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Lexus RC coupe gets Tokyo release, two-door style


True style takes confidence. You can't hit the street in flashy fashion if you're afraid of people looking and judging — a truth that applies as much to metal clothes as fabric ones. Whatever Lexus may lack in status among gearheads, the new Lexus RC coupe that will roll into the Tokyo Motor Show later this month demonstrates that the Japanese automaker has an abundance of confidence in its new style.

A two-door version of the Lexus IS sedan, Lexus says the RC will draw power from either a 3.5-liter V-6 (which makes 305 hp in the IS) or a hybrid-boosted 2.5-liter four-cylinder. While the performance, details and price have yet to be revealed, using the IS as a base would make a safe forecast of all such figures.

The real calling card for the RC — besides offering Lexus dealers a competitor to the BMW, Audi and likely Cadillac luxury small coupes — lies in its exterior design, the most aggressive version yet of the Predator-shaver grille, along with more flowing character lines than previous iterations. From the pictures alone, the RC holds more promise than the LF-NX crossover concept Lexus will show a turbo version of on the stand at Tokyo, demonstrating once again that the look feels more harmonious on a car's face than a tall SUV's. Confidence is necessary for good design, but it's not sufficient without backup.