The New Lexus RC Will Lean Into Racing

The next version of the luxury coupé will be designed with the track in mind.

By Bryan Hood 01/03/2022

Lexus is reaching into Toyota’s wheelhouse for inspiration for the new RC.

The next generation of the luxury coupé will take inspiration from the GR GT3 concept that debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson told Car and Driver last week. The new car will also draw on the company’s motorsport bona fides, according to the executive.

The top-of-the-line RC350 has solid pep, thanks to a V6 that produces 231kW, but it wasn’t designed with racing in mind. That fact has held the track-focused car back. The racer, which shares its body with the road car, is heavier than the competition and has a larger front end that increases drag and hinders performance. These are both issues that resulted from the track vehicle being, in Wilson’s words, an “afterthought.”

Toyota GR GT3 concept

Toyota GR GT3 concept Toyota

“What we’ve all come to learn is that’s not the way you bring a GT3 car to market,” Wilson told the magazine. “Before you put your first line on paper, you decide you’re going to race that car and that shapes the design parameters, the performance parameters of that production car.”

Although no official announcement has been made, Wilson told C&D that the next RC will be designed with the track in mind from the get-go. Its design will also draw heavily on the GR GT3 concept for inspiration. That’s exciting news because that prototype is nothing if not easy on the eyes. The two-door speed machine has an athletic-yet-elegant design that features a long nose, prominent front splitter and side skirts and a giant rear wing. The company’s Gazoo racing division hasn’t revealed what powers the car, but its side exhausts suggest there will be an internal-combustion engine, possibly aided by an electric motor, sitting in the engine bay.

Testing of the GR GT3 is expected to begin later this year. Once it does, we’ll not only learn more about the car, we should find out a lot about its more luxurious Lexus cousin.

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