2015 Lexus RC 350 and RC F First Drive

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Specification sheets don't tell the whole story, and if there's a single brand that has illustrated this time and again, it's Lexus. Parent brand Toyota plainly got out of the sporty car business a decade ago, but some Lexuses have continued to look the part. Even more important, the elements you look for — like generous power, rear-wheel drive and double-wishbone suspensions — have often been present. Regardless, they haven't always translated to the emotional experience you expect, or at least desire, based on what you see in the specs. The new 2015 RC coupe, especially in RC F form, changes all of that in ways its predecessor, the IS-F sedan, failed to do.

Related: 2015 Lexus RC F at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

The RC, a two-door four-seater, is intended to compete with the likes of Audi's A5 and BMW's 4 Series (that's the former 3 Series coupe). It comes in three versions: the RC 350, the RC 350 F Sport (the regular car with substantial performance tweaks) and the RC F (a full-blown competitor for the Audi RS5 and BMW M4). I tested all three versions in New York state and at the Monticello Motor Club, a private racetrack in Monticello, N.Y.

Engines include the venerable 3.5-liter V-6 producing 306 horsepower in the RC 350, and an updated version of the 5.0-liter V-8 from the IS-F, producing 467 hp in the new RC F. Both engines drive the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, though the RC 350 also offers all-wheel drive that instead pairs with a six-speed automatic.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | September 4, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Lexus RC 350 Starts at $43,715

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When the Lexus RC 350 goes on sale this fall, the 306-horsepower V-6, rear-wheel-drive coupe will start at $43,715 with destination charge. Variants in addition to the standard RC 350 include an all-wheel drive RC 350 at $42,950, plus the higher-performance 467-hp V-8 RC F (above) that's rear-wheel-drive only and starts at $63,225.

Related: 2015 Lexus RC First Drive

RC pricing comes in competitively with two of the most notable coupes in the business: the BMW M4 ($65,150) and BMW 435i ($47,050), formerly known as the M3 and 335i coupes. A new Cadillac ATS coupe joins the field with a starting price of $38,990. The RC is an all-new coupe for Lexus not derived from any one of its sedans, but rather a hodgepodge of Lexus models as underpinnings are shared with the new Lexus GS and IS sedans as well as the Lexus IS convertible.

By Joe Bruzek | September 4, 2014 | Comments (4)

Cars.com's Top 10 Most Anticipated Cars

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Now that auto show season is over, the wait is over when it comes to seeing which new cars will hit dealerships soon, but now the real wait begins.

More Top 10s

There's plenty to look forward to, because there are almost too many new vehicles to choose from such as the redesigned, more modern Ford Mustang and the sleek, futuristic electric car from BMW, the i8. They're not all sports cars though; the tiny Jeep Renegade SUV and midsize Hyundai Sonata sedan are also on our list.

Check out the top 10 new vehicles the Cars.com reviewers can't wait to drive:

By Jennifer Geiger | May 7, 2014 | Comments (17)

Lexus Changes Multimedia Controls, Still Distracting

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Lexus' mouse-style control system, Remote Touch, debuted about five years ago. It was the luxury automaker's response to knob-based controllers from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The interface had a certain familiarity in our computer-centric world, and so does the latest version of Remote Touch, which replaces the mouse controller with a laptop-style touchpad. It debuts on the 2015 Lexus RC sport coupe, which hits dealerships late this year.

2015 Lexus RC 350 Arriving in Late 2014

Like the prior mouse controller, the new touchpad operates a cursor on the dashboard screen, and you move the cursor to select different systems, like navigation. The setup includes haptic feedback; when you move the cursor across a menu choice the touchpad pulses under your finger. Pressing down on the touchpad makes a selection.

By Mike Hanley | February 11, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Lexus RC F: Up Close

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One of the first things you notice about the new Lexus RC F — apart from its massive hourglass grille — is how low it is, both its roofline and stance. The coupe is hunkered down on 19-inch forged-alloy wheels, which together with low-profile tires fill out the wheel wells nicely.

More 2014 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The rear-quarter view is my favorite; it lets you see the coupe's stout rear fenders, fastback roofline, thin taillights and aggressive bumper styling.

By Mike Hanley | January 17, 2014 | Comments (6)

2015 Lexus RC 350 Arriving in Late 2014

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Lexus' big reveal at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was the high-performance RC F coupe, a car designed to take on the BMW M4 and Audi RS 5, among others. The luxury brand also brought the car the RC F is based on: the RC 350, which it first showed late last year at the Tokyo Motor Show. The 2015 RC 350 will be available at U.S. dealerships in November or December of this year.

More 2014 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The RC 350's design is a little toned down compared to the RC F, but not as much as you might expect. Lexus' spindle grille still dominates the front end, albeit in a different form, and it's bordered by headlights that wouldn't be out of place on a concept car. Flared rear fenders hint at the car's performance aspirations.

By Mike Hanley | January 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

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