Sporty, stylish, and with a wild option that’s almost ready for a race track, the 2020 Lexus RC is a reminder that coupes can be compelling choices.
Overall, we rate this remarkably broad two-door lineup at 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This year, the lineup includes RC 300, RC 350, and RC F versions powered by turbo-4, V-6, and V-8 engines. Base RC 300s make use of a mild 2.0-liter turbo-4 that won’t excite, though the slightly more powerful V-6 included with the RC 300 all-wheel drive is more entertaining. RC 350s live up to the car’s brash, unapologetic styling with a 311-horsepower V-6 that shuttles power either rearward or to all four corners. In F Sport guise with the standard adaptive suspension and optional limited-slip rear differential, the RC 350 can prove a proper thoroughbred. The RC F Sport’s adaptive suspension takes big bumps in stride, largely negating its sportier tires and larger wheels. Base cars ride a little softer but aren’t cushy cruisers by any stretch.
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The real muscle machine here is the RC F and its screaming 472-hp V-8 engine, which gets a boost of 5-hp over the 2019 model. The rear-drive design and sporty tires won’t be for everyone. Neither will the RC F Track Edition, which gets a carbon fiber hood, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, titanium muffler, and more performance upgrades for sustained track days.
The four-seat coupe’s interior isn’t a spacious place for the family, but you probably knew that if you were looking to buy a coupe. Front-seat riders are treated to comfortable, multi-adjustable seats, a good view out, and, unfortunately, a lousy infotainment interface. On the bright side, materials are excellent, and the RC can be had in a wide array of interior and exterior hues that help ensure buyers that they probably won’t see an identical RC, well, ever.
The RC has done well in crash tests and comes with the expected array of collision-avoidance tech. Fuel economy is a sore point, however, especially with the V-6 engine that we otherwise strongly recommend. If you’re looking for RC F justification, it’s actually a hair thriftier than the V-6, depending on how you drive it.