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Lexus LC 500 gears up for competition. Image by Lexus.

Lexus LC 500 gears up for competition
Lexus announces racing LC 500 six months before road-going version goes on sale
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What's all this about?

It's a racing version of Lexus' flagship coupé, the LC 500.

Hang on. The LC? I thought the RC was the top Lexus dog?

It is, and what we have here is the unusual announcement of the competition version of a road car that's not even on sale yet. The LC 500 showroom model is due to hit the streets in spring 2017, by which time this bad boy will already be tearing it up in the Japanese Super GT500 series.

Crikey! Is this 'race it Sunday, sell it Monday' in action?

Presumably. Suffice it to say, the track-going LC looks amazing.

What are the key details of this Lexus?

Little to go on at the moment. The hugely pumped-up bodywork, culminating in that massive rear spoiler, is obviously designed to promote downforce. However, don't expect some iteration of the 5.0-litre V8 in the Lexus RC F to power the LC; instead, this racer has a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with direct injection. With drive to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, it should still be pretty rapid as it tips the scales at a mere 1,020kg.

And what is the schedule ahead of its JSGT500 debut?

Testing of the Lexus LC 500 race car will start next month, and when the new machine takes the grid in its native Japan, it will replace the RC F as Lexus' entrant in the championship.

Matt Robinson - 30 Aug 2016

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