Lexus RC goes turbo

BY CHARL BOSCH - JUNE 30, 2016

Claimed to be the epitome of a luxury grand tourer, Lexus has bolstered its RC range with the addition of an entry-level forced induction model to supplement the normally flagship V6.

Originally launched in conjunction with the RC 350 last year, the new RC 200t EX also serves as the starting point in the international RC model line-up, with the fire breathing RC F and hybrid RC 300h unlikely to become available in South Africa soon.

Aside from its new heart, the 200t remains largely unchanged from the 350 visually, featuring the latest iteration of Lexus’ L-finesse design language consisting of its now trademark spindle grille, oversized chrome badge and L-shaped LED’s at the base of the headlights.

Underneath the skin, the 200t continues to ride the same, albeit slightly stiffened, platform as the GS sedan, but does without the 350’s trick Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) systems in favour of a “conventional” unassisted setup as well as new coil springs, suspension uprights, dampers and bushings.

Taking pride of the place up front, motivation now comes from same twin-scroll 2.0-litre 8AR-FTS turbocharged petrol engine used in the IS, GS and NX, with power being rated at 180 kW and torque at 350 N.m. As with the 350, the 200t also features Lexus’ Drive Mode Selector, which allows for the choosing of four settings; ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT +.

An eight-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles again drives the rear wheels with Lexus claiming a 0-100 km/h sprint of 7.5 secs and top speed of 230 km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 8.0 L/100 km and emissions at 186 g/km.

In typical Lexus fashion, standard spec is comprehensive and includes a 10-speaker Pioneer sound system with USB, Aux and Bluetooth streaming, satellite navigation, reverse camera, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, ventilated front seats, Hill Assist Control, Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management, Blind Spot Monitor, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control and Park Distance Control.

A four year / 100 000 km maintenance plan is included in the RC 200t EX’s R699 100 asking price.