The new 2014 Lexus RC Coupe, to be launched in early 2014, will feature a unique and dynamic new red exterior color according to an announcement on Dec. 23 that was timed to coincide with the Christmas holiday - suggesting this new color would be brighter than the red on Rudolph's nose.
Lexus unveiled the new RC Coupe at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show - saying it was the next iteration of a ride and handling revolution at Lexus that had started with GS mid-size luxury sedan and then continued with the new IS sport sedan.
The RC Coupe in the new color will be on display at the Lexus booth at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January, 2014.
Lexus says this more dynamic red exterior paint color is made brighter and with more contrast due to an entirely new painting process that uses a two-color base of both silver and red.
To get the ultra bright (said to be 'luminous') red, Lexus says they follow a meticulous paint process that uses four base coats of paint which are then baked twice. Layers of colored and clear coating are used to control some of the color’s reflections and establish a balance between the brightness and depth.
For the red exterior, the factory starts with a base coat of silver and then applies a clear coat. Following, the clear coat is covered by a translucent red coat, which is then topped with another clear coat. Finally the four coats of paint are baked twice to set the color.
The luminous effect comes as a result of the light hitting the paint and reflecting off the red layer and also off the silver layer below, which adds depth and a metallic highlight to the red coloration.
The new 2014 Lexus RC Coupe is a stand-alone model, rather than a two-door derivative of a sedan.
It is based on the GS platform, but differs in all dimensions from the GS and IS lines. Unique in the Lexus range, it is 1.2-inches wider, 1.4-inches lower and 2.8-inches shorter in wheelbase than the new IS sedan, that Lexus says provides a road stance that emphasizes the dynamic styling of this new luxury two-door coupe.
A unique headlamp design adopts the symbolic Lexus L-shaped motif front and rear.
The RC rides on a deeply sculpted 10-spoke 19-inch wheels and will be available in two power train configurations - a 3.5-liter V6 teamed with an eight-speed sequential transmission and 2.5-liter Lexus Hybrid Drive system.
It will also be available in Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) or All Wheel Drive (AWD).
Though performance figures are not announced, it appears that this new RC Coupe can be expected to be a strong performer on the road.
The dual injection 3.5-liter V6 gas engine produces maximum power of 314 hp at 6,400 rpm, and peak torque of 280 lb.-ft. at 4,800 rpm.
An eight-speed Sport Direct Shift with paddle shift transmission (adapted from the ISF performance sedan) optimizes power delivery and fuel economy. In manual (M) mode full torque converter lock up from second to eighth gears allows for down changes in just 0.2 seconds.
The hybrid variant – the first Lexus hybrid coupe – uses a dual-injected 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with a 105kW electric motor driven through an electronic continuously variable transmission with six step gears in a sequential shift-matic feature.
And if this is not enough, rumors are circulating that Lexus may also unveil a F (high performance) version of the RC Coupe at the Detroit Show - with a power plant that could produce 455 horsepower.
Lexus says the RC interior will make the maximum use of contrasting colors, materials and lighting.
A purpose-built Lexus-first lighting package provides illumination that reflects upwards, rather than downwards, to envelop the cabin. High contrast interior colors emphasize design lines and accentuate the elegant cabin. Genuine shimamoku wood highlights – the result of an intense, layered wood production technique refined by Lexus – are used to emphasize the surrounding trim.
The driver’s cockpit is divided into operational and display zones. The upper zone houses the instrument panel and a seven-inch navigation screen while a layered center console integrates a new Lexus-first Remote Touch Interface.
The seats utilize an integrated foaming construction method, much like the molding of racing seats, to ensure optimum occupant comfort and support which is important in a sport coupe with 2x2 seating.
At its introduction in Tokyo, Mark Templin, Lexus International executive vice president said, “The emotional attachment of a coupe is found in its purity of design and its engaging driving experience, and with RC the engineers have achieved the balance.”
In this new red color, the 2014 Lexus RC Coupe will attract a lot of attention at first glance for sure.
And if they add a F version with all that horsepower, you will have to look quick (before it blows by you) to get full appreciation of the new color.