Building on the legacy of the Lexus IS F CCS-R, the V8 powered Lexus RC F GT Concept tackled the 12.42-mile, 156 turn (mostly of the hairpin variety), Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) course that begins at 9,390 feet above sea level and culminates at 14,115 feet above sea level. Steep rock faces and suddenly approaching abutments are the rule on this course that is the epitome of hill climbing competitions. The RC F GT Concept finished third in the time attack class; a race against the clock that challenges man and machine in a contest of rapidly changing climates, ever increasing altitude, and clearly present danger.
British race driving ace Justin Bell piloted the Lexus in this, the ninety-third running of the legendary hill climb competition. Bell, a seasoned driver, FIA GT World Champion, 24-Hours of Le Mans winner, and sought-after automotive media personality, said, “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.”
The PPIHC served as much more than just an uphill race for Lexus F Brand Engineering. Engineers and designers will use the RC F GT Concept as a focal point for developing key performance tactics as they move into the future. This 3-day competition will allow Lexus engineers to experiment with various prototype components, engine tuning strategies, and software enhancement ideas in a high-stress, real world environment. “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.
The RC F GT Concept is a specially designed race car that is composed of a variety of innovative lightweight materials. The curb weight for the race version is 800-pounds less (3,130-pounds) than the production Lexus RC F. The engine and transmission are mechanically identical to the stock version but engineers will be experimenting with cutting edge high performance engine and transmission programmers, settings, and software setups, as well as performance exhaust and induction systems.
The engine is a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 467hp and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. It is bolted to an eight speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode. Weight reduction components include a carbon fiber hood, roof, deck lid, door panels, front and rear fenders, interior trim, and dashboard. It is also outfitted with polycarbonate windows. It rides on Yokohama ADVAN rubber.