New Lexus RC 2022 Coupe, Redesign, Release Date – The 2022 Lexus RC didn’t quite get the balance right between consummate luxury and high-end performance for some performance coupe enthusiasts. Lexus has rectified this with the 2022 model year. Adding a slew of performance-focused enhancements should do much to appease hardcore driving enthusiasts. Coming into 2022, Lexus attempts to refine the now six-year-old luxury sports coupe through weight reduction while maintaining the RC baseline build and ride quality. Weight reduction isn’t the whole story, though, and the 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine has been dialed up to produce 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, increases of five and six, respectively. The carried-over eight-speed automatic transmission keeps its place driving the rear wheels. The enhanced powertrain and reduced weight resulting in improved speed and handling. The new-for-2022 RC model finally manages to breach the four-second 0-60 mph barrier, taking the RC to BMW M4 territory.
New 2022 Lexus RC Redesign
The Lexus RC advances into 2022 with a range of performance-focused enhancements to improve the base model and the addition of a new derivative, the RC. Unfortunately, only 50 units are available in the US. The adjustments have been focused on reducing overall weight, with alterations including a pared-down intake manifold and a smaller air conditioning compressor under the hood, hollow half shafts in the rear diff, and aluminum for the toe control brackets and upper suspension support brackets. In addition, the powertrain has been refined with stiffer engine mounts, and a revised intake system improves throttle response and increases power and torque outputs by five and six increments, respectively. An electronic launch control feature has been included now, too, while the bodywork has been restyled minimally to accompany the increase in performance.
The 2022 Lexus RC is finely built and cohesive in design, with a good fit and finish and a high number of soft-touch materials on all major touchpoints. Ergonomics are typically Lexus. That is to say, everything falls to hand except a confusing infotainment setup, while the seats are supportive of a wide range of body types and suitable for long-distance travel in relative comfort. A good range of adjustability ensures most drivers will find an optimal seating position, with an abundance of room up front. The same can’t be said of the rear, though, where the sloping roofline and confined space aren’t suited to adults. 2022 Lexus RC sacrifices some interior refinement and is a little noisier than the standard model, but it’s all in the pursuit of performance.
The RC accommodates a maximum of four occupants. Two highly supportive sport bucket seats are fitted in the front cabin, while the rear bench is raised in the center for lateral support. The seating throughout the cabin is highly comfortable and supportive enough with adjustability suitable for optimal comfort and sporty driving. Headroom and legroom are adequate in the front seats, at least for most adults, but that room is gravely diminished in the rear of the cabin, although seating remains plush and supportive. Thanks to the moderately high seating position relative to other sports coupes in general, ingress and egress are made easy to live with daily. Forward visibility is sufficient, while rearward visibility is hampered by the thick rear roof pillars, resulting in substantial blind spots.
New 2022 Lexus RC Engine
The 2022 enhancements have improved performance specs from the RC slightly, taking the standard RC from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, around 0.2 seconds quicker than the previous model year, primarily due to the inclusion of launch control and reduced weight. But if performance is your utmost priority, the RC proves even quicker, arriving at the 60 mph mark in just 3.96 seconds. This finally places it in the sub-four-second bracket with rivals like the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S. Thank the weight loss and the increase in power for the RC Edition’s additional liveliness. At the same time, its retention of rear-wheel-drive is still geared towards the purists as opposed to the Audi RS5’s all-wheel-drive reliance. Unfortunately, regardless of the weight shaving strategy and general performance enhancements, the weight of the RC remains a hinder to its capability, with even the RC being around 160 lbs heavier than BMW’s own track-focused M4 CS.
The RC powertrain has been refined with minor tweaks and enhancements for quicker throttle response and better overall output relative to the 2022 model. Using a revised air intake, the 5.0-liter V8 engine – still gloriously naturally aspirated – receives five additional horsepower and six extra lb-ft of torque, taking total outputs to 472 hp and 395 lb-ft for the 2022 model. The engine is paired with the same eight-speed automatic transmission as last year.
With these refinements made, Lexus claims the RC boasts the best power-to-weight ratio among its competitors. Still, with no turbocharger bolstering mid-range torque, the V8’s potency is only unveiled when the revs start to climb towards redline. It’s an aural delight going in search of the power, the exhaust note unhindered by the addition of turbos. There’s a lack of punch at low engine speeds, but there’s a lot of delight to be had keeping it in the peak-power range on the back roads.
Minor revisions to the eight-speed auto ‘box have improved drivability, with gear selection coming smoothly promptly and both upshifts and downshifts handled swiftly. It still lacks the sharp snap of a dual-clutch offering, but it’s not the worst out there by any margin. In daily traffic, the auto rarely misses a beat and is happy to figure out what you want it to do and be in the right gear at the right time. The easy-to-engage launch control will bring a smile to the face, even if it’s not the quickest car off the line. Engaging Sport or Sport+ mode changes the RC demeanor drastically, sharpening up the throttle response and cranking the transmission’s aggression. The transmission holds the gears well without using the paddles, but the crisp response makes the paddles a delight to use.
New 2022 Lexus RC Release Date and Price
Prospective buyers are looking at a starting MSRP of $64,750 for the base RC F, while the 2022 Lexus RC will seek a hefty starting MSRP of $96,650, mainly due to extensive use of carbon fiber and the fact that the 2022 Lexus RC is limited to just 50 units. All stated figures exclude tax, registration, licensing fees, Lexus’ delivery, processing, and handling fee of $1,025. Individual dealers may offer dealer-specific incentives and pricing, so it pays to shop around.