The current base 335i MSRPs at ~$43.5K with a 300 hp, 32mpg hwy 3 liter turbo in-line 6. Base pricing on German cars is generally deceptively low, as they tend to make even floor mats a costly option. Nonetheless, $43.5K is $5K less than the $48.5K IS350 F Sport I priced yesterday. Most of the car mags seem to acknowledge the BMW 3 (& now 4) series as benchmarks in this segment, but Audi and others are presenting stiff competition as well. That's all good for us. I'm hawking for accurate pricing on the RC350, as it is currently at the top of my list. I'm hoping the pricing will keep it there. I prefer the quality/reliability, warranty performance and customer service of Lexus/Toyota compared to German makers, but price, performance and even manual trans availability are also factors for me.I know manuals are on the decline, but I believe that presents a market opportunity for makers that choose to offer them. I did recently test drive a '11 IS F, and didn't miss the 3rd pedal as much as I thought I would. For now, the RC350 with the 8 speed auto has a spot reserved in my garage, barring any ugly pricing surprises. If it does price too high, BMW is next in line.
Edit: Let's hoping Lexus specs a torsen diff in the RC series, as they finally did with the IS F starting in MY 2011. Otherwise, I think many driving enthusiasts will look elsewhere.