Lexus RC F GT3 Race Car Spotted in Japan

Lexus RC F GT3 Race Car

The first test of the Lexus RC F GT3 race car took place last week at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan:

Developed over two years by Lexus International and subsidiary Techno Craft, the RC F GT3 concept is powered by a modified version of the RC F’s V8 engine that produces 540+ hp (397kw).

The race car is wider and lower than the standard RC F — with its interior stripped to racing specification, it weighs just 1,250 kg/2,755.8 lbs.

Lexus will supply GT3-compliant vehicles to racing teams starting in 2015. GT3 cars can enter many races globally, such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race in Germany and the Super Taikyu Endurance and Super GT series in Japan.

[Source: AS-Web]

New Technology Could Boost Lexus Hybrid Fuel Efficiency by 10 Percent

Lexus GS 450h Hybrid Drive

Toyota has developed a new semiconductor that will improve the fuel efficiency of their hybrid technology by 10 percent — from Automotive News:

The new semiconductors eat up only a tenth of the energy of today’s chips and enable the PCU to be 80 percent smaller, Toyota engineers said today at a briefing.

The technology has the potential to deliver 10 percent better fuel efficiency because less energy is lost when the battery powers the car’s electric motor or when the regenerative brakes recharge the battery.

The silicon carbide semiconductors will be applicable to hybrid or all-electric drivetrains and can be mated to lithium ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries, Toyota said.

Current test vehicles equipped with the new semiconductors are seeing a 5 percent increase in fuel efficiency. Toyota is looking to commercialize the technology by 2020, but the new technology is expensive:

Currently, silicon carbide semiconductors cost “an order of magnitude” more than silicon semiconductors. And because silicon carbide is one of the world’s hardest materials, it is difficult and costly to process into wafers, [project general manager Kimimori] Hamada said.

“There are still enormous technical barriers,” he said, adding he would be satisfied with achieving only 70 percent of his energy efficiency and miniaturization goals by 2020.

Read more about the new Toyota Semiconductors

New Lexus RC F Wheel Design Debuts in Madrid

Lexus RC F Wheel Design

A new Lexus RC F wheel design debuted today at the Madrid Auto Show — here are photos from Lexus Spain:

A 20-spoke rim can be tough to keep clean, but it makes up for the extra work with pure style — my favorite RC F wheel yet.

[Source: Lexus Spain]

Lexus Spain Releases Special Edition IS F SPORT for Lexus 25 Year Anniversary

Lexus IS Special Edition Spain

Lexus Spain has released a special edition IS F SPORT to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lexus brand — the car debuted at the Madrid Auto Show today, here are some photos from Autonocion:

As expected, this IS special edition has the TRD body kit installed — other exterior upgrades include the RC-style carbon fiber hood, roof & spoiler & 19″ Lexus F SPORT wheels with Bridgestone Potenza tires.

The interior has custom black & white leather, with a TRD red power button and a commerative plate. Mechanical upgrades include a Brembo brake kit for the front wheels and a TRD quad exhaust.

The Lexus IS F SPORT special edition will be available only in Spain, and is limited to just 25 units. Pricing has yet to be announced.

See more photos of the Lexus Spain IS F SPORT Special Edition

Ultrasonic Blue Lexus NX F SPORT Spotted in Madrid

Lexus NX Ultrasonic Blue

Lexus Europe is testing the NX compact crossover in Madrid this week, and an Ultrasonic Blue NX F SPORT was one of the test models:

Lexus NX Ultrasonic Blue

Lexus NX Ultrasonic Blue

Seeing the NX in blue shows me two things: the IS influenced the design more than I realized, and the NX is going to look great in darker colors.

(I like the Hyper Black wheel option as well — interesting design pattern.)

[Source: Lexus Europe]