2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport introduced prior to Geneva Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 28, 2014

Prior to the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Lexus unveiled the 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport. Based on the RC 350 Coupe, the new Lexus comes with exclusive design elements, which are enhanced by driving performances. According to the Japanese company, the RC 350 F Sport’s dynamic upgrades include Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and the available Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system.

In terms of design, the RC F Sport comes with the model-specific ‘F’ mesh design, unique 19-inch F Sport mesh alloy wheels which feature machine-finish and dark metallic paint. Three additional colours –White Nova, Orange and Blue- are exclusive to the F Sport model range. The four-seat interior features F Sport perforated leather steering wheel and shift knob, an F Sport-exclusive Rioja Red interior and seats with unique contrast stitching.

As we said, the RC 350 F Sport comes with the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which is able to automatically and independently adjust the performance of the damping at all four wheels. When the vehicle’s SPORT+ drive mode is selected, AVS changes to allow the driver to feel improved body control and precise responses to steering input. The Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system offers the integration of Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS).

Using VGRS in the front and DRS in the rear, the system manages both front and rear wheel steering angles in order to improve the turn-in response, rear grip and vehicle control as well as the overall agility when cornering. The LDH monitors the vehicle speed and yaw rate, steering angle and speed, and lateral G to calculate the required rear wheel steering input up to a maximum rear wheel angle of 2.0 degrees.

This means that the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions at lower speeds and in the same direction at higher speeds. Under the hood, there is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 306 hp (236 kW) @ 6,400 rpm and 227 lb-ft (375 Nm) of torque @ 4,800 rpm.

Press Release

2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

Based on the striking Lexus RC, the RC 300h F Sport and the RC 350 F Sport will feature exclusive, even more sporting and aggressive exterior and interior design features, and enhanced driving dynamics.

Building on the Lexus enhanced ride and handling characteristics delivered by the RC and the GS and IS models before it, the F Sport's dynamic upgrades take the form of exclusively tuned front and rear suspension systems, the availability of Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) with the SPORTS+ driving mode and the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system, providing drivers with an even more rewarding and engaging driving experience.

STUNNING TWO-DOOR COUPE EXTERIOR DESIGN

The design features a compact cabin contrasted by aggressively flared wings and body contours etched with deeply sweeping lines.

Readily identified by a model-specific 'F' mesh design, the front of F Sport models features a further evolution of the Lexus spindle grille. Befitting the coupe's styling flair, the grille is wider and lower than that of other Lexus models. Perfectly integrating design and function, it incorporates both fog lamps and air intakes for brake cooling.

The RC's compact, triangular headlamp design evokes the sporting characteristics of the LF-LC concept. Each light cluster in the simultaneously-illuminating, three-lamp design contains both high and low beam lamps. The Lexus trademark L-shaped design of the low beam lamps combines with the independently located LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to give the new RC an aggressive, sporting and entirely unique visual signature.

The sharp, narrow design of the rear combination lamp also adopts a new evolution of the Lexus L-shaped motif. Previous designs have presented this motif as a graphic element within the lamp unit. By contrast, the RC unit raises the tail and stop lamps to form a strongly three-dimensional L-shape.

In addition, the seamless lighting method of previous models has been replaced by a glittering, gem-like illumination created by an inner lens with multi-layered surface serrations, awarding RC models an equally unique rear light signature.

The new Lexus RC may be fitted with a choice of 5-spoke 18" or 10-spoke 19" aluminium alloy wheels. The F Sport model range combines model-specific badging with a unique 19" F Sport alloy wheel design which features an outer, machine-finished 10-spoke layer offset over an inner 10-spoke layer finished in a dark metallic paint.

The RC will be available in a choice of 7 exterior colours, including a new Red which features an innovative painting process. The multi-layered process includes a silver base coat which gives the paint brighter highlights and darker shading for a deeper, richer finish. Three additional colours - White Nova, Orange and Blue- are exclusive to the F Sport model range.

UNIQUE INTERIOR DESIGN

The new RC interior is strongly influenced by Lexus' recent sports concept vehicles. Highlighting the sporting elegance of a coupe, makes maximum use of contrasting colours, materials and lighting.

A purpose-built, Lexus-first lighting package features unique, upward rather than downward reflecting ambient illumination, enveloping the cabin. High contrast interior colours accentuate the layered design of the centre console and door trim, and genuine Shimamoku wood highlights -the result of a painstaking, layered wood production technique refined by Lexus- are used to emphasise the surrounding trim.

Contrast stitching to the seats, centre console trim and generous knee pads adds a high quality accent to the interior design whilst further enhancing the holding performance of the seat upholstery.

The snug, highly-focused driver's cockpit is divided into Operational and Display zones. The upper, Display zone houses the instrument panel and a 7" display screen, whilst the lower, Operation zone features a layered centre console which integrates the new Lexus' Remote Touch Interface (RTI).

An exclusive, highly supportive sports seat design uses an 'integrated foaming' construction method, allowing for the moulding of large concave surfaces with no gaps between the seat upholstery and the foam padding to combine excellent comfort with outstanding lateral holding performance.

