Lexus RC Coupe Will Feature Hybrid Model

As expected, Lexus unveiled its new RC coupe prior at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

This new coupe, available in regular and hybrid form, is scheduled for launch in 2014.

“Our focus is to strengthen the brand’s emotional appeal through our products and RC is another demonstration of this focus,” said Mark Templin, Lexus International executive vice president. “The emotional attachment of a coupe is found in its purity of design and its engaging driving experience, and with RC the engineers have achieved the balance.”

Lexus said in its press release the RC is part of a ride and handling revolution at Lexus, which started with GS mid-size luxury sedan and continued with the new IS sport sedan. The RC is a stand-alone model, rather than a two-door derivative of a sedan. Based on the GS platform, the coupe differs in all dimensions from the GS and IS lines.

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“We developed RC to deliver extra response that exhilarates rather than overwhelms drivers, in keeping with the true spirit of Japanese hospitality, or omotenashi.,” noted Junichi Furuyama, RC and IS chief engineer.

The coupe will be available with two powertrains: the brand’s trusted 3.5-liter V6 teamed with an eight-speed sequential transmission for the RC 350; and the 2.5-liter Lexus Hybrid Drive system for the RC 300h.

The dual injection 3.5-liter V6 gas engine (2GR-FSE) produces 314 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and peak torque of 280 pound-feet at4,800 rpm. This V6 is paired to an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift with paddle shift transmission adapted from the ISF performance sedan.

The hybrid variant – the first Lexus hybrid coupe – uses a dual-injected 2.5-liter four cylinder engine (2AR-FSE) with a 105 kilowatt electric motor driven through an electronic continuously variable transmission with six step gears in a sequential shift-matic feature. Total system output stands at 217 horsepower.

Lexus explained the RC coupe will be offered in rear wheel drive and all-weather drive (AWD), however availability will vary by market.

The company said the RC will feature an updated Spot Monitor and new Remote Touch Interface (RTI). The RC is the first Lexus to adopt the revised Blind Spot Monitor system which detects vehicles that are approaching from behind at a higher speed and from a greater distance than is covered by the current system. The touch-sensitive Lexus Remote Touch Interface for audio and navigation systems is, per Lexus, particularly important in a coupe in which tactile reaction is a desirable part of the driving experience.

Fuel consumption ratings, trim levels and prices have not yet been revealed.

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