2017 Lexus RC F GT3
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
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.
2017 Lexus LC500 Super GT500
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.
2018 Lexus LC GT3
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just in time for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is coming to the party with a new racing concept that’s based on the all-new Lexus RC F performance coupe.
The race car is called the RC F GT3 Concept and as its name suggests, Lexus built and developed it to meet Group GT3 international racing standards. All the preparations leading up to this point will actually come in full bloom next year when the concept is turned into a full-fledged racing car that will become available to racing teams beginning in the 2015 season.
So in the meantime, the RC F GT3 Concept will proudly wave to attendees of the Geneva Motor Show before undergoing a series of tests later this year to ensure that the car is fit and ready to tackle some of the best GT3 races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race and the Super Taikyu Endurance and Super GT series in Japan.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus RC F GT3 Concept
With Lexus officially unveiling the new RC F, its Racing division decided to develop a GT500 version for the upcoming Super GT series. The 2014 RC F GT500 made its world debut at the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon and will begin intensive testing, before its racing debut on April 6th, 2014.
When compared to the base RC F, the new GT500 version features an aggressive body kit with a front lip spoiler, carbon-fiber canards and ventilated front fenders. On the rear, Lexus added a prominent wing and a massive rear diffuser. All these changes help improve the RC F’s stability at high speeds.
No details were offered on the interior, but we’re sure the interior will be updated with a full-racing cockpit, racing seats and a roll cage.
Under its hood, the RC F GT500 features the same engine as the road-going version: a 5.0-liter, 32-valve, V-8 engine that delivers a total of 450 horsepower and more than 383 pound-feet of torque.
Click past the jump to watch a video of the new Lexus RC F GT500 during a testing session.
Today at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Lexus unveiled a very cool LF-A Code X specially designed by Gazoo Racing for the upcoming 24-Hour Nurburgring race set to take place on January 19th, 2014. Along with the Code X, Gazoo Racing will also enter the race with a specially designed Toyota GT86.
What’s so special about this LF-A Code X is that, according to Gazoo Racing, is "an experimental vehicle to polish the sports car technology of the future." The most striking feature offered on the new Code X is its more powerful engine.
Gazoo Racing replaced the standard 552-horsepower, 4.8-liter, V-10 engine with a new 5.3-liter engine that pumps out more power. Unfortunately, we have no details on how much power this new engine will deliver, but Gazoo said that the output has been better tuned to deliver quicker lap times around the Nurburgring.
Updated 03/28/2014: Gazoo Racing unveiled a new video showing the LF-A Code X in action on the race track. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus LFA Code X By Gazoo Racing.
With the recent unveiling of the Honda NSX Concept-GT and the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500, the 2013 Super GT Series GT500 is already shaping up to a barn burner.
And we said that not knowing that Lexus is also planning on joining in on the fun.
The Japanese automaker also took the time a few days ago to present its Super GT racecar. Based on the LF-CC Concept, this racecar has been tentatively named the GT500 LF-CC Prototype. The arrival of this new racer comes at an appropriate time for Lexus, especially with its incumbent racer, the SC430, already on its last legs.
As for the car itself, the rendering seems to suggest that the bare version is going to be orange, although the actual color could vary depending on the team that uses it. Plus, it has all the bells and whistles on what you’d come to expect from a fully prepared racecar, including a modified front splitter, a new rear diffuser and an obscenely large rear wing that should go hand-in-hand with tuned suspension dynamics.
There is no word yet on the car’s official engine classification, much less the engine’s performance numbers. But we expect something akin to a hybrid for this racecar, that much we can surmise without having to second-guess ourselves.
Click past the jump to read about the Lexus LF-CC Concept
Last year, Lexus unveiled the IS-F CCS-R - the production version of theIS- F Club Circuit Sports Racer Concept - as the company’s special entry at the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year, the race car will return to the race, except that now it will feature a special, fan-based decal developed by Lexus in cooperation with Tony Hawk Foundation.
From June 3rd to June 20th, Lexus fans are invited to enter their names via a response to a Lexus Facebook post, a comment to a Lexus YouTube IS F CCS-R video or through Twitter and Instagram using #Lexus14K. 14,000 lucky fans will see their names posted on this special decal.
Once again, the IS-F CCS-R will be driven by professional driver Ken Gushi, who will attempt to take on the 12.42-mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak.
After the race, Lexus will donate a 2014 IS sedan to the Tony Hawk Foundation.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS-F CCS-R.
Lexus of Brisbane recently made a pretty important purchase to bolster its standing as one of the premier Lexus dealerships in Australia. This all-important purchase was three IS-F race cars built by Mauer Racing of Switzerland.
Bought initially to become demonstrators and customer experience racers, Lexus of Brisbane is also thinking of unleashing these three bad boys out on a race track in the future. And why not, especially when you consider that Mauer Racing built these cars to serve that sole function.
For one, these cars are powered by the same TRD-developed, 600-horsepower, 4.7-litre V-8 engines that powered several Daytona prototype race cars in the United States. In addition, the race cars have also been given a slew of new race-specific features, including Motec engine management systems, ZF Sachs dampers, H&R springs, AP racing clutches and AP airlocks.
Other design details of the IS-F Race Cars include a wide-body cage monocoque that significantly helps in cutting down the car’s weight to just 1,290 kg (2,843 pounds). A six-speed, rear-mounted Hewland transmission was also installed, as were a set of 18-inch BBS wheels – 11-by-18-inch center-lock fronts and 12.5-by-18-inch center-lock rears - wrapped in racing tires.
Considering the history of how Lexus Brisbane purchased these three cars — a customer made the suggestion, and it went out and sealed the deal — there’s no telling what the plans are for it, apart from what it’s already mentioned.
In the past few months, we have seen three different Lexus LF-A prototypes testing around Nurburgring: the AD-A, the AD-B, and the AD-X. Our hopes were dashed when we realized these prototypes were nothing but special one-off models and that they would not provide any indication of what the future held for an LF-A special edition, but social media has come through for us again.
Lexus race car driver, Akira Iida, has posted a cool teaser video for a future LF-A GTE Race Car on his Twitter account. The first details suggest that this race car will be used in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it is also rumored to be battling the lines at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. One thing is for sure, though, Akira Iida will be behind the wheel no matter which race this vehicle stars in!
Lexus has yet to offer any details on their new race car, but Akira Iida seems to be the second-best source on the matter, so we’ll take his word for it. Stay tuned!
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.