The 2016 Lexus RC 200t



The 2016 RC 200t is a good idea with a mediocre execution. Despite the carmaker intentions, this turbo coupe is the worst at its segment, which is hard to believe. Specialized media wonder how the hell was happening at the engineers’ minds during the development phase. This sports car has a few serious problems, all of them a product of one decisive factor.

This is the sad truth because the 2016 RC 200t isn’t an ugly vehicle. In fact, it is really sexy and avant-garde, as many recent Lexus models. We all hope that the Japanese carmaker fixes the mistakes for the 2017 version, in case if it still exists by then.

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Let’s take a further look of the 2016 RC 200t.

Powertrain and Specs


The 2016 RC 200t packs a turbo VVT-I 16-valve 2.0 L inline-4 engine, capable of delivering 241 hp at 5800 RPM and 258 lb-ft at 1650 RPM. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, this intended sports car can go from standstill to 60 mpg (100 km/h) in 7.3 seconds. The top speed is rated at 143 mph (230 km/h). Now, knowing its pretty mediocre acceleration, we see the main problem but we ignore the cause.

The experts out there are surprised about its weight, which seems too much for a model like this. Even the IS 200t, with its four doors, is notably lighter. The 2016 RC 200t has a curb weight of 3737 lb (1695 kg). This way, most of the blame goes to the weight factor. The turbo engine looks like the proper one for the whole idea of the RC 200t while the heavy weight seems like the real problem.

Exploring other aspects, we have an independent double wishbone suspension in the front, while the rear end features an independent multi-link, both with anti-roll bars. The Adaptive Variable Suspension, limited-slip differential, and 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Dunlop SP Sport Maxx rubber are included in the F Sport package, which is clearly optional.

A poor feeling is transmitted through the steering, forbidding the driver to have clear conscience of what is going on during the experience, mainly while cornering. Transmission adjustable driving modes and sequential sport shift comes as standard. The same for ESC, traction control, and other important safety and performance features.

Well-Thought Design

Referential photo of the RC 300 model, which shares the same rear fascia as the 2016 RC 200t.

When we see the 2016 RC 200t, we feel sadness. It could be an impressive, successful sports car. It has the looks already. The front fascia features the modernized trademark design from recent Lexus models. The aggressive cuts and edges are abundant in the whole exterior form. While we aren’t fans of chrome detailing, we can’t deny that this car is sexy. The astonishing blade LED taillights will be the doom for more than one ignorant user.

The 18-inch wheels with P235/45VR18 tires are included in the base price without ruling several other options. The interior offers a limited comfort grade, common for a sports car. You can always change the standard front bucket seats for sport units with an extra payment, making the driving experience more pleasant. Unfortunately, leather comes as an optional, while everyone gets NuLuxe leatherette for the whole upholstery.

A 10-speaker sound system is found inside as standard. For the upgraded experience, the 2016 RC 200t offers a 17-speaker Mark Levinson setup. Convenience features as the keyless entry, valet function, and illuminated entry are standard for this model.

The Bottom Line

It is hard to think that, in this age we live, a carmaker dares to launch a heavyweight sports car with an improper engine. The result is a disaster and they are getting notice now, instead during development and testing.

The base price starts at US$40.935.


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