On Friday, at a press conference at Suzuka Circuit, Toyota Gazoo Racing unveiled their 2017 challenger for the Autobacs Super GT Series’ GT500 class, the Lexus LC500 Super GT.
The LC500 Super GT is based upon Lexus’ new flagship luxury coupe of the same name, the LC500. The road-going version of the LC500 will launch in the spring of 2017, around the same time its GT500 racing version debuts next season.
The new LC500 replaces the Lexus RC-F as the GT500 challenger for the Toyota Motor Company, who have been participating in the top class of Super GT since the 1994 season.
The styling is new, as are these distinct LED headlamps, but the car is equipped with the same two-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder Toyota RI4AG engine producing in excess of 600 brake horsepower.
For 2017, downforce has been dramatically slashed from all GT500 cars in an attempt to reduce cornering speed. The LC500 includes a much smaller rear diffuser (seen above), as well as a shorter front splitter.
In addition, the “low downforce” rear spoiler that has been used at Fuji Speedway is now the standard rear wing to be used at all tracks.
The LC500 is the new flagship of Lexus’ line of automobiles, a direct successor to the SC lineage which replaced the legendary Toyota Supra in GT500 competition. As such, it is only fitting that the LC500 will race in the GT500 class against the two most established performance supercars from Japan, the Nissan GT-R and Honda NSX (whose 2017 versions will be unveiled at Twin Ring Motegi).
We’ll see more of this car in the months ahead in preparation for its debut in the 2017 Super GT season.