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For 2016, Lexus’ RC coupe gets turbocharged

Lexus is extending the downsizing trend it started with its IS sedan to the similarly-sized RC coupe. For 2016, the RC gets the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that was added to the 2016 IS and GS, and originally introduced on the NX crossover. The RC also gets a second all-wheel drive variant, and some other changes.

Following the launch of the 2.0-liter engine for the European version of the RC, Lexus is confirming a parallel launch for the U.S. in the RC 200t model. The four-banger produces 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, just as it does in the IS. Lexus’ first and only turbocharged engine, it drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Lexus will also continue to offer the RC 350 with a 3.5-liter V6, producing 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. As before, it’s available with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. New for 2016 is a second all-wheel drive variant, the RC 300 AWD. It’s 3.5-liter V6 gets a downgrade to 255 hp and 236 lb-ft, and this version uses a six-speed automatic, rather than the eight-speed of the other models.

The quickest RC model is still the rear-wheel drive RC 350, which will do 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 143 mph, according to Lexus. The all-wheel drive RC 350 takes 6.0 seconds to reach 60 mph, and tops out at 130 mph, while the less-powerful all-wheel drive RC 300 takes 6.3 seconds, but achieves the same top speed. The RC 200t is the slowest to 60 mph (7.3 seconds), but can still reach 143 mph.

As before, buyers looking for a bit more sportiness can opt for the F Sport package, which adds adaptive suspension and rear-wheel steering, or they can go all out and plunk down for the RC F. Lexus’ answer to the BMW M4, this model packs a 5.0-liter V8 with 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque.

On the tech front, the 2016 RC adds the Lexus Enform Service Connect telematics service. This allows drivers to view things like maintenance schedules, warning light notifications, and a vehicle health report using an app (iOS only) or a dedicated website. The service can also send maintenance-related e-mails and push notifications. It comes with a one-year trial subscription, with an added fee after that.

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