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Interview with Junichi Furuyama from the Tokyo Motor Show.

Question:Were IS & RC developed concurrently?

Furuyama: Correct. They were started one year apart — the IS was first and the RC followed.

RC is supposed to exist on its own, being the chief engineer of RC and IS, how did you keep them separate?

The IS was a new challenge for Lexus, as we were trying to achieve the very best performance levels with the vehicle. We introduced laser-welding and adhesive materials as part of the development of the new IS, and felt we were able to compete quite strongly in terms of performance.

It was around this time we started developing the new RC. In terms of research and development, the RC is the latest IS in a coupe shape — however, in terms of positioning the model, we didn’t want the RC to simply be the coupe version of the IS.

To figure it out, we went back to the basic question of [B]“Why do we want to add a coupe to the Lexus lineup?”
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Lexus wants to explore the emotional aspect of cars — when we say emotional, it’s the inspiring & exciting kind — and coupes are very much a weapon we can use for such emotional achievement.

For this purpose, we didn’t want this to be the coupe version of the IS, because the IS already exists as a model. We wanted to bring in something entirely new. It’s not an extension of the IS, but its very own model.

What defines the RC Coupe?

A coupe is a car that is a point of aspiration for a certain kind of person. It’s beautiful to look at, the shape itself is so smooth and beautiful, and it has good performance. There are some downsides to it — it only has two doors and you can’t fit a lot of luggage.

We set out to make this car the ultimate automobile for people that love coupes. We want the RC to be love at first sight, and with such a passionate feeling — after a test drive, these people simply must own it. That’s the kind of thing we want to create.

How close is the RC concept to the production model?

Well, I’ll give you my honest thoughts about that — I would like to see the RC on display in mass production. That’s my personal feeling. We may have to make adjustments to the current shape due to business decisions, but I will be making my upmost effort to make the RC as is.
 

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we didn’t want the RC to simply be the coupe version of the IS.
Just when everyone thought a "coupe version of the IS" was a good idea, Lexus doing what they did here was far better, making the RC unique and not related to any other platform they have.
 

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I mean the RC is similar to the IS, but it isn't just the IS coupe, it has its own personality, and IMO is better than the IS. I'm really happy with the direction that Lexus went with the RC 350.
 
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