2019 Lexus RC Debuts in Paris with Hot, LC-inspired Looks
Significant changes on the outside, the same enginesby Ciprian Florea, on
After four years on the market, the first-generation Lexus RC went through a comprehensive restyling. Spotted many times on public roads in 2018, the Japanese coupe finally made its production debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
Inspired by the big LC
Although it’s just a mid-cycle refresh, the exterior sports notable changes, most of them inspired by the flagship LC model.
Up front, the familiar Spindle grille was revised to include a new mesh, while the square cutouts at the bottom were removed for a more cohesive look.
Lexus also raised the bottom frame of the grille to make way for a slim vent and a proper splitter at the bottom.
The corners of the bumper were redesigned too and now resemble those of the LC. Sure, the RC doesn’t have the same trim piece that trickles down from the headlamps toward the splitter, but the bumper was reshaped to suggest the same design. The outlets are a bit larger too and probably feed more air to the brakes.
The headlamps mark the biggest departure from the outgoing model, as Lexus ditched the hockey stick LED lights under the main lamps.
The DRLs were integrated into the headlamps, which are now bigger and feature a more organic design. Also, the round bulbs are gone, replaced by a stack of three LED lights placed toward the outer edge. The V-shaped LEDs give the coupe a more aggressive look when turned on, also complementing the grilles sharp design.
Not much has changed around the sides save for the optimized mirror caps and revised wheels, but the RC looks as hot as they get thanks to its prominent beltline and muscular rear haunches. Bigger changes are in store around back, where the taillights look significantly bigger. Their outer and inner edges look more refined, with the latter extending all the way into the frame of the license plate recess. The center part of the taillight now extends toward the bumper too. The latter mimics the design of the front bumper thanks to bigger, deeper vents.
The interior isn't as spectacular as far as upgrades go, but Lexus made a few notable changes.
The heater control and audio panels have a brushed finish for a more premium look, while the knee pads that flank the center console are larger. There’s also a reshaped driver’s palm rest with a stitching pattern and an analog clock identical to the one in the LC high on the dashboard. You can now choose between five ornamentation options, including real aluminum Naguri and brushed metal for the RC F Sport model. New interior colors include Mustard and Ochre, the latter borrowed from the flagship LC coupe.
Nothing New Under the Hood
Sadly, there's no extra power to the talk about, but the RC is far from disappointing given that the 5.0-liter V-8 in the F model cranks out 467 horsepower.
Granted, the RC300 isn’t as powerful at 241 horses, but it’s still a solid alternative to the competition. The RC350 bridges the gap with a V-6 rated at 311 horsepower. But while the engines carry over unchanged, Lexus did revise the suspension and the steering to make it sportier and more responsive than ever.
Stay tuned for a full review of this car.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Lexus RC.
Read up on the previous 2015-2018 Lexus RC
Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LC 500.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Lexus RC F Sport.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Lexus RC F GT.