Toyota is obsessed with racing at the Nürburgring and will tackle the challenge of the 24 Hours again for the 14th consecutive year in 2020. This spring, Toyota President Akio Toyoda himself raced a GR Supra under a fake name, and for the 2020 “24 Rennen,” Lexus is dialing it up a notch by preparing a new V-8 for its attack.
Jammed into an LC race car once again, this new twin-turbo V-8 will be pushed to its limits in the name of future road car development. Lexus will also test chassis control with its latest suspension parts onboard, supported by improved weight distribution and a more rigid body. There will be new aerodynamic components as well, along with Toyota’s most advanced electronic stability control, traction control, and ABS systems.
Does this mean an LC F is inevitable? Well, if it isn’t, please tell us why else would Lexus need a new twin-turbo V-8.
Toyota has plenty of Nürburgring veterans on its call list, and the 2020 LC will be driven by the team of Masahiro Sasaki, Kazuya Oshima, and Naoya Gamo, led by chief test driver Hiroaki Ishiura, who will join the race for the sixth time. However, the fact that Ishiura has been absent from the ’Ring in recent years will only add to the excitement:
“I am grateful for this opportunity to compete in the 2020 Nürburgring 24 Hours Race. As I haven’t competed in the race at Nürburgring for some time, I am very excited, but I also feel some responsibility as the setting leader. This project has accumulated considerable expertise through continuous car-making every year, and we hope to use that expertise to develop even faster and safer cars that everyone can enjoy. There are many elements that can be refined only under the harsh environment of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring race, and I think this gives great meaning to taking on this challenge. By combining everyone’s strengths to refine the Lexus LC, I hope to provide feedback for reliable car-making, accumulate technologies, and contribute to making ever-better cars. I look forward to receiving your support.”
Lexus and Toyota deserve all the credit for doing this, as the Nürburgring 24 Hours remains the toughest endurance race on tarmac and attacking it with a development V-8 is a brave move costing heaps of money. Good for Lexus, we say, and even better for its customers, who probably haven’t forgotten which European circuit shaped the brilliant Lexus LFA.