2022 Lexus RC

By June 17, 2022

The Lexus RC is a rear- or all-wheel-drive two-door coupe with snappy looks and similar performance in most of its trim levels. For 2022 the RC only gets some new wheels.

The base turbo-4 RC 300 has entry-level power and refinement; a stronger 3.5-liter V-6 is available with up to 311 hp in the RC 350. The RC F puts the hammer down with 472 horsepower from its throaty 5.0-liter V-8.

With rear-wheel drive, the engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic; with AWD it gets a 6-speed automatic.

The F Sport package, available on every model, offers a tweaked suspension and some appearance add-ons.

The EPA rates the turbo-4 RC 300 at mpg city, 31 highway, 25 combined; the V-6 AWD version of the RC 300 drops it to 19/26/22 mpg. The RC 350 with rear-wheel drive and a more powerful version of that V-6 gets 20/28/23 mpg. The RC F version is under 20 mpg.

The NHTSA hasn’t crash-tested the RC, but the IIHS gives it the best scores in the tests it’s done to date. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control.

Model Lineup

Made in Japan, the RC comes as the RC 300, RC 350 (each available with F Sport trim) and RC F.

For a bit under $44,000, the base RC 300 comes with rear-wheel drive and a turbo-4 engine, or a V-6 with all-wheel drive for $46,500 (it throws in heated seats). Features include synthetic leather upholstery, and a touchpad interface with 7.0-inch display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

The F Sport package, for $4,500, adds adaptive dampers and distinctive styling trim including unique bumpers.

The RC 350 at $46,500 raises the horsepower from that V-6, with either RWD or AWD (another $2,200). In F Sport trim, with the optional limited-slip differential, it can cost $53,000.

The RC F starts at around $68,000, but it’s easy to get carried away with options and hit $90,000, and that’s even before you get to the Fuji Speedway Edition that runs $102,000. It gets bigger brakes, a carbon fiber hood and wing, and more.

The 4-year/50,000-mile warranty includes one year of maintenance.


The lines of the RC are interesting—tidy here, flashy there. It’s far from subtle, especially its wide spindle grille. It’s never less than compelling.

The F Sport brings black trim and extroverted bumpers, and looks a bit evil. The RC F just looks outlandish, with its giant wing and carbon-fiber hood.


The cabin is cohesive, with an impressive instrument panel on the RC F that might be at home on a million-dollar international endurance racing GT car. It’s low and full of switches. The RC’s available upholstery colors and trims might also be called racy, but not quite in the same way. The synthetic leather is about the best we’ve seen. Overall, the quality of materials and fit and finish are tops.

The big display screen isn’t a touchscreen, though. It uses a touchpad interface that’s frustrating for first-time users.

The front seats are comfortable, with power adjustment and available heating and cooling. The rear seats are for kids or packages, but they fold to boost the small trunk’s usefulness, since it measures just 10.4 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The RC 300 uses 2.0-liter turbo-4 making a modest 241 horsepower, which propels it to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. The 8-speed automatic transmission is quick on the upshift but it’s programmed to delay the downshifts for better gas mileage, and this steals some snap from the powertrain. The rear-wheel-drive RC’s curb weight of 3,800 pounds doesn’t help.

The AWD version of the RC 300 is even heavier, not only for the additional drivetrain components but also because it uses a 3.5-liter V-6. That engine makes a bit more power than the turbo-4, at 260 horsepower, but its lower-tech 6-speed automatic isn’t as smooth as the smaller engine’s 8-speed.

The RC 350’s 311 horsepower is more like it, 0-60 mph in less than six seconds. Like the RC 300, with RWD it uses the 8-speed automatic, and with AWD comes the 6-speed.

Handling is well balanced, and the RC feels planted in corners in all versions, though base cars have a more relaxed ride. A package with variable steering and rear-wheel steering makes the RC more nimble, for a price of $1,900.

The ride is somewhat firm in mid-range versions, but F Sports use adaptive dampers that relax in comfort mode or steel up in sport modes for firm, flat cornering and weighty steering feel. A limited-slip rear differential can be fitted for better power distribution in corners.

The RC F is the high-performance version, with 472 horsepower from a 5.0-liter V-8. With rear-wheel drive and the 8-speed automatic, it can reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds with a fabulous wail coming from under the hood. The limited-slip rear diff is standard, and needed when the power is put down in corners. It’s markedly different in character than the more luxurious RC coupes, so choose your adventure—on the road or on the track—wisely.

Final Word

The 2022 Lexus RC two-door coupe offers big V-8 acceleration and hot lap times, but its turbo-4 or V-6 are better for long-distance cruising.


—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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