F Sport models inherit a descendant of the innovative LFA driver's meter with a moving centre ring, and an F Sport steering wheel and shift knob finished in perforated leather. The F Sport-exclusive interior design is completed by Wedge Metal ornamentation, which uses thinly machined metal sections with a precision, 3D surface treatment, aluminium pedals and scuff plates and sporting black roof lining.

The interior may be finished in a total of 5, high-brightness and high-contrast colour schemes, including a newly developed Clove, which accentuates the sporting elegance of the cabin, and an F Sport-exclusive Dark Rose finish.

SUPERB DRIVING DYNAMICS

It is Lexus' objective to significantly improve the ride and handling of their vehicles, offering its customers a more sporting and engaging driving experience. And the new RC builds on the improvements already realised in the GS and IS model ranges.

The foundation of the RC's agility and high levels of mechanical grip is its high rigidity body, which features large cross-section rocker panels almost twice the size of those in the new IS, and a highly rigid front lower brace connecting the left and right sides of the underbody. Numerous specialised Lexus manufacturing techniques further enhance rigidity, including body adhesives, laser-screw welding and additional spot welding.

Both the front double wishbone and rear multi-link suspension systems have been exclusively tuned for F Sport models, enhancing RC handling performance without detriment to ride quality.

An Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system is available with the F Sport package.

The AVS allows the driver to fine tune the F Sport's ride characteristics with a choice of two damper settings; NORMAL, for everyday driving comfort, and SPORT, for improved body control and precise responses to steering input while cornering. In response to driving operation, vehicle body motion and road surface conditions, AVS automatically adjusts the performance of the suspension at all four wheels independently activates the adjustable damping force shock absorbers to fulfil a wide range of specific control functions such as increasing the difference between inner and outer shock absorber damping through corners to further reduce vehicle roll.

The suspension enhancements of RC 350 F Sport model are complimented by the four-wheel steering benefits of the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system. This leading edge platform technology integrates the vehicle's Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS), coordinating every aspect of front and rear wheel control to provide agile, sharp and confident driving behaviour with a more direct response to the driver's actions.

Monitoring vehicle speed, steering direction and driver inputs, LDH calculates the optimum angle for all four wheels. Using VGRS to the front and DRS to the rear, the system can independently control both front and rear wheel steering angles to greatly improve turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle stability and overall agility when cornering.

The DRS system monitors vehicle speed and yaw rate, steering angle and speed, and lateral G force to calculate the required steering input. The front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions at lower speeds, and in the same direction at higher speeds.

The RC F Sport features an upgraded LDH system in which, when steering in the opposite direction at initial turn-in, the maximum angle of the rear wheels has been increased for even greater responsiveness and agility.

Comprehensive aerodynamic measures, most notably to the underbody, and the introduction of ducts and aero-stabilising fins to the front bumper, further contribute to the high speed stability of the RC model range.

TWO ADVANCED POWERTRAINS

The full hybrid variant, the RC 300h, combines a 2.5 litre, dual-injection 4-cylinder petrol engine generating 178 DIN hp/131 kW at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 221 Nm between 4,200 and 4,800 rpm with a 143 DIN hp/105 kW electric motor, delivering maximum system power of 220 DIN hp/162 kW.

The hybrid system's electronic continuously variable transmission features a six step, sequential shiftmatic manual override gear change. This configuration delivers all the driving engagement expected of a sporting coupe, combined with the excellent fuel economy that is the hallmark of Lexus Hybrid Drive.

The RC 350 is equipped with a 3.5 litre, direct-injection V6 which produces maximum power of 318 DIN hp/234 kW at 6,400 rpm and peak torque of 380 Nm at 4,800 rpm, delivering optimum power and responsive acceleration throughout the rev band.

The V6 unit is mated to a further evolution of Lexus 8-speed Sport Direct Shift (SDS) sequential transmission with manual override, adapted from the IS F. The transmissions shift control has been enhanced to respond precisely to even the slightest changes in accelerator pedal operation and, in Manual mode, full torque converter lock-up from second to eighth gears allows for ultra-fast down changes in just 0.2 of a second.

RC drivers further benefit from an intake sound generator which creates a more sporting engine note. The sound creator uses a muffler to emphasise the depth of sound when starting off, and a damper that amplifies the vibration of the intake pulse under acceleration, introducing it as a pleasing note into the cabin to heighten the sporting driving experience.

STATE-OF- THE-ART TECHNOLOGY

The new RC model range incorporates the latest advances in HMI (Human Machine Interface) technology in the form of a new, touch-operated Remote Touch Interface (RTI), and is the first Lexus model to incorporate an upgraded Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) safety system.

A new, touch-sensitive Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device offers the driver simple, fast and intuitive multimedia system operation. Simply moving a finger over the panel's surface moves the cursor, and pressing down on it enters the selection.

An integrated feedback function vibrates the surface of the touch pad when the cursor moves over an icon, allowing the driver to confirm cursor movement without looking at the display.

Illuminated to create a three-dimensional appearance after dark, the touch pad has a wide operating area, and features a pleasing surface texture specially developed to ensure smooth finger movement that never feels sticky or rough during operation.

An upgraded Lexus Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) system detects vehicles that are approaching the rear of the car at a higher speed and from a greater distance. When the BSM system detects other vehicles travelling behind the RC, an indicator light in the corresponding mirror alerts the driver to the presence of such a vehicle.

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