Lexus To Race Beefed-Up RC F At Pikes Peak

lexus to race beefed-up rc f at pikes peak – DOC634779

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.

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.

Lighter Body, Enhanced Aerodynamics

From the outside, the GT Concept looks like the GT3’s milder brother. The body kit is less aggressive, employing a significantly smaller front splitter and shorter side skirts. Additionally, the fenders are closer to the production car’s, especially at the rear wheels.

Lexus managed to ditch about 20 percent of the road car’s weight by using a high degree of composite materials, including carbon-fiber and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.

Unlike any other race version of the RC F, the Pikes Peak car features a pair of canards on each side of the front fender. There’s a new diffuser and a rear wing design, both of which are less imposing than the GT500’s. Although the wing sits as high as the one on its more aggressive brethren, it’s thinner and shaped for a different setup.

Moving over to what’s less noticeable, the car weighs about 800 pounds less than the street version. Lexus managed to ditch about 20 percent of the road car’s weight by using a high degree of composite materials, including carbon-fiber and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. The engine hood, the roof and the aerodynamic kit appears to be made from these lightweight materials. The no-nonsense interior stripped of everything unnecessary in a race contributed to this drastic diet as well.

The RC F GT Concept will compete in the Time Attack class, where it will face competition from modified versions of the Ford Mustang, Subaru WRX, BMW M3, Jaguar F-Type, and Nissan GT-R, among many others.

The 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb will take place on June 28th.

Why it matters

Having already used the IS F CCS-R race car to develop key components such as the engine and transmission for the RC F street car, projects such as the GT Concept might prove to be very important for future F-badged products. Also, because both the engine and the transmission remained unchanged from the production car — though in different states of tune — Pikes Peak will be an important test not only for the newly developed race car, but for the road-going version as well. And who knows, maybe Lexus will use this test to forge a more hardcore variant of the RC F, one that would give the brand the track-focused compact all premium automakers need these days.

2015 Lexus RC F GT3 Concept

Lexus To Race Beefed-Up RC F At Pikes Peak

Press Release

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.

Lexus To Race Beefed-Up RC F At Pikes Peak

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 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 RCF 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.

Lexus To Race Beefed-Up RC F At Pikes Peak

“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.

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