Striking and aspirational
The RC 200t launched last week and we got to drive it through the Magalies area in Gauteng. First things first and the main thing that attracts my attention with this car is its styling. Man, it’s a good looking car! We reviewed its 350 F Sport sibling last year and I wasn’t bowled over at first by its looks. I think I may have been distracted by the engine because this time round, I couldn’t stop staring…it got awkward! It’s striking as hell, especially in Solar Storm red!
Lexus’s signature spindle grille and the different angles which catch the light creates a lot of detailing and it really is something quite beautiful.
Step inside and you will be reminded of the IS…because, well, it is based on the IS, but creates more of a cocoon feel. You can choose between topaz or black leather, both of which create a luxurious and premium feel. The familiar Remote Touch interface exclusive to Lexus still has me struggling, I imagine I am not the only one. But something that I will certainly never get the hang of is what Lexus calls the electrostatic climate control switchgear, which requires you to slide your finger along a metal strip to change the temperature of the cabin. By grief, I changed the temperature from 18 to 28 degrees in a matter of a second and what I really wanted was to land on 22 degrees. My second attempt saw me plummet back down to 16 and then back up 26…and so the climate control battle continued. I eventually gave up and asked my co-driver to help me out. I also opted instead to switch on the seat heating function, which is always a winner in winter, especially in that region (no, not the nether region, the Gauteng region…get your mind out of the gutter!).
The RC 200t is powered by a 2,0-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Here is where I should mention that a Gran Touring is meant to be a vehicle capable of covering long distances in great comfort and style. This is something the RC 22t certainly achieves. What it doesn’t achieve is doing it with much excitement in the air. Let’s just say you won’t hear much from the engine. It is quick enough however, if you like to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 7,5 seconds. You can also expect 180 kW of power and 350 N.m of torque. You can switch to Sport mode if you require a more “spirited” driving experience.
Overall, the RC 200t is a comfortable drive, one which ensured the conversation with my driving partner was never interrupted. If you don’t care for practicality and you want something that looks incredible, is comfortable and quick enough to drive, and if you want to stand out on the road (Lexus only aim to sell around 5 a month…it’s aspirational remember), then the R699 100 price tag won’t stand in the way of your owning this stylish, complete Grand Tourer.