A sports coupe can be different things to different people. For some, it must be a rewarding driving machine first and foremost. Others though, want to balance dynamic virtues with qualities like cosseting luxury and impressive efficiency. It's to these people that this Lexus RC coupe is designed to appeal. In price and performance terms, this car is designed to suit those looking at coupes based on premium-badged mid-sized executive saloons - specifically Audi's A5 and coupe versions of the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. The RC shares some of its parts with a compact four-door model too, the Lexus IS, but it also borrowed a little more of its DNA from the larger, more Executive segment Lexus GS range - hence perhaps what the Japanese maker hopes is a more up-market feel. The kind of thing you'd want if you had to downsize from, say, a BMW 6 Series or even a Bentley Continental GT, but didn't want to make too many compromises in luxury.
If that sounds tempting, then Lexus hopes you might also like this car's rather exclusive looks, derived from a concept car the brand first displayed at the 2013 Tokyo Motorshow. A year later, the RC was launched in production form, but only as a pricey high performance V8 RC F variant. It took until early 2016 for two more affordable versions of this car to be made available - a petrol/electric hybrid and the conventional turbo 2.0-litre RC 200t version. Both offer a more laid-back, luxurious approach to sports coupe motoring that Lexus hopes will please people tiring of the usual German alternatives in this segment. This original RC sold until early 2019, when it was replaced by a lightly facelifted model. It's the pre-facelift car we're looking at here.