Aggressiveness and dynamism blend together into one bold, sensual package as Lexus Manila unveils not one, but two additions to its growing line-up: the RC and RCF. Engineered as a standalone model as opposed to being simply a two-door derivative of an existing sedan model, the RC and RCF have been honed on the world’s most famous race tracks. And now, they are ready to attack the streets of Manila.
The all-new RC brings a stronger emotional expression from Lexus with its wide stance, short wheelbase and large diameter tires. The trademark Lexus spindle grille serves as the main focal point and is the anchor from which all the other lines spread throughout the entire exterior. It’s also the lowest and widest application yet of the unique design feature. It sits wide at 1,840 millimeters to accommodate 18-inch tires while the 2,730 millimeter wheelbase and 4,695 millimeter length contribute to an unmistakably athletic appearance. The new LED headlamps also create an unique signature at night while providing excellent night-time visibility.
The super high-performance RCF meanwhile sits wider, lower, and longer than the RC while maintaining the same wheelbase. It is five millimeters wider because of its flared and laser-brazed wheel arches, ten millimeters longer due to the packaging of its rear aerodynamic devices, and five millimeters longer. Every bit of the RCF’s exterior is rooted in performance with everything contributing to positive aerodynamic benefit. The graduated mesh pattern within the RCF’s spindle grille hides cooling ducts and oil coolers. The large L-shaped cooling outlet adds further cooling functions. The hood has been raised to accommodate the larger engine while the active four-link rear wing (inspired by the LFA) directs airflow for better high-speed aerodynamics. The carbon fiber roof manages to lower the center of gravity.
The RC sits on a unique chassis built from an amalgam of at least three other Lexus vehicles. The front-end is based off the highly-acclaimed Lexus GS which sets new standards for stiffness and chassis response; the center is from the Lexus ISC whose large rocker panel contributes to high body rigidity; while the rear is derived from the Lexus IS.
The RCF goes a step further and utilizes all the knowledge and features Lexus has acquired through the years. It uses unique fit-for-purpose suspension, brakes, steering, and wheels. It features several additional braces and stiffeners in the floor, engine compartment, and rear partition. The rear suspension member mounts have also been strengthened to ensure maximum traction. The RCF also uses mixed ratio tires with 255/35R19 in the front and 275/35R19 in the back mounted on 10-spoke forged alloy wheels.
Providing spirited performance in the RC is the 2GR-FSE 3.5-liter V6 generating 312 horsepower and 378 Nm of torque. Featuring dual variable valve timing (VVT-i) and direct-injection (D-4S), this powerplant promises to also be quiet and fuel efficient. The RC features a newly developed muffler system that emphasizes the engine sound when accelerating and a new intake sound generator that further enhances aural appeal. This award-winning powerplant is mated to an eight-speed automatic with Sports Program Direct Shift (SPDS). The RC also features Drive Mode Select that either maximizes its environmental efficiency or its dynamic abilities.
The interior of the RC creates a sense of both sportiness and elegance. The center console and door trim are designed to feature structured layers. The four-dial meter cluster integrates a 4.2-inch TFT LCD multi-function display while the various switchgears are zoned for ease of use. The seats on the RC feature a unique construction method first pioneered in the IS F. The process actually involves setting the upholstery into the seat mold which is then filled with foam to complete the seat in one process. The result is a premium, high-precision appearance. In addition, it effectively disperses body pressure creating an unparalleled sense of comfort with good support.
In contrast, the RCF features a cockpit-like interior with unique gauges, steering wheel, seats, ornamentation, and pedals. The primary instrument gauge has been developed from the LFA with a large central display. The analog speedometer also has an unusual built-in welcome sequence: it flashes in a way that is evocative of heartbeats. The seats have been purposely-designed for track driving with high backs and bolstered for optimal support, especially in mid- to high-g cornering. Despite the thin seatback, it still incorporates an in-seat air conditioning unit for comfort.
The all-new RC and RCF are unmistakably powerful expressions of dynamism from Lexus and create a strong connection on both visual and visceral fronts. The RC and RCF are ground-breaking vehicles and showcase Lexus’s determination to design and engineer cars which connect to its drivers not only through its world-class dynamics but through emotional attachment as well. The Lexus RC retails for P 3,648,000 while the Lexus RCF goes for P 5,868,000.