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This Lightweight, 1200-Horsepower, 2JZ-Powered Lexus RC F Drift Car Is Downright Mad

This Lightweight, 1200-Horsepower, 2JZ-Powered Lexus RC F Drift Car Is Downright Mad

This Lexus RC-F Drift Car Takes Madness to a Whole New Level

There’s a long line of Red Bull-liveried drift cars and, while ’Mad’ Mike Whidett’s insane Mazdas are probably the most prominent of the bunch, this Lexus RC F will surely make a name for itself in international drifting championships once its 1,200 horsepower are finally unleashed on the course.

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Lexus LF-A Art Car celebrates 10 Years of F Performance Cars

Lexus LF-A Art Car celebrates 10 Years of F Performance Cars

One-off creation will also be in attendance at the 24 Hours of Spa

Lexus’ F line of performance vehicles is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and to commemorate the occasion, the Japanese automaker is rolling out a one-off LFA Art Car that was designed by Portuguese Pedro Henrique. The LFA Art Car will be in attendance at the 24 Hours of Spa where it will feature in the on-track parade on Saturday, July 28, before the start of the 24-hour race.

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2017 Lexus RC F GT3

2017 Lexus RC F GT3

Lexus is about to unleash another RC F-based race car

Lexus debuted the RC F coupe, and it took no time at all for the brands racing division to come up with the RC F GT500, a car that’s been around since late 2014 and was actually quite successful last season. It dominated the Super GT series in Japan and earned Team SARD team and drivers’ championship titles in the GT500 category. Now, as the 2017 racing season kicks off, Lexus is at it again with another

RC F

based racecar, this time called the RC F GT 3.

Slated to competing in the U.S. GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, and the GT300 class of the Super GT Series in Japan. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V-8 (0.4-liters larger than that of the road-going RC F) and is said to deliver 500+ horsepower through a six-speed sequential racing transmission. If the success of the GT500 is any indication, Lexus likely has another winner on its hands, but we’ll see more of that in the coming months.

For now, we know that 3GT Racing team here in the U.S. will put the GT3 to the test at the WeatherTech Championship while the LM Corsa team will be fielding two examples of the car in the Super GT Series. But, will the new GT3 car have what it takes to be dominating like the GT500 was last year? Well, let’s take a closer look at it and see what it brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Lexus RC F GT3.

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2017 Lexus LC500 Super GT500

2017 Lexus LC500 Super GT500

The gorgeous LC500 goes racing with a turbo four-banger under the hood

The Lexus LC500 arrived at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show before taking its place as the company’s range-topping coupe. Downright gorgeous to look at and offered with a powerful V-8 engine and a hybrid drivetrain, the LC500 slots above the RC, filling a void that Lexus had in its lineup ever since the LFA was discontinued in 2012. For 2017, the big coupe is also set to replace the RC F in the Super GT, Japan’s famous grand touring racing series.

Although it came out of the blue and was a well kept secret since its inception, the race-spec LC500 isn’t exactly a surprise. Sure, the vehicle is larger than the RC F and its luxury-oriented purpose on the road doesn’t recommend it for track use, but Toyota’s racing department has made conversions like that in the past. The LFA is obviously the best example.

So why is Lexus replacing the RC F in the GT500 class of the Super GT series? Well, the Japanese firm has yet to release a statement, but likely Gazoo Racing has developed a better package for the LC500 and thinks that the larger coupe stands a better chance against the Nissan GT-R. In case you’re not familiar with the Super GT series, Nissan has won every championship since 2011 — except for the 2013 season, won by Lexus — and is about to win the ongoing battle too.

We don’t know much about the race-spec LC500 for now, but the coupe will make its racing debut in 2017 and testing will begin starting September 2016. Until Lexus releases some official data, let’s find out more about it in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus LC500 Super GT500.

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2016 Lexus RC F GT Concept

2016 Lexus RC F GT Concept

Is Lexus working on its very own 911 GT3?

Unveiled in 2014, the Lexus RC has already spawned a hot RC F version and three different race cars in either production or concept form. That’s quite a lot for a vehicle that has been around for only a couple of years, but apparently it’s not enough for Lexus. The Japanese automaker has announced that a new racing version of the RC F will be showcased at the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race on April 17.

