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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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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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2015 Lexus RC F GT3 Concept

2015 Lexus RC F GT3 Concept

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

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2014 Lexus RC F GT500

2014 Lexus RC F GT500

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.

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2014 Lexus LFA Code X by Gazoo Racing

2014 Lexus LFA Code X by Gazoo Racing

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.

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2014 Lexus GT LF-CC Prototype

2014 Lexus GT LF-CC Prototype

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

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2013 Lexus IS-F Race Cars by Mauer Racing

2013 Lexus IS-F Race Cars by Mauer Racing

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.

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2013 Lexus LFA GTE Race Car

2013 Lexus LFA GTE Race Car

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!

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2012 Lexus IS-F CCS-R Race Car

2012 Lexus IS-F CCS-R Race Car

In 2011, Lexus unveiled the IS- F Club Circuit Sports Racer Concept at the Tokyo Auto Show. Today, the company has introduced the production version of that concept that will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 8, 2012.

The Lexus IS-F CCS-R will be powered by a 5.0 liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 416 HP at 6,600 rpm and a peak torque of 371 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm. The engine will send its power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic with paddle shift and manual mode.

For improved aerodynamics, the IS-F CCS-R received a carbon fiber hood, door handles, front fender, front spoiler, front canard, rear spoiler, and ventilator. Painted in a very cool Orange mica color, the race car sits on a new set of 18" wheels combined with a high-performance brake cooling system. Since this is a race car, Lexus also added a racing brake kit, racing exhaust system, and, of course, a roll cage.

UPDATE 06/11/2012: The new Lexus IS-F CCS-R is
preparing for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 8, 2012, so Brian Smith, VP Lexus Marketing, does his part by explaining the modifications made to the car’s engine and body. Check out the video by clicking on the image above!

UPDATE 10/31/12: A surprise appearance at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, the Lexus IS-F CCS-R Race Car sure knows how to make waves in the biggest aftermarket show in the US. Can’t say we saw this one coming.

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2011 Lexus LFA by Gazoo Racing

2011 Lexus LFA by Gazoo Racing

Aston Martin and their V12 Zagato Racer better be on top of their game when it comes to this year’s 24-hours of Nürburgring. Lexus, in cooperation with Gazoo Racing, will be entering the race with a pretty impressive LF-A supercar that should give fellow racers a run for their money.

During its latest testing, the Lexus LFA by Gazoo started off from position 12 and finished the race in fifth place with an average speed of 161.139 km/h. Its fastest lap was completed with an average speed of 170.540 km/h, corresponding to a lap time of 8:34.416 for the combination of the shortened GP-track and the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring. This is an impressive result considering that, at a previous test session, the car suffered a stroke of bad luck another car crashed into it when the LFA driver, Ishiura, was entering Turn 1. This resulted in a severely damaged rear righthand section, retiring the vehicle from the race.

Gazoo Racing has been working with the Lexus LFA for the past three years, even before the street version of the vehicle went on sale in 2010. During that time, Gazoo has been revising the vehicle to obtain maximum results on the track. These revisions include tuning the vehicle’s underbody with carbon fiber reinforced plastic, as well as switching out its tires for Bridgestone racing tires, size 330/40R18. Gazoo also took the liberty of adding a few aerodynamic parts to complete the look and feel of the racer. Under the hood, we’ll find the same 4805 cc V10 engine with over 560 HP coursing through its automotive veins.

Make sure you check out the Lexus LFA at the ADAC 24 hour race on June 25, 2011, but for now, hit the jump to see a video of Hiroaki Ishiura, one of three professional drivers who will be piloting the LFA on the day of the race, as he gets through some of the vehicle’s testing.

Video after the jump.

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2011 Lexus CT 200h Race Car by Gazoo Racing

2011 Lexus CT 200h Race Car by Gazoo Racing

Just when you thought the Lexus CT200h wasn’t going to get another race-inspired version, the people over at Gazoo Racing have unveiled their own racing version of the compact sports hybrid. Seems appropriate considering that Gazoo Racing isn’t a stranger to Lexus race cars, counting the LF-A supercar as one of the racers in its stable.

As for the CT200h, Gazoo Racing will be entering it into the SP4 Class of the Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy - a six-hour endurance race at the Nurburgring that will be attended by around 200 other cars. Piloting the Gazoo Racing CT during the endurance race will be the three-man team of Kumi Sato, Masahiko Kageyama, and Minoru Takaki.

To give the CT200h the proper race specs, Gazoo Racing went to work on the car’s performance attributes, opting against using the 1.8 liter VVT-I petrol engine that comes with the standard version of the CT200h and instead using a much larger 2.4-liter version with an electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. During start-ups and braking, the CT200h will only use its electric motor, saving all the energy expended by the VVT-I engine for higher speeds. Even more impressive about the car is that it will require less fuel and will emit less carbon dioxide and NOx gases compared to all other race cars of its class.

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2009 Lexus LF-A N24

2009 Lexus LF-A N24

I apologize because we here at Top Speed could only bring you blacked out concepts or cartoon designs of the Future Luxus LF-A super car. Please let Top Speed officially present to you, the Gazoo Racing LF-A Nürburgring 24 competitor.

Even though it is a racecar and because of this is equipped with safety equipment like a roll cage, fuel tank and everything else in the rulebook. Things you most likely won’t find on the production version include the GT wing and other aerodynamic features. However one thing that might carry over is the large LCD gauge cluster.

Although this is not quite the street version, it is nice to finally have someone pop the hood to willingly expose the 500 HP V10.

Press release after the jump.

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2007 Lexus IS-F Racing Concept

2007 Lexus IS-F Racing Concept

At the Tokyo Auto Salon, Lexus revealed the racing version of the IS-F sedan. And even if Lexus said "It is only a research prototype", the IS-F Racing Concept will be used at the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) racing.

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