IN recent years Lexus designers have managed to create vehicles which are more akin to works of art than mere cars.
And nowhere is that more true than with the Lexus RC 300h, a car which has so many sharp angles, cutouts and twists and turns in the metal it's hard to believe it hasn't all been put together by hand rather than by robots in a factory.
Normally cars this bold are only seen as concept cars at motor shows and in fact that's how this one started life, but unusually for such a radical car it actually made it into production.
It's very much a niche model so don't expect to see too many on the road, but when you do see one you will definitely take a second look.
And being a Lexus it's not all about design but luxury too with a cabin that's plush and up-market with full leather upholstery and heated and electrically operated front seats, although in comparison to the futuristic outside its not as radical.
Coupes are all about style and this one has it in shed loads but as with most cars of this genre you pay a penalty with interior space, or to be exact rear seat space.
In fairness the RC 300h is a genuine four-seater but legroom in the rear is a little tight as is headroom because of the dramatic slope of the roof.
If you drive a coupe, however, these are the limitations you tend to accept in exchange for appearance and in the case of the Lexus it's a trade off that's well worth having.
The car is a hybrid which is powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine and a powerful electric motor which together combine to produce one of the most refined, relaxed and quietest cars on the road.
The bonus is fuel consumption of over 50 miles per gallon - Lexus claims an average of 57.6mpg - and a car which is kind to the environment with CO2 emissions of just 113g/km.
Despite its sporting looks, however, this is not a car designed for high performance. The 0-62mph acceleration figure is a respectable 8.6 seconds but the top speed is just 118mph, although in the UK that's hardly going to put many people off.
You can drive it using a combination of petrol and electric power or for limited periods switch to electric only, although from a audible point of view there isn't too much difference thanks to very efficient sound proofing.
Tuned electric power steering and suspension systems ensure impressive handling and ride comfort from a car which sits very low and hugs the road well.
If you need an extra turn of speed you can turn the dial near the gearshift from normal to Sport which not only boosts acceleration but at the same time ensures the power dial on the dashboard morphs into a rev counter as if by magic. You can also use paddles behind the steering wheel to change gear manually.
A host of standard features include everything from parking sensors and rear view camera to lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitor and automatic high beam.