Dubbed RC F GT Concept, it is a further development of the vehicle with the same name that Justin Bell drove to fifth place in the Time Attack class at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June 2015. As the name suggests, it’s only a concept car and Lexus didn’t say whether it will evolve into a full-fledged race car or spawn a track-ready, road-legal version of the coupe. The company did mention that it is positioned between the street-legal RC F and the full-bore RC F GT3 race car that will soon compete in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but that doesn’t mean much really.

Be that as it may, the new concept has received extensive modifications since the Pikes Peak race. Not only lighter, it also uses an improved drivetrain, a more competitive suspension system, and updated software. The RC F GT Concept will be driven at Long Beach by Lexus pro racers Scott Pruett, the winningest active driver in North American sports car racing, and Roger Yasukawa.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus RC F GT Concept.

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2018 Lexus LC GT3

2018 Lexus LC GT3

Will Lexus go racing with the LC 500?

Lexus has loads of experience in the world of GT3 racing. Most recently, the Japanese manufacturer backed track-prepped derivatives of the SC430 for its homegrown SuperGT series, as well as a GTE-spec variant of the LFA. Lexus’ latest effort is the RC F GT3 racecar, which launched as an integral part of the automaker’s motorsports program going into 2016. Realistically, the RC F has a good deal of development ahead of it before its ready to go for a title shot, but regardless, there’s still a chance we may see another GT3 racer out of Lexus sometime in the future. Why? Simple – there’s a new flagship on the block. It’s called the LC 500, and it’s a sports coupe instilled with Lexus’ sporting intentions front to back, making it a prime candidate for racing glory.

If Lexus does decide to move forward with a competition-ready LC GT3 racer, it’ll probably see action at events like the 24 Hours Nurburgring and benefit from the support of go-faster wizards from Gazoo Racing. But what’ll it look like, both on the outside and under the skin?

We wanted to know, so we penned a rendering and drummed up a little speculation.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Lexus LC GT3.

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2016 Lexus RC F GT3 By F Performance Racing

2016 Lexus RC F GT3 By F Performance Racing

It’s been 18 months since Lexus introduced the RC F GT3 Concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and the production model has been finally unveiled at the 2015 SEMA Show. Built to FIA GT3 specifications, the RC F race car is Lexus’ first such project since it shelved the GTE program for the LFA.

The RC F GT3 is part of the brand’s new global motorsports effort and will hit race tracks in the United States beginning in 2016. According to Lexus, Paul Gentilozzi and newly formed F Performance Racing will field the RC F GT3 in "a soon to be announced sports car series."

For the uninitiated, Gentilozzi has been involved in professional racing for more than 45 years. The team has five Trans-Am Series championships with three different brands to its name, as well as an overall and two class victories at Daytona 24 Hours. Additionally, it propelled Scott Pruett, Kalus Graf and Tomy Drissi to three driver championships and 10 manufacturer titles in IMSA and TransAm combined. As an engine builder, it took various teams to more than 50 wins and podium finishes.

Gentilozzi isn’t the only huge name involved in this project. The RC F GT3 will be driven by road racing legend Scott Pruett. The 55-year-old has won many Trans-Am, IMSA, and Daytona 24 Hours events and will be returning to the track in a Lexus in after an eight-year hiatus. The California native previously campaigned Lexus-powered prototypes between 2004-2007.

The RC F GT3 will run a limited calendar in 2016, but an actual schedule has yet to be announced. In its first year back on the track, Lexus’ primary focus will involve further vehicle development and gathering track experience.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus RC F GT3 By F Performance Racing.

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IMSA Lexus RC F GT3 Program Could Be Delayed Because Of Speed

IMSA Lexus RC F GT3 Program Could Be Delayed Because Of Speed

The IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship racing series will undergo a few changes for the 2016 season, but one of those changes won’t be the addition of a Lexus race team. The 2015 Lexus RC F GT3 racecar was supposed to make its North American racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, but it looks like that could be delayed. The problem? Speed.

According to Racer, the RC F GT3 hasn’t been that great on the track since its launch, running 11 seconds off the pace at the recent 24 Hours of Nürburgring, and has been off the pace in Japan’s Super GT series competition by as much as 2.5 seconds. The article doesn’t say exactly what changes are being planned, but the team obviously has some work to do with that kind of deficit.

