There are strong indications that a new Lexus RC coupe may be on the horizon within the next five years. The Toyota GR GT3 concept, showcased at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2022, seems to have been a preview of the upcoming production sports car. Patent drawings of the vehicle appeared on the European Union Intellectual Property Office website, confirming its development as a production car.
Reports suggest that the production version of the GR GT3 concept will likely bear the Lexus badge. Toyota WEC Team Director Rob Leupen hinted at this possibility, stating that it depends on how the project develops within Toyota. If this is the case, it is highly probable that the new model will serve as the successor to the current Lexus RC coupe, which is in need of an update.
While there is no official confirmation, there are indications that the future Lexus RC successor will feature a hybrid powertrain. Cooper Ericksen, group vice president of product planning and strategy at Toyota, mentioned that electrification is being considered for the GR line. Although it’s not certain, it wouldn’t be surprising if the next Lexus RC incorporates a hybrid system, given the direction of the industry and the brand’s focus on performance.
The current Lexus RC is not the lightest sports car available, weighing close to 4,000 pounds. However, it is expected that the next generation will undergo a weight reduction regime, employing lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber. If the new Lexus RC can achieve a weight of 3,500 pounds or less, it would be quite impressive. Not to mention, the current Lexus RC F GT3 has proven to be a champion in its classes as Lexus and Vasser Sullivan celebrated top finishes in the production-based ranks for the organization at the six hours of the Glen, becoming the second team in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to take home GTD Pro and GTD class victories in the same race.
With the inevitable move to EVs, there is a possibility that the Lexus RC successor will feature an electrified drivetrain. This aligns with Toyota and Lexus’s plans to electrify most of their lineup by 2030. Lexus has already teased a concept called the Electrified Sport, showcasing what a full battery electric vehicle (BEV) sports car could look like. The similarities between the Electrified Sport concept and the GR GT3 concept, including their shared long hood silhouette, indicate that an electrified Lexus RC is not out of the question.
Considering an anticipated hybrid powertrain, lightweight components, and economic climate, it is likely that the next-generation Lexus RC will come with a higher price tag. Starting prices between $75,000 and $80,000 wouldn’t be unreasonable, although any lower price point would be impressive.