2015 Lexus RC Sport Coupe

2015 Lexus RC Sport Coupe

Episode 3409
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you’ve been following the Lexus brand lately, you know that they’re on an all-out mission to shed their soft, comfy, pure luxury image…that’s still a work in progress; it takes a long time to change people’s minds about a brand. But the new RC coupe just might be the car that speeds that change along. 

The 2015 Lexus RC marks the brand’s reentry into the sporty coupe segment. And from the looks of this car, they’re not jumping back in quietly. The RC may not instantly strike fear into the hearts of the German marques that dominate this segment, but they will certainly know Lexus has joined the party. 

The RC’s compliant, yet very rigid chassis is an all-star for sure. It’s not a new chassis per se, but a modified combination of 2 separate Lexus platforms. The front architecture and suspension comes from the mid-size GS, while the rear comes from the compact IS, with a lot of structural bracing in between. Enough to satisfy a fairly wide variety of tastes.

Taking a walk through the lineup, things start with the RC 350. It’s the tamest model with a 3.5-liter V6 coming directly over from the GS, outputting the same 306-horsepwer and 277 lb-ft. of torque. Transmission is also the same 8-speed automatic, with steering wheel shifters, unless you choose all-wheel-drive in which case you’ll lose 2 gears.

But, the outside is anything but tame. While it may not the most dynamic looking Lexus of all-time, it’s pretty darn close.

It’s still Lexus-smooth, but with plenty of sharp angles and body tucks to drum up some excitement. The front end screams aggression with a big-mouth grille and vertical openings slashed into the corners.

18-inch wheels are standard, with significant fender flares above them. L-shaped LED rear lighting has been updated with clear, jagged lenses protruding out. The rear bumper also gets slashed up with simulated corner vents.

Inside, things are less of a departure. There’s still lots of luxury to touch and plenty of serenity to be had when driving. Lexus calls this a pure 2+2 Coupe, so rear space, especially leg room, is limited.

4-dial gauges set a sporty tone, with a small central TFT screen providing plenty of info. 10.4 cubic-ft of space hides in the trunk, and useful folding rear seatbacks add to that. Neither back-up camera nor navigation are standard, however, but if you do upgrade, there’s a new remote touchpad for inputs. 

Next up the line is the RC 350 F Sport, and the added content is very high. For the exterior, there are 19-inch wheels, unique front and rear fascia, and fender badging. 

Inside it gets even better with supportive sport seats, new sport pedals, LFA-inspired gauges, black headliner, and tasteful silver trim. 

While the Sport’s engine is unchanged, there are lots of mechanical upgrades. Like adaptive variable suspension, high-friction brake pads, 4-wheel steering, and the additional Sport+ driving mode.

We spent most of our drive time in the F Sport and were very impressed with its light and balanced feel. Around the track at the Monticello Motor Club, things felt super-rigid with virtually no flex.

The rear-steer speeds up turn-ins, and the car has an almost Porsche-like competency, where you have a hard time believing you’re having this much fun in a straight-up street car, let alone a Lexus. And you can do some serious pushing without feeling like you’re going to end up in some “epic fail” video on You Tube.

But, where this tale really gets interesting is in the top-of-the-line RC F. This car is serious, with a 467-horsepwer 5.0-liter V8, as well as fully upgraded chassis and brakes.

It’s a beast! On the street, it feels a little nose heavy, and steering is slower, though you can dial in more with Sport and Sport+ settings, but we found it almost too aggressive for everyday use.

On the track however, it comes alive with the V8 growling on acceleration, and barking on downshifts. Transmission is also an 8-speed, but it’s different enough to get a separate internal name.

A Torsen limited-slip rear is standard and you can upgrade to a torque vectoring rear, which includes “set-it-and-forget-it” presets for standard, slalom, and track. The torque vectoring rear is highly recommended, as it allows you to seriously late brake and perform dare-devil late turn-ins well beyond your skill set.

All of that, along with huge 6-piston Brembos up front, make the RC F a legit player in the RS, M, and AMG game. Lexus claims 0-60 happens in 4.4-seconds and we believe it. 

Prices are competitive too, starting at $43,715 for the RC 350, the F Sport comes in at $47,700, and the big-dog RC F goes for $63,325. 

While the LFA got the performance-image ball rolling for Lexus, things have been slow in gaining momentum. But we think the 2015 RC is a game changer, and just what the Lexus makeover has been waiting for.


  • Engine: 3.5 liter V6
  • Horsepower: 306
  • Torque: 277 lb-ft.
2024 Mazda CX-90 Front Quarter 1

2024 Mazda CX-90

A Force To Be Reckoned With

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.

Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.

Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.

There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.

2024 Mazda CX-90 3
2024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile
2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine
2024 Mazda CX-90 32024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine

It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.

At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.

Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.

There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.

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Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.

As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.

Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.

Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.


  • Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
  • Horsepower: 340
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
  • EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
  • Starting Price: $40,970