Sunday Drive: Exploring Kodachrome Basin in a Lexus RC coupe
After driving hundreds of different vehicles over the past 10 years in our automotive journey, there are some that will always stand out, with the new Lexus RC Fuji edition definitely being one of the top contenders!
The Lexus RC coupe came to market seven years ago in 2014, with the company pointing out that the new moniker stood for “Radical Coupe.” Well, for the luxury brand to produce a coupe that is all about luxury yet also include the driving experience of a rear-wheel-drive track star, that we have to agree is a radical concept indeed.
As soon as we heard the Fuji Track Edition of the RC was on its way to Utah, it seemed only fitting to take a road trip in what is one of only 60 vehicles like this produced by Lexus in 2021. The hardest decision was where to go, as getting off-road would not be an option in the coupe.
We decided to take a quick trip to the Bryce Canyon area, seeing that we would be able to get into some great scenery and some very twisty roads that would really give the RC a fantastic test, and the ride would be beautiful to match.
Turned out to be the perfect weekend in October, with all the leaves brightly colored for fall, crystal blue skies and plenty of sun to accent the red rock cliffs of southern Utah. Unlike some of the other coupes we have driven in the past few months, being inside the Lexus was a very luxurious experience.
The designers have done a fantastic job by giving the driver just enough of a coupe-like feel to stay very grounded and the perfect amount of creature comforts to keeps us wanting to keep on driving and driving.
The RC sits a little higher than some others that we have driven, making it just a little easier for some of us age-advanced adults to get in and out. Always seems to be a thing with us that we should be able to exit a highly priced coupe with dignity when we pull up to a restaurant or even a trailhead for a hike.
After taking most of Saturday morning to get to our destination of Tropic, we checked into our hotel and decided to do something different. Instead of the natural choice of Bryce Canyon, we headed for a place we had never seen before, Kodachrome Basin State Park.
The short drive from Tropic proved to be even more challenging, as we had to pass through a “City Slickers”-type event with several cowboys driving a herd of cattle down the road as they changed them from their summer pastures. We didn’t want any of the huge cows bumping into the Lexus as we passed through what seemed to be a very narrow slot formed by the cowboys on horses!
Other than that, the drive to the park was invigorating, with the RC slicing through the curves like they were butter — yet we were in complete comfort inside with the windows down and temperatures in the mid 70s.
The Fuji Edition of the RC comes complete with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine — of course, just another part of the keeping the driver engaged. The power plant produces a whopping 472 horsepower with 395 foot pounds of torque that will propel the less-than-4,000-pound coupe to 60 in a mere 3.96 seconds.
Oh, and this is all done without the use of a turbocharger in the naturally aspirated engine, and it sounds so good as it takes off like some kind of jet. Definitely no turbo lag to contend with in the RC!
Yes, it also came with all the track additions that would make anyone in that environment happy: launch control, lap timers and a top speed of 168 miles per hour. How could anyone go wrong?
This performance package is wrapped with a stunning exterior that will keep folks asking questions no matter where you might be. The designers have incorporated a huge amount of carbon fiber into the RC. The hood, roof, wing and many accents are all made from the lightweight material. It is a good look on the coupe.
We stopped for lunch at a park in Salina on Sunday and had a whole group of teens surrounding the Lexus and asking questions about the car. This was a common occurrence with most anywhere we stopped along our weekend outing.
The inside of the F-Sport was made from a beautiful red leather that really added that extra little bit off luxury to the ride. The seats were extremely comfortable for the long ride and were heated and cooled, as we would have expected from the luxury brand.
A large 10.3-inch infotainment screen handles all the media and other options available in the Lexus, with the track pad again being our only complaint with the ride as it is still hard to use and navigate with. We are much better now with any Lexus at just using voice commands to get what we want, from more air to navigation points.
There was plenty of leg room up front and a huge trunk space where there was room enough for not only our weekend jaunt but would have taken even more luggage, making a long vacation road trip possible.
There is a back seat included; however, the leg room for a long journey would not be great. We used it mostly to put the things we would need along the trip like treats and a pillow so they were handy.
Speed, looks, luxury: The 2021 Lexus RC F-Sport has them all in one complete package, making for a great choice in the luxury sports coupe market.
Base price: $97,100
Destination charge: $1,025
Price as driven: $102,510