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2018 Lexus RC 300: Sport Coupe Balancing Luxury and Performance

For 2018, Lexus RC V6 models will receive an increase of five horsepower and a bold new exterior color: Flare Yellow for the F SPORT. In addition, the RC 200t (RWD) will now be called the RC 300 (RWD). The 2018 RC models will feature Scout® GPS Link with a three-year trial.  For all RC models, a larger navigation 10.3” screen is optional.

Visual Jolt Machine
From every angle, RC provides a visual jolt with the Lexus signature spindle grille a focal point of the design. The F SPORT takes the grille design further, with the upper section’s mesh pattern gradually transforming into an “F” character as it approaches the lower extremity.

The Lexus RC, available in a variety of colors announces its presence with Lexus signature headlamp design and technology. The LED headlamps and separate L-themed daytime running lamps (DRLs) give a unique look and highly effective illumination. Like the headlamps, the rear LED combination lamps show the distinct Lexus L-shape motif, created by a raised surface.

Three Levels of Power
The RC 300 is one of several 2018 Lexus models powered by a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with the D-4ST direct injection system and an intercooler. This smooth operator produces 241 hp, with 258 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 1,650-4,400 rpm. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and consumes fuel slowly, with 22 mpg city / 32 mpg highway / 26 mpg combined EPA-estimated fuel economy.

The RC 300 AWD model’s 3.5-liter V6 with the Lexus D-4S system of direct and port injection produces 260 hp and 236 lb.-ft. torque, the latter at 2,000-4,800 rpm, and is teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. The RC 350 gets a 311-horsepower version of the V6. With rear-wheel drive, it’s got the eight-speed Sports Program Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission; with all-wheel drive, it’s a six-speed automatic.

Shiftly Business: Eight-Speed SPDS Transmission
The Sport Direct-Shift eight-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters combines torque converter smoothness with shifting speed of a dual-clutch unit when shifting manually.

MANUAL (M) mode engages full torque-converter lock-up from second to eighth gears for manual shifting. Downshifts are made in just 0.4 seconds in M mode, with the transmission’s throttle blipping control matching the engine speed to the gear.

Drive Mode Select: Have It Your Way
The Lexus RC listens to the driver through the Drive Mode Select system. Using a dial on the console, the driver can “dial in” the performance response and the feel desired. Drive Mode Select tailors the vehicle’s powertrain, electric power-assisted steering assist curve and, on F SPORT, suspension response. Modes include NORMAL, SPORT and ECO. The F SPORT adds SPORT S+ mode for
maximum handling performance from the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and the available Dynamic Handling System (LDH) on the RC 350 F SPORT. It also adds a customizable mode that allows the driver to set the powertrain and suspensions settings.

High Rigidity Body, Sports Car-Inspired Suspension
The RC is built on its own high-rigidity platform, borrowing some key components from the GS and IS sport sedans and bolstered by such manufacturing techniques as laser screw welding and special body adhesives. The driver will feel the net result of all those construction features in the RC’s crisp turn-in and poise through curves.

The RC draws its double wishbone front suspension design and multi-link rear suspension from the GS model’s architecture. The electric power steering (EPS) provides a natural, firm feel with good feedback thanks to rigid mounting hardware.

F SPORT Begs for Curves 
All RC models offer the F SPORT upgrade, with the RC 350 RWD F SPORT offering exclusive handling technologies. A combination of Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) with Dynamic Rear-wheel Steering (DRS) system turn the RC 350 F SPORT RWD into a road warrior with a refined attitude.

The LDH system integrates operation of electric power-assisted steering (EPS) to control steering torque, variable gear ratio steering (VGRS) to control front-wheel steering angle and Dynamic Rear-wheel Steering system. The base Lexus RC features standard 18-inch alloy wheels — or optional 19-inch alloy wheels. RC F SPORT comes with 19-inch alloy wheels with the distinctive 10 twin-spoke design to create a deeply sculptured shape. With all wheel options, the RC uses a staggered array, with wider wheels at the rear.

