Is this nip-tuck enough to keep the RC competitive?
While BMW stormed into the 2018 Paris Motor Show with an all-new 3 Series, Lexus is showing off a facelifted version of its RC Coupe. Lexus has given the RC a minor refresh for the 2019 model year in order to keep it competitive with fresher models from Audi and Mercedes, as well as the closely approaching next-generation BMW 4 Series.
Lexus fans will notice a new front fascia with a revised grille and new headlights that house the LED DRLs in one unit instead of separately. The RC rides on new 19-inch, LC-inspired wheels and will come in 10 different exterior colors including a new one called Blue Vortex Metallic. Along with the exterior changes, Lexus has also revealed changes to the interior and what will sit under the hood.
The base RC 300 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sending 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Adding all-wheel-drive actually changes the engine to a 3.5-liter V6 with 260 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the RC 350 comes with the same V6, producing 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The AWD RC 300 uses a six-speed automatic, but all other models use an eight-speed unit.
While the engines haven't changed much, Lexus says it has fine-tuned the suspension and powertrain and recalibrated the electronic power steering. None of these changes are revolutionary but should help keep the RC fresh.
Lexus will finally offer Apple Car Play and Amazon Alexa integration, though Android Auto continues to be absent. Buyers will be able to choose from six different interior combinations including Glazed Caramel, Playa, and Black. F Sport interiors will be available in Circuit Red, Black with Yellow Accents, and White.
2019 models will arrive at dealerships in November with prices starting at $41,145 for the RC 300 RWD. The RC 300 AWD costs $43,835, while the RC 350 RWD and AWD models cost $44,075 and $46,240, respectively. Lexus hasn't announced the 2019 RC F as of yet, which is expected to pack more power than the 2018 model from a revised 5.0-liter V8.