Lexus sales are soaring in the UK, and all across the European continent, even in Germany. What’s happened? New products, in short. Arguably the best of the lot is the F version of the RC, a true super-coupe.

At 4.7 metres long, the RC is Lexus’ answer to the BMW 4 Series, Audi A5/S5 and the future Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe. In the UK, the shorter but very pricey F-TYPE is another rival. At 2,070mm across, including mirrors, the Japanese car is close to being too wide for Britain’s typically narrow parking spaces and garages. The Jaguar is wider still, which might be another reason why it’s still a rare sight on British roads despite having been on sale for two years now.

The width is surely one of the reasons why the RC F corners with almost no body roll. In as-tested form, there’s also little in the way of traction issues, despite drive being sent to just one axle. That’s due to the optional torque-vectoring differential, which costs a not insubstantial GBP3,500 on top of the GBP60,995 list price.

Is that diff worth the money? For anyone who intends to take part in a track day or two once a year, yes it is. For the rest of us…? Maybe not so much. It certainly helps massively with the fun factor of throwing this car around and being entertained by its complete unwillingness to lose traction. 

Other very impressive attributes include big Brembo brakes. These are 380 x 34 at the front and 345 x 28 at the back. The parking brake is electronic. Something else in the chassis department that’s now become the norm for most cars is electric rather than power-robbing hydraulic assistance for the steering. The downside can be a lack of feedback but in this Lexus that’s not the case. Aside from the much missed LFA, the RC F must surely be the division’s best sports car yet. And I would include the wickedly wild IS F.

The feral version of the old-shape IS was in fact the trailblazer for the RC F. It had the same stacked exhaust tips and its V8 engine was also a 5.0-litre V8, sending drive the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. We can blame Euro 6 emission laws for the mere 477hp (351kW) of the RC’s 4,969cc V8. This is delivered at 7,100rpm and yes, it does indeed scream its way to the redline. Torque? That’s 530Nm at a very un-V8 like 4,800-5,600rpm. This is certainly no old-school big capacity, lazy V8 – the IS F’s 500hp unit was tuned by Yamaha and you can well believe that this latest one is too.

The ears might thrill to the sound of the engine, and the downshifts will tingle the hairs on the back of your neck if you play with the paddles to decelerate, but there is additional pleasure to be had for your sense of touch. This comes from the haptic controller for the Navi system, with temperature adjustments made via a finger touch to the electrostatic switches. You can just slide them up and down too.

The interior is unlike that of its rivals, and that’s no bad thing. Lexus really is beginning to set some standards, while almost all competitors go off in the same direction as Audi. The German brand does of course come up with some marvellously elegant designs but it’s refreshing to see a totally different take on a sportscar’s cockpit. 

Outside, it’s even more of a strident statement. You almost feel as though you could scythe someone who brushes too close to the car, such is the angularity of the front end, sides and rear. There is some fuss to the detailing here and there – perhaps the aero pack is a tad OTT – but this is one distinctive design. And with only around 200 cars to be imported this year, you’re unlikely to see someone else in your neighbourhood twinning themselves with your sense of taste.

The basic shape of this coupe was previewed by the LF-CC concept at the Paris motor show in September 2012. The design study was powered by the first application of Toyota’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain in a rear-wheel drive configuration.

While the F only went on sale in the UK a few months back, the RC itself was previewed at the Tokyo motor show in November 2013. The RC 350 Coupe and RC 300h Coupe were the first variants, with the F added following its debut at the Detroit auto show in January 2014. North America is this model series’ largest market, with 17,000 cars from the RC range expected to be sold by Toyota Motor Sales USA this calendar year.

What’s next, you ask? It’s believed to be an RC 460 to sit above the 350 and the hybrid but below the F. That should probably appear in calendar 2016 for North America’s 2017 model year. A convertible is surely also on the way, but Lexus is keeping quiet about this. Probably there will be a concept at the LA show in November. 

Other Lexus vehicles in the future product pipeline include a new generation of the big LX 4×4, which will again be based upon the Land Cruiser. This will be aimed mainly at the US and the Middle East, places where its rival the Cadillac Escalade sells well, along with Russia. Next year should also see the arrival of the TX, an additional crossover model. This seven-seater is to be based upon the new RX and it will also serve as the successor for the GX: this body-on-frame SUV is being phased out.

It’s going to be a fairly hectic 2016 for the brand, if the next generation LS also shows up then, as it is believed to be on schedule to do. Then within the following twelve months will be the launch of the second generation CT. This time around it should also offer a non-hybrid powertrain in some markets, as the petrol-electric and CVT combination of the current model hasn’t been to everyone’s taste.

It’s almost hard to imagine anyone not turning their head when an RC F goes past, especially at higher revs and you can’t say that of the smaller CT hatchback. In fact putting the two side by side shows just what a leap Lexus styling has made in the last two years. Buyers in Europe seem to love what’s going on with this new design direction: brand sales were up by 41% in April (source: ACEA) and 36% for the year to date, to 13,149. Much of that is down to the addition of the NX crossover but the RC is also putting in a far stronger appearance than the IS C, its coupe-cabrio predecessor ever did. 

British buyers are, as ever with Lexus, in the vanguard. In April, the brand sold over 1,000 vehicles here, these 1,044 registrations representing a surge of 51%. Just 108 more would have been enough to outsell Jaguar in its home market. It might have taken over 25 years in the UK and Europe in general but Lexus has definitely, finally arrived.