Skip to main content

Featured Post

Jorge Velez - Roman Birds Music Album Reviews

Inspired by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, this five-track ambient wonder finds the New York producer letting pulses and motifs overlap until the tracks resemble the inside of a lava lamp.
Jorge Velez has long been prolific, but that’s been especially true in the past few years. Like many underground electronic musicians, the New York producer has taken advantage of the internet’s self-publishing opportunities—in particular, the direct-to-fans platform Bandcamp—to sidestep label gatekeepers, streaming services, and crowded retailers. (Velez’s Bandcamp page currently numbers 26 releases.) Velez first gained recognition a dozen years ago with blippy disco derivatives for labels like Italians Do It Better, but his output has gradually become more esoteric and inward-looking. He’s still capable of ebullient club tracks, as last year’s excellent Forza attests, but many of his long, undulating machine jams sound like late-night missives to himself.



2018 Lexus RC Review

2018 Lexus RC Review
The Lexus RC coupes step gradually from luxury liners to engaging sport coupes.

The 2018 Lexus RC is a two-door coupe with big ideas. It takes on sporty rivals from BMW and Mercedes, in every permutation: base coupe, all-weather coupe, high-performance coupe.

This year, Lexus renames the RC 200t and makes it the RC 300. It’s the sole 4-cylinder coupe; the 300 AWD, 350, and 350 AWD models each have a V-6 engine, and each offers a tuned F Sport model.

We rate the 2018 Lexus RC a 6.2, giving it points for exterior design, steering and handling, interior quality, and front seat comfort.

A sinister-looking rendition of the Lexus hourglass grille dons the RC's nose, supercharged with visual drama on F Sport versions. The side view's graceful even if the roofline is a bit thick, and the shoulder line lifts at a pretty point on the rear quarters. The cockpit’s control pad and off-center, oddly stacked components disturb the high-quality look.

It's a nicely balanced luxury coupe with few rough edges to its performance contours. Base turbo-4 coupes are slight on power; the RC 350 still is the star of the lineup, with strong acceleration in the high-five-second range. With the F Sport handling package, it compiles into a luxury coupe that’s capable of quick rips through twisty roads.

Front passengers get all the good stuff in the RC. Seats get progressively more bolstering and stitching through the F Sport range. The back buckets are there for looks, mostly. Adults won’t fit; they do fold to expand the RC’s moderately sized trunk.

Crash-test scores have been good so far, and Lexus now makes forward-collision warnings and adaptive cruise control standard. Other features are optional on base cars and standard on expensive models: leather, a sunroof, an infotainment system, navigation, premium audio, ventilated seats and more.

The high-performance Lexus RC F is covered separately.

The Lexus RC wears big jewelry and lush curves, but its straightforward cabin has some issues.

Lexus fuses a dramatic grille to a sleekly drawn two-door body in its RC coupe. It’s a graceful shape, one that settles in right along with the Toyota 86, but the interior could use more drama.

We give the RC a 6 for style, adding a point above the average for exterior design.

Lexus stamps the RC with its best visual hook right up front. The massive, deep hourglass grille dominates even the base versions, while F Sport cars are more bold and underscore it. Base models have vertical lines bisected by a blacked-out vertical piece, while the F Sport models get a full mesh treatment. From the side, the coupe can look somewhat thick, but it resolves in a tidy point at the rear.

The cabin strikes out on the same interesting road as other Lexus cockpits. Big horizontal elements dominate the dash. Like they do in other Lexus cars, those elements draw attention to a couple of foibles. In the RC, the optional infotainment touchpad sits on the console, with a tacked-on look. The center stack of controls looks as if it wasn’t drawn to house the sound system. Atop those, a 7.0-inch screen is replaced by a 10.25-inch screen on cars with the navigation system.

For performance, stick with the RC 350, but the adaptive steering and suspension aren’t must-haves.

The Lexus RC offers a choice of turbo-4, base V-6 and high-output V-6 engines. In tandem with available all-wheel drive and adaptive damping, the RC has a wide range of road manners, from mild to sublime and sporty.

We give the RC a 7 rating for performance, awarding extra points for handling and steering.

The base coupe has been renamed the RC 300. It’s still powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4. With 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, it shuffles its low-aspiration power to the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic. It takes 7.3 seconds to hit 60 mph—not slow, but hampered by the RC’s substantial curb weight.
The V-6 RC coupes get a 5-hp bump this year. The mid-range RC 300 has a 3.5-liter V-6 with 260 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, which it delivers to all four wheels in a fixed 30/70 power split that favors the rear. A 6-speed automatic handles shifts, and Lexus says the combination translates into 0-60 mph times of 6.3 seconds.

We think the RC 350 is the best of the lot. Its 3.5-liter V-6 drills out 311 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, and sends it to the rear wheels through the 8-speed, or through all four wheels via the 6-speed automatic. The coarse growl of its V-6 is dubbed down by lots of sound deadening, and acceleration hits a sport-coupe stride. Rear-drive cars hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, AWD cars in 6.0 seconds. Top speeds are 143 mph and 130 mph, respectively.

In the RC 350, the more advanced automatic does more interesting things–namely, offers choice between Normal, Sport, and Manual shift modes and paddle shift controls, as well as predictive shift logic which blips the throttle to render buttery-smooth gear changes.

RC coupes have a double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear setup tuned just slightly on the firm side. Drivers should find that it's compliant enough for everyday driving. While it may be slightly too underdamped on curvy country roads, it hits the right balance of ride and handling for a pure luxury coupe. Even the electric steering feels settled and acceptably quick.

