Toyota has decided to enter its only sports car in the Nurburgring 24 hours Endurance Race. By that I mean that Toyota has decided to let its luxury brand Lexus compete. As such, the actually amazing production version of the Lexus LFA will compete in the above mentioned race, prior to this; Lexus had twice entered the Nurburgring 24 hours with development mules competing in the prototype category. Now the full fledged production version will do the same.
The cars will be prepared by Gazoo racing and will be driven by a total of four Japanese and three German drivers that have GT racing and endurance driving experience.
The production Lexus LFA has a 552 bhp mid-mounted V10 engine which sounds really unique, and is capable of 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of around 320 km/h. I wonder how much modification will go into the car as in endurance racing, reliability is paramount. Maybe the power output will remain the same, with additional oil coolers for the rear differential and gearbox. The other major change might be to the gearing, making it suited for racing and partly fuel economy as its an endurance race. Refueling, tire change as well as driver changing stops play a main role in endurance racing too.
Now who are Gazoo Racing you may ask. It seems that Gazoo Racing is a Japanese tuner with a Toyota specific tuning business. They have entered Lexus/Toyota Altezzas in 2007, the Lexus IS250 in 2008 and the prototype LFAs in 2009 in the Nurburgring 24hour races So far their road specials were/are limited to the Toyota IQ and the Vitz in Japan. They are experts in ‘Automotive Seasoning’ with the tagline as follows:
“We are “seasoning” vehicles to show their own appeal. This feature aims at sharing with you the enjoyment and exhilaration of “owning” a vehicle from Gazoo Racing’s own viewpoint.”
If we look at the interview with their veteran Toyota Hiromu Naruse test driver (supposed Nurburgring 'Meister') he says the following: “I use the terms ‘anticipatory taste,’ ‘real taste,’ and ‘aftertaste.’ If we make a comparison with cuisine again, anticipatory taste is the expectation that we experience when we see a dish on the table and think that it looks delicious. Real taste is when you actually eat the food and discover its taste. Aftertaste is the feeling after you finish eating that you want to eat it again. This is applicable to cars, too. You start by thinking that a car looks good and you want to take it for a drive. When you actually drive it, you decide it has a good feel, is comfortable, and so on. And after you get out of the car, you want to drive it again.” Ah, so. So very Japanese.
-a Gazoo Toyota IQ