2018 Lexus RC Gets Modest Enhancements, Confusing Nomeclature

Lexus has announced a series of revisions to its RC coupe lineup, the most notable of them a modest increase in output and a renaming of some of the versions available.

For 2018, the RC 200t has been replaced by the RC 300. At this point you may be thinking that Lexus already offered an RC 300, and you’re right. But now it offers two.

Despite the nomenclature, the RC 300 RWD keeps the same 2.0-liter turbo four as the previous RC 200t, rated at the same 241 horsepower – only now it has a different name. The RC 300 AWD packs an entirely different engine: a 3.5-liter V6 now rated at 260 hp, representing a five-horse increase over last year’s model.

The latter is the same engine as you’ll find in the rear-drive and all-wheel drive versions of the RC 350, but in that model it produces 311 hp (also five hp more than the existing version). An eight-speed automatic transmits the power to the rear wheels, or a six-speed to all four.

Confusing? You betcha. And we’re not quite sure why Lexus has undertaken such a move, but we won’t be surprised to see it do the same with other models powered by that same 2.0-liter turbo – including the NX and RX crossovers and the IS and GS sedans.

Other enhancements for 2018 are relatively minor. There’s a larger 10.3-inch infotainment screen, some new safety and entertainment systems, added drive modes on F Sport variants, and a new shade of yellow for the latter.

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  • I did RC track day at Autobahn CC. I really like the RCs.


    car manufs is no longer honest to offer their badges. Lexus already followed merc and bimmer way to badge their cars

    • Grumpy

      They are fairly representing the power output rather than the size of the engine. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  • Matt

    Ridiculous naming strategy to match its ridiculous styling. Those plastic rear bumper slats are a woeful decision by the design team.

  • Bo Hanan

    200t sounds wimpy. They should have just called the entry level call, “RC”.

  • ediotsavant

    Stupidity follows stupid.

  • Six_Tymes

    This isn’t aging very well. from most angles it looks like a bloat mobile.

    • that’s true, not aging well at all. ALREADY!

  • Someone spelt nomenclature wrong in the title 🙂

  • Waleesa1

    Sometimes I think many company executives & branding consultants got together at a retreat and resolved to use increasingly nonsensical nomenclatures. Many of these guys attended prestigious and fancy schools but I suspect that common sense as a discipline needs to be part of the curriculum.

    Mercedes, Audi, Apple, Intel. The list goes on.

    The Branding Dilemma – http://bit.ly/R5pYkh

  • fabri99

    Lexus lineup is like algebra – numbers get mixed up with letters and there’s no way to figure out what you’re getting.

  • BlackPegasus

    I seriously considered this coupe at some point but I simply could not live with that atrocious interior. It’s one of the worst on the market, and quite frankly it’s embarrassing for Lexus.

    • SteersUright

      Same. Was shocked at how cramped it was, aside from how plain it was as well. Almost as if they ran out of interest at some point.

  • TheBelltower

    Why not just call it what it is? A Solara that’s gone on a diet of protein powder.

  • Caleb Washington

    Someone spelt nomenclature wrong in the title 🙂

  • Merc1

    Just stupid. The car is a complete non event also. Other than looks and a nice interior, it isn’t worth considering. The drive is completely forgettable.


  • Nordschleife

    I wad really hoping that they would change the design of the taillights at very least the internals.

  • Tumbi Mtika


  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    very beatiful car, best looking in that class to me.

  • el brago

    200t sounds wimpy. They should have just called the entry level call, “RC”.

  • sidewaysspin

    Still cannot comprehend why the Nike logo at the front.

  • Appallingly-designed car.

  • Big Black Duck

    wtf is up with that grille…looks ridiculous

    • Eythan Aldrich

      you should’ve said that…………years ago……..try again next time -_-

  • SteersUright

    Lexus has no idea how to build brand confidence and credibility. They make terrific quality automobiles with poor powertrains and goofy designs. These recent moves make no sense, just the same as the rest of their powertrains. Slow shifting automatics in sport sedans, underpowered 4cyl Turbo’s and V6’s, and dropping a torqueless, high rpm beauty of a V8 in heavy cars that would do so much better with torque over rpm’s. They’re so close to being the best luxury car maker in the world, but seem to never be able to make the leap. Perhaps some better-than-expected answers to the “M”, “AMG”, “S & RS” models might be a start towards building confidence in Lexus’ engineering prowess. Not cars like the RC which is just plain goofy looking, poorly proportioned, slow, heavy, and barely desirable.

  • Grumpy

    i’m guessing the detuned 3.5 is a placeholder for when the 2.0 turbo comes in awd form for this and the IS.

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