An F Sport package upgrades handling with a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, adaptive dampers, a Sport+ drive mode, and multi-program stability control. The rear-drive RC 350 F Sport gets its own steering hardware too, a variable-gear-ratio steering rack that changes ratio according to speed and yaw. That particular model also injects a couple of degrees of rear-wheel steering in Sport+ mode at speeds below 50 mph to help it feel more maneuverable.

The Lexus RC encourages swift jaunts along twisty roads. We're not convinced of the absolute benefits of the variable steering controls, since the base car acquits itself well with summer tires, but the adaptive dampers and drive-mode selectors give the RC a wider latitude in driving attitudes that's on par with similar systems from BMW and Audi. The dampers especially give the F Sport a firmer ride than the standard car, but don't destroy its well-sorted ride quality when cranked into its more intense settings.

Comfort & Quality
The Lexus RC games its front thrones, and leaves the back seats to the peasants.

With the RC, Lexus has a coupe that’s sized somewhat like its chief rivals. It doesn’t provide the rear-seat space available in some.

It’s a 5 for comfort as a result. We love the fit of the front seats, and the finishes are nicely rendered, but the back seat isn’t much of a back seat if you’re bigger than a car seat.

In front, the RC gives passengers good space and lovely low-slung seats. They’re some of the best Lexus sells, with dense bolsters and stitching that follows the contours of back muscles. F Sport seats have shoulder wings and big bolsters, but they’re also wide enough to fit larger passengers. The RC’s telescoping steering wheel ensures a good driving position.

The back seats don’t offer much room at all. They split and fold for trunk access, but won’t comfortably fit most people.

That trunk is big enough for a couple of golf bags, at 10.4 cubic feet.

The RC’s interior is put together well enough, and finishes are lovely. There are some alignment issues with the infotainment system controller and the audio system that seem planned-in, but poorly thought out.

The Lexus RC already has excellent crash-test scores in its corner.

The NHTSA hasn’t crash-tested the RC, but the IIHS has, and it’s good news for Lexus.

The IIHS gives the RC a Top Safety Pick+ award, which means great scores as well as good headlights.

Without the full picture, we can't assign the Lexus RC a score, however.

A rearview camera is standard, and the measly 7.0-inch display it uses gets swapped out for a larger 10.25-inch screen on navigation-equipped cars.

Drivers of RC F Sport coupes can tweak stability control settings for track-day permissiveness.

This year, Lexus has made a bundle of safety technology standard. It includes forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic headlights. Blind-spot monitors are an option.

Lexus needs a new infotainment system, but the RC is otherwise nicely equipped.

This year, Lexus has renamed one of the RC models—the RC 200t becomes the RC 300–while all others return mostly unchanged.

All models come with generous standard features, lots of options, and Lexus’ excellent reputation for service. We give it a 7 for features, knocking it down a point for its confusing infotainment system.

The base Lexus RC coupe comes with power features, cruise control, automatic climate control, synthetic leather trim, LED headlights and taillights, heated front seats, 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, a split-folding rear seatback, and a rearview camera.

The base audio system has a CD player, satellite and HD radio, Bluetooth with audio streaming, twin USB ports and an aux jack. Lexus does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The interface is a maddening roller-wheel input device and a 7.0-inch display.

As an option, Lexus fits its Enform infotainment system. It adds a touchpad that accepts swipe, zoom, and pinch inputs. The inputs don’t translate on the larger 10.25-inch screen quickly enough, and the user interface could use a crisper, more colorful look.

Option packages tailor the RC to its driver. An F Sport package adds an adaptive suspension, performance brakes, 19-inch wheels with all-season or summer tires, and touches like sport seats that can heat up or cool down. RC Luxury coupes have heated and cooled front seats, blind-spot monitors, and perforated leather upholstery. Other options include navigation, a sunroof, and Mark Levinson premium audio.

Fuel Economy
Stick with the base Lexus RC 300 if you’re keen on highway gas mileage.

Base turbo-4 notwithstanding, the Lexus RC doesn’t post great gas mileage ratings.

That base model, dubbed the RC 300 this year, earns EPA ratings of 22 mpg city, 32 highway, 26 combined. With all-wheel drive, the RC 300 adopts a V-6, and the duo weighs down on fuel economy to the tune of 18/24/21 mpg.

The RC 350 has a higher-output V-6 and an 8-speed automatic, so it fares better: 20/28/23 mpg with rear-wheel drive, or 18/24/21 mpg with all-wheel drive.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Apple iPad Pro 2018 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Apple’s latest iPad Pros are a very tempting purchase, but should you stick with the tried-and-tested Surface Pro from Microsoft? We help you decide which tablet to buy.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Or Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018)? Two very competent 2-in-1s, one running Windows 10, the other iOS 12. For many this difference alone will inform the final choice, but both are top-notch tablets. 

Huawei P Smart 2019 Review

Huawei has updated its budget Android phone for 2019. It’s faster and better than before, but should you buy it? Read our review to find out.
Should I Buy The Huawei P Smart 2019?
The P Smart 2019 is a great upgrade from the 2018 model with a bigger screen and better performance. However, as with the original P Smart, Honor's version is better value.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

LG Gram 17 Review: Hands-on

LG’s Gram 17 was on display at CES 2019 and we got our hands on the ultra-thin, ultra-light device featuring a beautiful 17-inch display
Should I Buy The LG Gram 17?
The Gram 17 is an impressive bit of kit, but it is serving more of a niche audience than it perhaps appears.
A laptop with a display any bigger than 15 is perhaps approaching a point where it struggles to be called ‘portable’ due to it’s raw size. However, if that isn’t something that bothers you, the 17-inch display is fantastic for both working and watching your favourite films or series on.
Everything else aside the Gram is a beautiful, extremely light choice of laptop that manages to pack a lot of power and utility into an incredibly slim, slick package.

Like Fan Page