Adaptive Variable Suspension
Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is a variable damper system designed to enhance ride comfort and body lean control. The AVS system on the RC 350 F SPORT RWD monitors steering input and road conditions and adjusts the dampers to suit, using inputs on vehicle posture including lean, dive and squat. The system continually optimizes attitude and rebound control to help achieve a flatter ride and more natural vehicle posture. When the driver selects the SPORT S+ setting in Drive Mode Select, AVS switches to maximize the damping force for ultimate handling response.

Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management
RC models are equipped with Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM), the Lexus system that coordinates control of the powertrain, ABS, electric power steering, traction control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) systems. Lexus VDIM can anticipate loss of traction and help enable the traditionally separate active safety systems of VSC, TRAC, and ABS to work in concert to help correct it by seamlessly integrating control of basic vehicle performance.

VDIM functions also include Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). In the RC 350 F SPORT RWD, VDIM adds control of the optional Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), Lexus Dynamic Handling system and Dynamic Rear-wheel Steering, for integrated lateral force and yaw moment control.

Lexus RC has eight SRS airbags, including a dual-stage driver’s airbag, dual-stage and dual -chamber front passenger airbag, driver’s and passenger’s knee airbags, front-seat side airbags and first and second row side curtain airbags.

Lexus Safety System+ standard includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and High Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Seeing the Unseen

Available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) can assist the driver when changing lanes by providing information not only about vehicles in the side mirror blind spot zones, but also by detecting vehicles approaching from the rear in adjacent lanes. The option also includes Rear Cross- Traffic Alert (RCTA), which helps detect approaching vehicles from both rear sides to assist the driver when backing out of a parking space or driveway.

Luxuriously Sporty
Facing a four-dial gauge layout, the RC driver feels immediately connected to the car’s sporting intent. A 4.2-inch thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD) at the center of the instrument cluster presents the full-color Multi Information Display (MID). Linked to the car’s multimedia system, the MID can display vehicle, audio and navigation information.

The Lexus RC’s steering wheel integrates switches to control the MID, phone function, audio functions and cruise control. The F SPORT adds an array of special features, including an instrument panel inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar, using full-length illuminated needles and needle rings, and a white outer band with inverted colors. The F SPORT pedals and driver’s footrest are aluminium, and the steering wheel and shift-lever knob are trimmed in F SPORT exclusive perforated leather.

Luxuriously Practical Interior
Lexus didn’t throw out practicality when it amped up emotion in the RC. The 60/40 split-fold rear seat back can accommodate items up to 59 inches long, such as snowboards. With the rear seats in use, the luggage area can accommodate two golf bags. A dual manual/electric folding mechanism eases access for rear seat passengers and includes a memory function.

Lexus offers four high-contrast interior colors for the RC — Stratus Gray, Playa, Flaxen, Black and an additional, exclusive color for F SPORT: Rioja Red. Each features a contrasting stitching color. The RC offers two types of genuine shimamoku wood-trim, which adorns portions of the door panels and dash. Shimamoku denotes an intense, layered production technique refined by Lexus that yields an exceptionally deep-looking, polished finish to the wood.

The automatic climate control system includes two-layer control of internal and ambient air and upper/lower level independent air mixing, as well as independent left and right temperature control. For example, on a colder day with bright sunshine, you can set the upper air mix for cooling while at the same time have the lower air mix set for warmth. The system integrates a pollen-removal filter and clean-air filter with deodorizer.

Smart Navigation with Advanced Touch Control
The available Navigation System includes a new 10.3-inch multi-media screen, and the system can map millions of points of interest across the country and can display information in English, French and Spanish. And, in addition to offering up-to-date traffic and weather information, 3-D city views, and simulated views of approaching highway junctions, it displays the current speed limit and can automatically display nearby gas stations if the fuel level is low.

For navigation-equipped vehicles, a Remote Touchpad Interface (RTI) uses smartphone-like touch control, including tap, flick and pinch gestures to control audio, navigation or system information displayed on the center screen, without the user having to look down.

Premium Audio: Digital “Decompression” Chamber
Lexus has continually pushed the advancement of mobile audio. Both the standard and optional audio systems play all popular digital formats, whether from CD, iPod®, USB or other device. The standard audio system drives its 10 speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer, with 256 watts total output.

