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2015 Lexus RC Debuts At 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

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Lexus’ rival to cars like the Audi A5 and BMW 4-Series, the all-new 2015 RC coupe, made its international debut today at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. We got our first look at the car several weeks ago, but now Lexus has revealed all the juicy details, including the all-important engine specs.

The 2015 RC will go on sale next summer, initially in just two trim levels. There will be a base RC 300h, Lexus’ first hybrid coupe, which will come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a Lexus Hybrid Drive system. The engine offers 176 horsepower on its own, while an electric motor supplements this with its own 105 kilowatts (140 horsepower) of juice. Drive is diverted to the wheels via an electronic CVT with six step gears with a pseudo manual model.

A more potent RC 350 model will also be available at launch. This model adopts the 3.5-liter V-6 currently available in a handful of Lexus models but with an output of 314 horsepower. The transmission in the RC 350 is an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, borrowed from the outgoing IS F. In manual mode the transmission offers full torque converter lock up from second to eighth gears, which enables down changes in just 0.2 seconds.

While rear-wheel drive is standard, Lexus has confirmed that all-wheel drive will be available on the RC, depending on the market.

The launch of the RC is part of a ride and handling revolution at Lexus, which started with the LFA halo model and has since progressed to the IS and GS luxury sedans. Underpinning the car is a shortened version of the platform underpinning both the IS and GS, which uses double wishbone front suspension and multi-link suspension at the rear. Extra thick underbody rocker panels increase rigidity, while new manufacturing techniques utilizing body adhesives have helped strengthen the chassis. Aerodynamic aids, especially on the underbody, contribute to the handling package.

2015 Lexus RC F spy shots

2015 Lexus RC F spy shots

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Note, the RC will form the basis of a new Lexus F model. This ‘RC F’ has been testing hard at Germany’s Nürburgring and is tipped to receive a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 rated at 455 horsepower. Lexus is serious about building a performance image and will also use the RC as the basis of its Super GT race car next year.

Inside the regular RC, Lexus says there is room for four. The seats utilize an integrated foaming construction method--much like the molding of racing seats--to help provide support while keeping the seat's backing thin. The driver’s cockpit is divided into operational and display zones. The upper zone houses the instrument panel and a seven-inch navigation screen while a layered center console integrates a touchpad surface Lexus calls the Remote Touch. Trim options include leather for the seats and wood for the dash.

The RC measures in at 184.8 inches in length, 72.4 inches in width, 54.9 in height, and it has a wheelbase of 107.5 inches. This puts it into a similar size category to its aforementioned A5 and 4-Series rivals.

For more from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, click here.

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