IMSA is changing the rules of the GT Daytona class race cars to better align with global FIA GTS specifications. The goal is to make race car development easier, to attract new teams and new manufacturers, and that was the plan for Lexus, which had initially intended on running the full 2016 United SportsCar Championship campaign. When it is finally ready for racing in North America, the RC F GT3 will still have to go up against proven competition in the GTD class, such as the 2014 Porsche 911 GT America, 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and 2015 Audi R8 LMS just to name a few.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Lexus To Race Beefed-Up RC F At Pikes Peak

Lexus To Race Beefed-Up RC F At Pikes Peak

The 2015 Lexus RC F is a gorgeous and menacing looking coupe. The only way Lexus could improve its appearance would be by giving it a a proper racing body kit. Fortunately, the Japanese already did that by creating GT3 and GT500 versions of the high-performance coupe. Now, Lexus has unveiled yet another motorsport version of the coupe, this time around specifically built for the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.

Granted, it might not be as aerodynamic as the 2015 Lexus RC F GT3 and it doesn’t have the massive wing of the 2014 Lexus RC F GT500, but the GT Concept shown here is one hot RC F.

Lexus says the new race car builds upon the legacy of the 2012 Lexus IS F CCS-R that competed at Pikes Peak in 2012 and 2013. Hopefully, the RF C GT Concept will manage a better performance than the sedan did in 2013, when it climbed the hill in a disappointing 12-minute run. The same car ran a 10:30.850 time the previous year.

To be driven up the mountain by Justin Bell, son of racing legend Derek Bell and GT2 class Le Mans winner in 1998, the RC F GT Concept will allow Lexus engineers to experiment with "different tuning ideas, settings and software" for future production use.

"Competition efforts like Pikes Peak help nurture a performance engineering culture and ideology that will have the greatest influence of future F brand products," said Jeff Bracken, Vice President and General Manager of Lexus.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Lexus RC F GT3 To Race At 24 Hours of Nurburgring

Lexus RC F GT3 To Race At 24 Hours of Nurburgring

It’s not often that luxury automakers tackle motorsports with factory-built race cars, but it seems more and more brands are joining the fun. Lexus was the latest company to announce such intentions at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, where it unveiled the RC F GT3. As the name suggests, this RC F coupe was built to FIA GT3 specifications for privateers to use in various competitions such as the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series. The RC F GT3 is Lexus’ first such project since it shelved the GTE program for the discontinued LFA, and it seems the Japanese are ready to launch a full-scale attack in the VLN series in 2015.

According to Sportscar365, the RC F GT3 will make its European debut later this year, with Farnbacher Racing and Emil Frey Racing as development partners. Driven by Dominik and Mario Farnbacher, making it the first the Farnbacher brother race together in the same car, the first RC F GT3 will debut in the third round of the 2015 VLN season on June 20th, at the Nurburgring track. The second car, run by Emile Frey Racing, will see Lorenz Frey, Markus Oestreich, and Jordan Tresson taking turns behind the wheel.

"Lexus sees the Nurburgring as a perfect testing ground to make the car ready for 2016, which they see as their target year to sell to customers. We plan to do a lot of testing since the car is still under development,” Dominik Farnbacher told Sportscar365.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus RC F GT3.

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Lexus Wants to Enter V8 Supercar Racing

Lexus Wants to Enter V8 Supercar Racing

Australia’s Lexus boss Sean Hanley says the automaker is currently evaluating joining the V8 Supercar grid for 2017. This is thanks to potentially shifting rules in the race series that would allow two-door cars to race. Luckily, Lexus just happens to have such a car that qualifies: the 2015 RC F.

The automaker has already showcased a potential race variant of the RC F in GT3 form. Now with changing rules, things are looking up.

“I would have shut the door on motorsport a year ago, particularly V8 Supercar racing in terms of a promotion, marketing and brand exercise," Hanley says. "But I think the door is slightly open."

Unfortunately, we shouldn’t expect anything from Lexus on the V8 Supercar series in the next two years. However, Hanley countered himself saying. "But what is equally clear to me, is if there is eligibility that allowed a coupe, we have a coupe that could go into that race and do pretty well."

He confesses the company does have an interest in GT3 and a race like the Bathurst 12 Hour, but no firm plans have been made.

Lexus is technically ready to race in the Bathurst 12 Hour race this coming February, as those regulations would already allow the RC F GT3 to compete. Perhaps the automaker just isn’t ready to make that announcement yet.

Click past the jump to read more about Lexus’ future V-8 supercar.