The available Mark Levinson Premium Audio system creates a stunning 360-degree, three-dimensional sonic space through 17 speakers. The system produces 835-watts total output while consuming less power than other systems of similar output. Clari-Fi audio restoration technology, as used in high-end home systems, restores some of the clarity lost during compression for commonly used digital formats. The control panel resembles the simple, clean designs used on Mark Levinson home audio equipment.

Lexus Enform for Safety, Convenience and Fun
Lexus Enform Safety Connect is now offered for first 10 years of ownership with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365. With Lexus Enform Service Connect — also now complimentary for the first 10 years of ownership — the RC can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer if opted in. The MyLexusandBeyond mobile app (for iOS devices) or website can be used to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues.

With Lexus Enform Remote (complimentary for the first year), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the RC using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Functions include remote door lock/unlock; remote start/stop for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more.

Navigation is accompanied by the Lexus Enform Dynamic Navigation with a three-year trial and  Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 (complimentary). Use voice-enabled apps to listen to Internet radio, including Pandora®, iHeartRadio,  NPR One, Slacker, and search business reviews on Yelp®.

What’s New for 2018

  • Larger navigation screen 10.3”
  • Five horsepower increase (RC 300 AWD, RC 350 RWD, and RC 350 AWD)
  • F SPORT Drive Mode Select with Sport S+ and new custom mode
  • Lexus Safety System+ now standard
  • Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect now complimentary for first 10 years
  • Lexus Enform Destination Assist complimentary for the first year of ownership
  • Enform Wi-Fi up to 4GB for one year trial and connects up to five devices
  • Enform App Suite 2.0 with NPR One and Wifi Sign Up Apps
  •  Dynamic Voice Recognition optional
  •  Exterior color: Flare Yellow (F SPORT only)
  • Scout GPS Link – Display Audio only (three-year trial)

Vehicle Details

  • RC 300 RWD: 241-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • RC 300 AWD: 260-hp 3.5-liter DOHC V6 and six-speed automatic transmission.
  • RC 350 RWD: 311 hp 3.5-liter DOHC V6 and eight-speed Sports Program Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission.
  • RC 350 AWD: 311 hp 3.5-liter DOHC V6 and six-speed automatic transmission.


  • Double wishbone type front suspension and multi-link rear suspension.
  • 18-inch or 19-inch alloy wheels in staggered array.
  • The RC 350 F SPORT RWD offers an optional Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system with Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS). This technology integrates DRS, Electric Power Steering and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS). The system can independently manage front and rear wheel steering angles to help enhance turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle control and agility.
  • Standard Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) anticipates loss of vehicle control and governs all of the vehicle’s dynamic handling systems: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC).

Safety/Security Features

  • Lexus Safety System+ standard
  • Pre-Collision System (PCS)
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Intelligent High Beam
  • Hi-speed Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Eight SRS airbags, including a dual-stage driver’s airbag, dual-stage and dual-chamber front passenger airbag, driver’s and passenger’s knee airbags, front-seat side airbags and first and second row side curtain airbags.


  • Power-adjustable front seats and 60/40-split fold-down rear seats
  • NuLuxe interior trim
  • SmartAccess with push-button start/stop
  • Backup camera
  • 10-speaker, 256-watt audio system with 7-in. VGA screen, HD Radio and iTunes® Tagging and standard SiriusXM® Satellite Radio.
  • Entertainment and connectivity technology includes enhanced Bluetooth® capability with automatic phonebook download and streaming audio.

Luxury Options (highlights)

  • Luxury Package: Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross- Traffic Alert; heated steering wheel (AWD); heated/ventilated front seats; perforated leather trimmed interior with contrast stitching; electrochromic outside mirrors with reverse-tilt-down; power tilt/telescoping steering column; rain-sensing wipers, and Lexus Memory System for Driver’s Seat, Outside Mirrors and Steering Column.
  • 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround sound audio system has 7.1 channel surround-sound through 10 channels using a class D Digital amplifier with 835-watts from 20-20,000hz at 0.01 percent total harmonic distortion.
  • All-Weather Package: Retractable headlamp washers, PTC heater and windshield de-ice.


  • 48 months/50,000 miles basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.
  • 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
  • 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.

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