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Both cars explore uncharted territory for both Lexus and Cadillac, a segment traditionally dominated previously by the 3 series coupe and now the 4 series.

Cadillac has never made a compact luxury coupe, the closest they got was the drop top Allante/ Similar to Lexus whose only experience in segment was the IS C (still partially living on under the RC). The two cars also represent two different ways of arriving at the same journey. The ATS coupe chops two doors off the sedan while sharing the same wheelbase and length, while the RC cobbles together bits from three different platforms.

As for styling I think the Lexus wins hands down. Its not that the ATS is ugly, far from it. I find the ATS to be quietly elegant, if not slightly constrained. Don't like the new badge however or the acres of legacy chrome, but thats just taste. The RC expresses its intent from the first minute you lay eyes on it, I think thats what a sports car is supposed to do, let you know exactly what it intends to be before it even turns a wheel in anger. Of course it needs to back up the talk.

I can't comment on comparable dynamics as I've not driven an ATS coupe, but we can look at the specs.

Lexus RC- $42,790

3.5L V6 307 hp, 276 lb.-ft. of torque

Cadillac ATS- $37,995

2.0T i4 272 hp, 295 lb.-ft. of torque

OR

3.6L V6 321 hp, 275 lb.-ft.of torque.
 

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If we are mostly talking about syling here, I have to agree with most of what you are saying. I think that the ATS Coupe almost hits the nail on the head. There is something missing from making it a home run (to mix metaphors). I do like the new emblem though. I think it's better than the old one. I think the more Cadillac embraces its Elmiraj concept's styling for its upcoming vehicles, the better it will do.

Lexus has really hit its stride with its current design language though. I just have to say that the cross hatched grille filling looks much better than the vertical slats.
 
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