The 2021 Lexus RC continues to make an argument for the sports coupe, despite its advancing age. Entering its seventh model year, the RC is due for a redesign in the next year or two.
The 2021 model brings few changes. The biggest is the addition of extra standard safety features, but there are also new limited editions for performance variants.
Choosing Your Lexus RC
The RC comes in three basic trims: RC 300, RC 350, and RC F. Prices range from $43,145 including destination for the base RC 300 to $66,900 for the RC F.
The RC offers four powertrain options delineated by trim and driven wheels. Things get complicated here – the RC 300 starts with rear-wheel drive, but adding all-wheel drive (for $2,700) brings in a de-tuned version of the RC 350’s V6. The RC F features a 5.0-liter V8.
|Fuel Economy (Combined)
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder
Rear-wheel-drive cars use an eight-speed automatic transmission, but all-wheel-drive models get six gears. The V8 in the RC F makes it a fearsome performance machine; fully equipped, it does the 0-60 mph sprint in under four seconds.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Lexus RC is a sports coupe – passengers and cargo are not its main priorities. It does have a back seat to seat up to four passengers, but it’s sized better for cargo than for adults.
The extra cargo space is useful, because the trunk holds only 10.4 cubic feet. Even for a coupe, that’s not great.
For a sports car, the Lexus RC is a safety all-star. It comes with a comprehensive suite of safety tech, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. For 2021, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert join the list of standard features.
Parking sensors are available on every trim for $500.
The RC starts with a 7-inch infotainment display, but a 10.3-inch screen is available as part of a package at every trim. Neither one is touch controlled – drivers have to use a control knob or touchpad in the center console.
The upgraded infotainment system is hidden away in the Navigation Package ($1,645), which can be combined with a Mark Levinson premium audio system for another $1,080.
The RC 300 starts with the luxury features we’d expect in this price range. In addition to the safety features, keyless entry and dual-zone automatic climate control come standard. Wheels are 18-inch alloys, and the seats are upholstered in synthetic leather.
RC 300 F Sport variants have their own listing, but it’s essentially a performance package for $4,470. This model gets aggressive accents on the outside, exclusive gauges inside, and adaptive dampers underneath.
Heated and ventilated front seats come in the Premium Package ($1,790) along with heated side mirrors and rain-sensing wipers. A moonroof is a $1,100 standalone option.
The price bump for the RC 350 goes toward the 3.5-liter V6 under the hood – trim and features mirror the RC 300. The F Sport trim adds all the same features, and all-wheel drive is still a $2,700 option.
For 2021, the RC 300 and 350 F Sport get an additional Black Line edition. These are exactly what they sound like, where black accents join 19-inch wheels and upgraded LED headlights.
The RC F is the speed demon of the family. In addition to the brawny V8, it gets a specially-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission, a limited-slip differential, and an adaptive sport suspension. Outside of the performance department, the RC F looks much like the other trims, with synthetic leather upholstery and the 7-inch infotainment screen to start.
Luxury features like leather upholstery and heated front seats come in the Premium Package, which costs $4,875 here. It can be combined with carbon-fiber aerodynamic elements and carbon-fiber trim for a total of $11,000.
If the RC F still doesn’t have enough performance to satisfy, the Fuji Speedway Edition takes track days to the next level. With a fixed rear wing, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a titanium exhaust, the Fuji edition is lighter, faster, and grippier. As a package, it’s more expensive than many new cars at an extra $31,225 over the RC F.
The middle trim is the sweet spot in the 2021 Lexus RC lineup. The base engine is nothing to write home about, but with the V6 engine makes for a decent combination of luxury and performance.