As tested: $57,230
Overview: With sporty, aggressively handsome styling and full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD), the Lexus RC 300 F-Sport proves that large, performance-oriented luxury coupes remain a viable choice — and worthy competitor — to sporty German two-doors. It originally made its debut in 2014, and little has changed except for an evolved design and improved performance for the sizzling RC F-Sport — our test driver and the vehicle this review will focus on.
Walkaround: The RC F-Sport blends sharp, detailed lines with curves and angles that merge well for a clean profile, creating a look Lexus enthusiasts love — but others, maybe not so much. Defining that look is Lexus’ large, polarizing, signature “spindle” grille. Headlights blend smoothly into the fenders, while body angles are showcased in chrome detailing on the rear-roof pillar. The taillights effortlessly bind the rear end lines together. The RC F-Sport also boasts its own unique wheel designs.
Interior: The dash is mounted low, with horizontal lines. Materials are high quality, with excellent fit and finish. There’s a 7-inch infotainment screen that controls climate, vehicle settings and everything else, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the Mark Levinson PurePlay 17-speaker, 835-watt premium sound system. However, the touchpad controller that operates everything is way too sensitive, often requiring your eyes leaving the road to make sure you got what you wanted. This is a well-known issue across the entire Lexus model lineup utilizing this feature.
The bolstered leather front seats are quite comfortable, with multiple adjustments, and wide enough to accommodate a broad range of drivers. Rear seats are reasonably spacious, but we wouldn’t want to take a trip sitting back there. Plus, access is somewhat troublesome. Folding the rear seat down expands cargo space well beyond the trunk’s moderate 10.4 cubic feet. For a coupe, outward visibility is as good as it gets.
Every RC model includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward-collision warnings, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, active lane control and automatic high-beam headlights.
Under the Hood: Our AWD test driver featured the powerful 3.5-liter V-6 married to a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, delivering 260 horses to the highway with 236 lb.-ft. of torque. There’s also a fire-breathing 472-horse, 5-liter V-8 available.
Behind the Wheel: The RC F-Sport handles corners with great enthusiasm thanks to its stiff suspension — and does it without giving up ride quality. Steering is crisp with good feedback. Braking is excellent, as is acceleration.
Bottom Line: We really liked the RC 300 F-Sport and hated giving it up. It’s exactly the kind of car that fits both our driving dynamic and personal sense of style like a glove. A substantial standard equipment list helps make the Lexus RC 300 F-Sport not only a fun daily driver but a reasonable value in a sporty luxury coupe as well.