On the Road: Lexus RC350 [VIDEO]
There was a time in my life, when as a callow and naïve youth, I swore I’d never own anything with more than two doors, two seats, preferably a convertible with a manual transmission.
Of course, I said I’d never own a garden hose or wheelbarrow either, but life has a way of catching up with you, and the Dad gene can be irresistible.
But at a certain time in life, you can go back and revisit your hell-raising days with a car like the Lexus RC series coupes.
As for my checklist, well, there are two doors, and that’s it. No soft top, 4 seats and no stick shift is available. And don’t start with me on paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Give me a stick or give me an automatic. Anything else and you’re just kidding yourself.
With that out of the way, this is a very nice, if not overwhelmingly powerful coupe with nice lines that really grew on me over the week we drove it.
The engine choices range from a somewhat anemic 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylnder with 241 horsepower in the RC200t, and then the 3.5-liter V6 is shared by the RC 300 and 350. But in the former, it makes only 265 horsepower, and 306 ponies in the latter.
Our test car was the RC350, which is peppy, but not a screamer. 0-60 comes up in 5.7 seconds, which is respectable but outgunned by rivals from BMW and Audi. If you truly want your eyeballs peeled, go for the big Kahuna RC F, with a 5.0-liter V8 and 467 horsepower. You’ll see 60 from a standing start in 4.3 seconds and hang your head for no man.
Our RC 350 though, was a nicely balanced machine in every respect with all-wheel-drive and a smooth 8-speed automatic. The two-wheel-drive cars get 6-speeds. Power is somewhat modest, but perfectly adequate for reliving your youth tossing around a snappy coupe with enough grin inducing torque to make it worthwhile to look for a proper sports car road.
Inside, leather lined everything and enough gadgets to qualify for some sort of driver distraction award. With the F-Sport package, there is really no option you need as everything is part of the deal for a grand total of $57,200.
That’s a lot of scratch to be sure, but what price do you put on mid-life crisis mobiles that can take you back to when your hair was thick and waist was thin? This is one of the best in that category and let’s face it. When you hit the time of life when you can plunk down the dinero for this wish-mobile, you’re not worried about racing that other gray haired guy in the Bimmer next to you at the stoplight.
Burning rubber isn’t the point. Finesse is, and the Lexus RC350 has it in spades.