Sport Car

2022 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD Is Off the Pace Yet Still Has Appeal

The time period “coupe” has been usurped in recent times for some four-door sedans and even crossovers, however there are nonetheless real two-doors round. The Lexus RC is one, and it actually appears the half with its low-slung proportions and racy, exuberant styling. The F Sport package deal for the RC350 mannequin moreover brings darkish grey trim, a singular grille design, 19-inch wheels, and within the case of our check automobile, an non-obligatory rear spoiler. It is an extroverted look, although one not fairly as dramatic as that of the jaw-dropping Lexus LC. And within the case of the RC350 F Sport AWD examined right here, it arguably overstates the efficiency contained inside.

The RC dates again to 2014, and the automobile’s age is clear in a number of areas. A collection of updates did arrive with the 2019 mannequin 12 months, and the RC rolls into 2022 unchanged from final 12 months. Surprisingly, given this shrinking phase, Lexus nonetheless fields a broad spectrum of RC fashions. They vary from the turbocharged four-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive RC300 to the V-8-powered RC F, which, in Fuji Speedway Version type, can attain six figures. Within the coronary heart of the lineup, you will discover a 3.5-liter V-6 in 260- (RC300 AWD) and 311-hp (RC350) strengths. Lexus has by no means supplied a guide on this automobile. As a substitute, there’s an eight-speed automated within the rear-wheel-drive fashions, whereas the all-wheel-drive variations of the RC300 and RC350 have simply six ahead gears.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

HIGHS: Racy styling, supple journey, a relative discount.

The naturally aspirated V-6 units a barely nostalgic tone from a time earlier than turbocharging and electrical help turned pervasive. This bent-six sounds nice, and there is positively one thing to be mentioned for the progressive throttle response of a naturally aspirated engine. Nonetheless, with 280 pound-feet of torque arriving at 4800 rpm, the beefy 3.5-liter does not have the simple shove of a turbo engine at low revs. On the observe, that interprets to a 60-mph time of 5.6 seconds, which trails far behind its turbocharged six-cylinder rivals from Germany: the Audi S5 at 4.2 seconds and the BMW M440i xDrive at a scorching 3.8 (regardless of the BMW precisely matching the RC’s 3986-pound curb weight). The RC350’s straight-line acceleration places it behind even four-cylinder variations of the Audi and BMW, with the final 430i xDrive mannequin we examined hitting 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and a 2018-model A5 taking 4.9 seconds. Equally, the RC350’s quarter-mile run of 14.1 seconds at 100 mph would have it staring on the taillights of the M440i (12.3 at 112 mph) or the S5 (12.8 at 107 mph).

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

As you would possibly anticipate with simply six ahead gears and three.5 liters of displacement, the all-wheel-drive RC350 additionally does not win any prizes with its gas economic system. EPA estimates are a deeply mediocre 19/26 mpg metropolis/freeway, in opposition to 21/30 mpg for the Audi S5 and 22/31 mpg for the BMW M440i xDrive. We averaged 19 mpg.

Regardless of its underwhelming thrust, the RC350 does not really feel torpid on the road, partly as a result of we spent a lot time in Sport+ mode. It’s normal for the sportiest powertrain mode to lock out the transmission’s uppermost gears, however the RC350 might be pushed in Sport+ with out droning alongside at elevated revs on the freeway, the foremost impact on the powertrain being automated downshifts beneath braking.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

LOWS: Rivals are a lot faster, gas economic system disappoints, touchpad interface is awkward.

The RC’s drive modes, in reality, solely nibble on the edges of the automobile’s dynamic persona. The steering purports to have two totally different ranges of help, however we have been hard-pressed to really feel the distinction. With out wild variances in effort or quickness, there may be as an alternative a pure build-up of pressure as you bend right into a curve and a strong sense of on-center when the highway straightens out. The RC’s pure steering really feel is notably higher than the artificiality of the M440i’s variable-ratio steering or the S5’s non-obligatory Dynamic Steering. On winding two-lanes, the RC is relaxed and fluid, however push it more durable, as we did on the skidpad, and it reveals a very good little bit of understeer. (The rear-drive F Sport will get a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, however not the AWD model.) It in the end posted a middling 0.86 g of grip, and stops from 70 mph required an affordable 162 ft.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

The F Sport has an adaptive variable suspension, but we discovered little distinction between its commonplace and stiffer settings. An upside is that, whereas its German opponents’ firmest settings typically ship a punishing journey on something aside from freshly laid blacktop, the RC is pleasantly nonplussed by lumps and bumps within the highway. Regardless of the F Sport having firmer tuning than the bottom automobile, that is the uncommon sports activities coupe that also serves up a supple journey in its sporty setting, making it tolerable even on the damaged pavement {that a} sudden February thaw brings to the Northeast.

