• Four-passenger Lexus coupe debuts later in November
  • Four-cylinder hybrid and conventional V6 versions planned
  • Includes Lexus' new Remote Touch Interface

Lexus will debut a new vehicle at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show later this month, but the luxury automaker has already provided a sneak peak at the nearly production-ready vehicle. The Lexus RC is a sleek, 4-passenger coupe that will be offered in two versions, both of which share powertrains with current Lexus models. The RC 350 uses conventional gasoline power, while the RC 300h extends the brand's hybrid technology to the new model. Inside the RC, Lexus has fitted a new touchpad interface instead of the mouselike controller that's currently used in much of its lineup.

The RC 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that's currently used in models such as the Lexus IS and ES. The RC 300h, meanwhile, pairs a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a hybrid system to deliver better efficiency, though it's likely at the expense of some performance. That powertrain also serves in the current Lexus lineup, powering the ES 300h.

The RC should be a bit quicker and more economical than its similarly powered ES counterparts, though, since the coupe is smaller -- and probably lighter -- than that 5-passenger sedan. Lexus provides some dimensions that reveal the RC to be a bit longer and taller than the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 coupes. No weight specifications have yet been provided.

Inside, Lexus uses a two-tone treatment for the RC. The vehicle in the sneak-peak photos shows tan-colored seats, console and door panel accents and black finishes elsewhere. Dark wood trim and contrasting stitching provide a look that's both sporty and luxurious.

Perhaps the most notable change from the Lexus norm is the use of a new remote touchpad interface in the RC. Instead of the mouselike controller that's used in many current Lexus models, the RC provides a touchpad with a set of hot keys that allows the driver to interact with the vehicle's controls.

The automaker has not yet announced an on-sale date for the new Lexus RC 350 and RC 300h, but more information will likely be available when the RC makes its official debut on Nov. 20 at the Tokyo Auto Show.

What it means to you: Details are scant on the new Lexus RC, but the automaker has provided some photos that show the new model inside and out. Lexus also has announced the engines that will be available when the RC becomes a production-car reality.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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