When Lexus decided to take on the BMW 4-series, Mercedes C-Series, and Audi S5/RS5 there was never any doubt that Lexus would create a car to compete with these excellent coupes. However, as the RC 350 and RC F rollout, and the data comes in, the new 2015 Lexus RC line is starting to separate itself from the pack in important ways. This week, it is the announcement that the RC earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ rating (TSP+). No other vehicle in its class has done so.
Lexus RC Top Safety Pick Rating
In order to earn the industry’s highest safety rating, a vehicle must do three main things. First, it has to do well on all the conventional crash tests. Pretty much every car does now. Second, the vehicle must be rated Acceptable or Good on the IIHS’ difficult small frontal overlap test that simulates hitting a utility pole with the front corner of the car. Most vehicles cannot earn this rating. The Mercedes C-class and BMW 3-Series (the basis for the 4-series) were rated Marginal and were thus out of contention. The Audi A4, the basis for the S5 and RS5, rated Poor, which is a failing grade. Only the Lexus RC coupe earned a rating of Good in this class.
However, just this is not enough. In order to earn the TSP+ rating, a vehicle must also be available with either an Advanced or Superior forward crash prevention system. The RC is. No other premium rear, or all-wheel drive sports coupe has this level of safety in the US market.
This article would not be fair without mentioning vehicles similar to those above that are indeed rated equally safe. The larger and more expensive Mercedes E-class coupe does earn this level of safety. The 4-door front-drive (or AWD) Acura RLX sedan is also a TSP+ ranked vehicle, and the smaller BMW 2-series coupe also earns the industry’s best safety rating.