Review: 2016 Lexus RC 200t

– Detroit, Michigan

Reality check: most people like coupes because of the way they look, more than the way they drive.

Car journalists often get a skewed vision of the world. Case in point is the Lexus RC, a car that I’d driven several times in RC F guise – with the rubber-melting 5.0-liter V8 engine – and once, briefly, with the V6 as the RC 350. Before something called the “RC 200t” showed up on the Motor1 car board, I only faintly remembered that Lexus now offered the coupe with a turbocharged four-cylinder.

Referring back to my opening statement though, of course there’s a 2.0T version. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz also have coupes of similar size with similar powertrains. Because, well, some folks just want two doors and a slinky roofline, regardless of what it’s packing under the hood.

Pros

  • With the visual punch of the F Sport package – bigger wheels, sports seats, perforated leather on the steering wheel and shifter, etc. – the RC 200t is every bit the motoring wildflower as its RC F brother, especially in this ludicrous, almost lickable shade of Creamsicle Orange (actually called “Molten Pearl”). When I drove it to my friend Wolfgang’s birthday party, a buddy asked, “Whose supercar is in the driveway?” We had the RC F in exactly the same color the week before this 200t, and I can say that the attention paid by onlookers to both cars was roughly equal, despite the precipitous drop in horsepower (which is hard to see from the curb).
  • Looks are subjective, and this desig...