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2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

There are few things in this country more American than a NASCAR race. Sure, apple pie and baseball might outrank it, but neither of those can compete with stock cars thundering around a track at 200 mph while continually riding on the brink of catastrophe as they race just inches away from a concrete wall and other drivers gunning to win. So when the opportunity arose to become deeply immersed in the culture during the recent All-Star race, I jumped at the chance.

It all started a few months ago with an email invite from Toyota. It read something along the lines of, “how about joining us at the NASCAR All-Star race and tours of the Joe Gibbs Racing Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame?” My reply went something like, “Heck yeah, I’ll be there!”

I decided to skip the crowded airports for a 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and a seven-hour drive through the heart of the eastern seaboard. I viewed this almost like a pilgrimage; setting out on a roadtrip for a destination of racing importance located in the rolling hills of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Once on the road, my choice of chariot was immediately affirmed. Unlike my last Lexus experience, the front seat was perfectly molded, padded, and bolstered. The more I drove, the more the car seemed to shrink around me, making tight maneuvering a thing of ease. The stout 3.5-liter V-6 offered plenty of grunt while the tight steering and sport-tuned suspension made each corner a memorable event.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and about my time spent at Joe Gibbs Racing Center

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Lexus and Gazoo Racing Celebrate the LFA's Fifth Anniversary at Nurburgring With an Awesome Video

Lexus and Gazoo Racing Celebrate the LFA’s Fifth Anniversary at Nurburgring With an Awesome Video

Building a racecar is a tall task, but building one that is to endure the stresses of running at full bore for 24 hours is a real test. Since 2008, Lexus and Gazoo racing have partnered up to bring the Lexus LFA to SP8 endurance class. Every year that the LFA took to the starting grid at the Nürburgring 24, there were issues. Be it a vehicle-disabling wreck, mechanical malfunction, or simply poor performance, the team never finished higher than 41st overall.

In 2012, the team showed up at the Nürburgring as humbled as they had ever been, calling themselves rookies, despite five years of running the race. The humbleness and hard word paid off for the team this year, as is took home the top spot in the SP8 class and 15th place overall. This was the first time since the Dodge Viper GTS won in 2001 and 2002 that a non-German automaker won the SP8 class.

In celebration of this notorious victory, and the five years of knuckle busting wrench turning and headache-inducing engineering that Lexus and Gazoo has endured, the two have released a video chronicling its journey to success. Sure, the video is very short – only 4:14 – but the detail covered in such a short period of time is simply incredible.

The team lets you into the action and if you don’t get into the video, you may want to check your pulse real quick. There is some awesome sound too, so make sure you have your speakers or headphones cranked up.

Enjoy!

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Video: About as Close as You Will Get to Racing an IS F Around the `Ring

Video: About as Close as You Will Get to Racing an IS F Around the `Ring

Videos of people tackling the `Ring are becoming more and more precious, as we await the outcome of its bankruptcy proceeding and find out if the Nürburgring will continue to exist or not. In the above video, we get a great look at just how awesome this sacred track really is, as we watch Kazunori Yamauchi navigate a Lexus IS F racecar around this technical track.

It’s not necessarily the most intense video, as it is relatively event-free, but watching Yamauchi whip the steering wheel as he feathers the throttle is a thing of art. You also get a front-row seat at seeing what it’s like on the `Ring, a thing that none of us will likely ever experience.

What’s even better is that this video was taken during the 24 hours race, so this isn’t the short version of the Nürburgring. This race includes the GP circuit of the `Ring, which also adds significant time to his lap, which YouTube commenters left so much negative feedback on, the poster had to add a disclaimer to the video.

So, crank up the speakers, kick back, and enjoy a spot in the passenger’s seat as Kazunori Yamauchi and his Lexus IS F take us for a tour around the `Ring. It’s definitely worth the 10 minutes.

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Is the Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) Performance Sub-Brand the Real Deal?

Is the Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) Performance Sub-Brand the Real Deal?

Seemingly every car manufacturer is coming out with its own little niche performance group. You have Honda with its Si line, Infiniti with its IPL line, Mercedes with AMG, BMW with M, Ford with SVT/SHO, and so on. Toyota has used a tag like that before – Toyota Racing Department (TRD) – but the TRD lineup was typically nothing to write home about, as it included some stickers and mild suspension mods, in most cases.

