Lexus RC turbo arrives in December

Lexus RC range

Think 2.0-litre four-cylinder rear-wheel-drive coupe from Japan, think Toyota 86. But add a turbocharger to that equation and you can now picture a Lexus RC200t.

The RC200t should cost under $60,000 when it lands locally in December, just after the IS200t sedan with the same engine in September.

In the coupe range it will duck beneath the $66,000 RC350 that utilises a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 and is barely more powerful, much less frugal and heavier.

Hr _14RC350_45

Unlike the flat-four, Subie-derived 86 engine, the RC’s pots line up straight. Like its natural German rival, the BMW 428i coupe, the same-sized engine in the RC200t makes an identical 180kW and 350Nm.

A base RC coupe weighs a portly 1680kg, but while Lexus isn’t talking kerb weights with the new RC200t, the 2.0-litre engine itself weighs 160kg – or around 20kg less than the V6 that produces 53kW/28Nm extra.

Where the RC350 makes torque at 4800rpm and power at a peaky 6400rpm, the equivalent engine in the NX200t compact SUV makes its maximums between 1650-4000rpm and 4800-5600rpm respectively.

In short, the twin-scroll turbo unit lathers grunt over the throttle rather than forcing you to reach into the pedal to get it.

Hr _14RC350_35

The fatty NX200t weighs 1700kg, gets 5kW less than RC200t and the same torque, with a 7.3-second 0-100km/h claim and 7.7L/100km economy.

The RC200t also gets two extra gears to play with, utilising an eight-speed torque converter automatic, and with along with around 50kg less to lug around, should achieve a ton run in the high sixes with low-seven frugality.

We won’t mention the 428i coupe can achieve high-fives and low-sixes respectively.

Still, Lexus will definitely want to mention that the RC200t will undercut the Bavarian coupe by more than $20,000. It will also slice into the pricing territory of the ageing Nissan 370Z that currently retails at $60,000. Which brings us back to square one – this could be a more powerful and posh 86.

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