Lexus will be competing in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the all-new Lexus RC F GT concept, which takes the baton from the IS F CCS-R that was used to run in the 2013 edition of the annual hill climb.
The RC F GT will serve as key developmental tool for the brand’s F division as well as the forthcoming global GT3 program, much like how the IS F CCS-R was used as a platform to develop the engine and transmission for the 2015 RC F.
As you may have guessed by now, the RC F GT concept is nothing like its road-going cousin. The car weighs 1,420 kg (about 363 kg lighter) thanks to an expansive weight reduction exercise that comprises of carbon fibre hood, roof, trunk lid, door panels, front and rear over fenders, front canards and rear spoiler. The interior also gets the carbon fibre weight-saving treatment along with polycarbonate windows.
No changes under the hood, surprisingly. The hill-climb concept features the RC F’s 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 that churns out 467 hp at 7,100 rpm and 526 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. No performance figures have been divulged but the car should be significantly faster than the RC F since it now carries less burden.
- V8 Powered, Production Car-based Coupe to be Driven by Justin Bell
- Lexus RC F GT Program to Serve as Key Developmental Tool for F brand Engineering
June 22, 2015
TORRANCE, Calif. (June 22, 2015) – On June 28th, Lexus will compete in the Time Attack class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The luxury automaker will be campaigning the all-new RC F GT Concept, a vehicle that builds upon the legacy of the IS F CCS-R vehicles that last competed at Pikes Peak in 2013. This historic event, now in its 93rd running, is a race against the clock that tests man and machine with the changing elements, altitude, and a treacherous 12.42 mile, 156 turn course that winds up the peak from 9,390 feet up to the 14,115 foot summit.
The new Lexus will be piloted up the mountain by British driving ace, 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and automotive media personality Justin Bell. “With very little time behind the wheel, the RC F GT Concept has already proven fast and easy to drive, very much like the production models, actually. We expect the race car will only pick up pace as we engage more testing, tuning, and data acquisition on the mountain”, said Bell. A seasoned driver in a wide range of vehicles, Bell will bring his vast experience and knowledge to bear on the development side of the RC F GT Concept.
Serving as much more than a mere competition vehicle, the new Lexus RC F GT Concept represents a pivotal piece of the Lexus F brand motorsports effort along with the forthcoming global GT3 program. Much like the IS F CCS-R vehicles whose efforts in motorsports helped develop key components such as the engine and transmission for the 2015 RC F, the new GT Concept program will continue to elaborate on the F brand’s performance mission, allowing Lexus engineers to experiment with prototype components, tuning ideas, settings, and software development.
A focused race car involving a high level of composite materials, the Lexus RC F GT Concept weighs about 800 lbs. less (3130 lbs.) than the street version, while retaining the same engine and transmission as the production RC F, though states of tune are adjusted for the competition environment. With RC F GT Concept, engineers can test the engine, transmission and chassis components in various conditions, experimenting with different tuning ideas, settings and software.
“The continued evolution of the F brand remains a top priority for Lexus, and motorsports provide us an outstanding opportunity to develop more than concepts and components for F brand products. Our niche line of high performance products are geared toward enthusiast drivers, and also make a very strong statement about Lexus’ engineering capabilities. 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 group Vice President and General Manager Lexus division.