The F Sport–particular entrance seats improve the RC’s consolation quotient. Their deeply curved seatbacks present each plenty of lateral help and a layer of comfortable softness. The driving place is okay, though a large transmission tunnel bulges out beneath the driving force’s proper calf, which some would possibly discover bothersome. The cabin’s quite a few padded surfaces present a Lexus-appropriate stage of plushness, even when the design is extra pedestrian than some. Whereas the entrance seats are a lot comfy, the again seats are cramped even for something greater than a fast jaunt throughout city. Consider the RC’s rear quarters extra as a spot to toss a backpack or a purchasing bag.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

Whereas screen-based instrumentation is now the norm, the RC has a hybrid cluster design with a tachometer rendered on a spherical LCD display that additionally accommodates a digital pace readout. That display lives inside a bodily dial that is central within the show and bracketed by gas and temperature gauges; alternately, the dial can transfer barely to the best, making house for an data display to the left. The dial-plus-screen association is without delay trendy, straightforward to learn, and extra fascinating than a easy flat display. The tach show varies barely primarily based on drive mode; it additionally modifications to orange when engine revs attain 5000 rpm, a neat flourish.

After a lot criticism, Lexus has begun to maneuver away from its touchpad infotainment interface, however the RC nonetheless has it. The excellent news is that you do not have to make use of all of it that a lot. There are bodily knobs and buttons for many audio features and for the local weather controls, plus further buttons on the steering wheel. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are additionally available. The Mark Levinson Audio package deal with navigation ($2725) upgrades the show from a slightly puny 7.0 inches to a modern-size 10.3-inch unit.

Michael SimariAutomotive and Driver

Typical of coupes, rear visibility just isn’t nice; good factor a complete array of driver assists is commonplace, together with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Our check automobile was additionally optioned with triple-beam LED headlights ($1160), which do a incredible job lighting up the evening and peering round curves on darkish two-lane roads.

The aforementioned choices, plus a handful of others, put the entire for our RC350 F Sport AWD check automobile at $59,995, up from a beginning value of $52,555. You’d pay extra for a six-cylinder, all-wheel-drive coupe from any of the German automakers: some $4000 extra for an Audi S5, $7000 extra for a BMW M440i xDrive, and $9000 extra for a Mercedes C43. Solely the Infiniti Q60 is cheaper.

Although its newer opponents outshine the RC350 F Sport in a number of goal measures, the Lexus just isn’t with out its charms. It is a grand tourer that, regardless of its appears, emphasizes consolation greater than absolute efficiency. And as with a well-worn pair of denims, generally there’s enchantment within the not-so-new.

Specs

Specs

2022 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD

Car Sort: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $52,555/$59,995

Choices: Mark Levinson audio package deal with navigation, $2725; LED headlamps, $1160; energy moonroof, $1100; Infrared paint; $595; park help, $500; illuminated door sills, $450; rear spoiler, $410; heated steering wheel, $150; door edge guards, $140; carpet trunk mat, $120; rear bumper applique, $90

ENGINE

DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port and direct gas injection

Displacement: 211 in3, 3456 cm3

Energy: 311 hp @ 6600 rpm

Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed automated

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: management arms/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 14.0-in vented disc/12.7-in vented disc

Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL450

235/40R-19 92V M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 107.5 in

Size: 185.0 in

Width: 72.4 in

Peak: 55.1 in

Passenger Quantity: 82 ft3

Trunk Quantity: 10 ft3

Curb Weight: 3986 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 5.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 14.1 sec @ 100 mph

130 mph: 26.6 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 6.0 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.7 sec

Prime Pace (gov ltd): 132 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 162 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.86 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Noticed: 19 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 22/19/26 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED


2022 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD Is Off the Pace Yet Still Has Appeal

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