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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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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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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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