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New Lexus RC Series Yearns To Earn Driving Passion

The Lexus division of Toyota is the fastest growing automotive luxury brand, now sold in 70 countries, trailing about 1 million units a year behind Mercedes and its close rivals BMW and Audi.

With very high underlying standard of design, engineering and build quality, and overwhelmingly impressive on-board tech, styling and luxury amenities, Lexus has amassed a substantial, loyal and well-moneyed clientele.

And yet with all that success, the new hot RC two-door coupe series expresses a wistful yearning by Lexus to be included in that vaunted stable of brands that invoke true automotive passion.

From extreme exterior styling heavily influenced by urban tuner hot-rods to track-ready driver seating ergonomics, and a punchy rear-wheel drive layout, even the base 3.5 liter V6 RC 350 packs 306 horsepower which moves this smallish coupe along at a vigorous clip. A double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension serves up confident flat cornering and spirited handling, helped along by an electronic vehicle dynamics system.

If the loaded at Lexus RC 350 V6 for about $52,000 is not passionate enough … the 467 horsepower V8 F Sport is the heart-stopper starting at $63,000.