2019 Lexus RC coupe gets sleeker styling and stiffer suspension

Since its launch in 2014, the Lexus RC coupe has battle the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and added some much-needed excitement to the Toyota luxury brand’s lineup. Now entering its fifth model year, the RC is due for an update.

The 2019 Lexus RC debuts at the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October with some styling changes, retuned suspension, and some changes to the interior. The updates likely won’t change the equation dramatically, but they may help improve on some areas where the RC currently lags behind its German rivals.

One of those areas is styling. Lexus has tried very hard recently to shed its image as a purveyor of boring cars. You certainly can’t accuse the RC (or any other current Lexus) of looking bland, but it’s not exactly pretty either. For 2019, the love-it-or-hate-it “spindle grille” remains, but Lexus reshaped the headlights and blade-like daytime running lights. The new look is bit more cohesive than before, and the triple-stacked LED headlight elements are a distinctive touch.

Changes to the interior are minimal. Lexus added a Dark Gray Streamline trim piece to the dashboard. Knee pads were repositioned to “create a heightened sense of space,” a Lexus statement said. However, it appears the RC will continue to be saddled with the awkward Remote Touch Interface trackpad, which is among the most troublesome infotainment controllers in the business.

Lexus promises sharper handling from a retuned suspension. Engineers added stiffer suspension bushings and new shock absorbers, and fine-tuned settings based on real-world testing, Lexus said. The RC is also available with a new 19-inch wheel-and-tire setup that Lexus claims improves grip. Finally, the automaker claims aerodynamic improvements from a new fin on the side window molding, and a duct in the rear bumper. These additions help improve stability, according to Lexus.

Lexus did not discuss any updates to the RC’s powertrains. The RC is currently available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.0-liter V6 producing either 260 hp and 236 lb-ft or 311 hp and 280 lb-ft. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available with eight-speed and six-speed automatic transmissions, respectively. Expect the RC F performance model, which boasts a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8, to return for 2019 as well.

The 2019 Lexus RC makes its public debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, which begins October 4. Full details on powertrains, trim levels, and pricing will be released at a later date.

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