Toyota once again has a racing team, Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), and it has worked closely with Lexus on the 641-horsepower LS-F, which inherited the “TMG” tag. So this leads us to wonder if Toyota and Lexus will start using the TMG name more widely to compete with the aforementioned performance sub-brands throughout the automotive world.

With Infiniti debuting its IPL lineup, it only makes sense for at least Lexus to use TMG to help pry some of the performance luxury enthusiasts away from its Japanese competitor. Toyota, on the other hand, has really dug itself a nice little niche in the automotive market, by manufacturing moderately price economy cars with a high level of standards. So us seeing a Toyota Corolla TMG in the near future, or ever, would really surprise us.

But we also have to keep in mind that Toyota shattered its own econo-box mold recently by teaming up with Subaru to build the Toyota GT 86 and Scion FR-S, so anything is really a possibility. We’ll keep a close eye on the TMG situation and let you know if more information comes up as to whether TMG is going to become more involved in Toyota’s street cars or not.

For now, we’ll just continue drooling over the one-off LF-A TMG…

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2012 Lexus LX 570 by JT Grey Racing

2012 Lexus LX 570 by JT Grey Racing

The 2011 SEMA Show gave JT Grey Racing the opportunity to take on Lexus’ mighty LX 570. Their package is as rough and tough as any other, ready to take on the sand-filled crusade of the Baja 1000.

The LX570 by JT Grey Racing was hooked up with a HeadFirst Design graphic design, Blue Media/3M vehicle wrap, and 6 KC Hilites- 70w carbon fiber HID off road lighting. Large 17" F-Sport forged Off-Road wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Baja TA 37"x 12.50 race tires will help it survive in any gnarly desert conditions. The interior of the LX570 was also upgraded with Sparco USA- EVO seats, a Sparco USA steering wheel, Lowrance HD7 / LMF 400 GPS navigation, and Kenwood 110 with PCI radio/intercom.

The Baja Series is no joke, so JT Grey Racing also upped the performance ante with new OE/TRD pads brakes, a King Racing Shocks suspension system, and a Flowmaster/Geiser exhaust system.

The final product looks to kill, but Toyota has already penned the Long Beach Racers Tacoma as their entrant into the Baja Series. As far as we know, the company isn’t looking to change their mind. That being said, JT Grey Racing is planning to enter the LX 570 in next year’s race.

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Video: The Toyota-Aston Martin CEO Supercar Swap

Video: The Toyota-Aston Martin CEO Supercar Swap

Company CEOs usually have a kind of competitive understanding of each other. There’s nothing personal about; it’s just the way business works.

In the case of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and his Aston Martin counterpart Ulrich Bez, the truth couldn’t be any further from the truth. After already establishing a mutual working relationship between the two companies - the most recent of which was sharing the Toyota iQ platform with the Aston Martin Cygnet - Toyoda and Bez have become closer to each other than most CEOs that consider themselves competitors, albeit in a slightly stretched manner.

The latest collaboration between the two doesn’t involve a new auto partnership but instead, swapping race cars during the VLN auto series with Toyoda driving the Aston Martin V12 Vantage ’Zig’ and Bez manning the wheels of a Lexus LF-A Gazoo Racing.

Whether this video is merely a publicity stunt or it’s really a genuine show of competitiveness between the two is unknown, but the fact that you have the CEOs of two of the most accomplished auto brands in the country speaks to the ever-growing relationship between Aston Martin and Toyota.

Check out the video to see how the two CEOs fared in riding the race cars of their contemporary.

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Video: Ferrari 599 HGTE vs. Lexus LFA

Video: Ferrari 599 HGTE vs. Lexus LFA

The American magazine, Car And Driver, had the amazing opportunity to drive two of the most impressive sports cars out there: the new Lexus LF-A and the Ferrari 599 HGTE. And yes, both were painted in white to no doubt add a little something to the comparison. The two models were matched up on the streets of Wales.

The LF-A is powered by a 4.8 liter V10 that delivers a maximum output of 560 HP at 9,000 RPM and a peak torque of 354 lb-ft at 6,800 RPM. It can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.7 seconds and won’t stop until it reaches a top speed of 202 MPH. The Ferrari on the other hand gets a V12 engine with 611 HP as well as a number of changes to increase the car’s driving dynamics. Don’t put them in the winner’s circle just yet, though, because the HGTE was still slower than the lightweight, mid engine V8 powered F-430 Scuderia

So how did the Ferrari 599 HGTE fare against the Lexus LF-A? Check out the video to find out!

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