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2016 Lexus RC coupe gets two new engine options

Lexus’ one-year-old RC now has four engine choices.

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Following closely behind the IS sports sedan, the new Lexus RC Coupe, now entering its second model year, gets a new engine line-up. First, the two that stay. The RC F keeps its amazing V8, and the RC 350 keeps its 3.5-liter 306 hp, 277 lb-ft of torque engine. The rest are new.

2016 RC 200t Turbo
The most important new engine will be the RC 200t’s 2.0-liter turbo. This engine does not replace anything in the RC since it was never hobbled with the low-torque, ho-hum powered small V6 the IS had for so long. The new RC 200t will quickly become a fan favorite and will make up 40 to 60% of sales almost immediately. The RC 200t will have 241 hp, but the torque is the news. 258 ft-lbs from a very low 1,650 RPM. Real-life drivability will be excellent. We have driven the “200t” engine in the NX and found it to be smooth, quiet and relatively linear. The RC 200t will be rear-drive only, keeping weight down, improving fuel economy, and also lowering the model’s base price. An F-Sport trim will be offered of course. The RC 200t will likely get a 26 MPG combined fuel economy rating, significantly higher than the RC 350 (RWD) model’s 22 MPG. It won’t be as fast as the ‘350, but around town it will feel similar. The RC 200t will come paired with the Lexus 8-speed automatic and starts at an MSRP of $39,995.

2016 RC 300 AWD
Lexus is marketing the new RC 300 AWD as the “all-weather RC.” Using a de-tuned 3.5-liter V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission, the RC 300 AWD will be sold for about $2,400 less than an equivalent RC 350 AWD. The IS 300 AWD has the same fuel economy as the IS 350 AWD, so we expect the RC coupes to have the same numbers, about 21 MPG combined. The RC 300 AWD will start at $42,610.

Looking over the offerings, it seems clear Lexus is de-emphasizing the “350” version of the RC going forward. The RC 200t will be the main RWD offering, and the RC 300 AWD will be the main AWD offering. The RC 350 AWD will start at $ 45,015. With the performance difference so narrow, it would be hard to justify the price adder for an RC 350.

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