Both Honda and Lexus are using much-anticipated future production models as the basis for their newest GT500 race cars in Japan. Honda just unveiled the NSX-GT based on the upcoming Acura NSX, and Lexus announced a new LF-CC racer based on the concept from last year that previews the rumored RC and RC F coupe models to debut in 2015.
The Super GT series is a yearly racing series in Japan. The two classes of cars, GT300 and GT500, are limited to 300 and 500 horsepower, respectively, with the big three Japanese automakers—Honda, Nissan, and Toyota—mostly dominating the GT500 class. Lexus is currently using an SC430-based racer, and Honda replaced the previous NSX racer with the HSV-010 GT in 2010, which is not based on any Honda production vehicle.
The NSX-GT, which takes its design from the most recent Acura NSX concept revealed at the 2012 Detroit auto show, is specifically designed to enter into Round 5 of the 2014 series taking place at Japan’s Suzuka Circuit. The overall shape of the NSX is preserved, but with numerous aerodynamic modifications like a front splitter, a wide body kit, and a huge rear spoiler, presumably for greater downforce at high speed. Like the 2015 NSX, which will feature a new performance hybrid system, the NSX-GT is powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder in conjunction with what Honda calls a “racing hybrid system.” We don’t know any more details about the hybrid system, but Honda says the NSX-GT’s powertrain is in compliance with the regulations of the GT500 class.
Lexus released fewer details about the Lexus LF-CC racer, but did say that it will begin competing in the Super GT GT500 class starting next season. Due to GT500 class regulations, the Lexus will also have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and rear-wheel-drive. The LF-CC concept was first shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show as a two-door coupe concept, and we’ve since learned that the concept previewed a new coupe to be called RC, which will compete with the Audi A5 and BMW 4-Series. The concept also heavily influenced the design of the 2014 IS sedan. We should see an RC F model as well to go up against the BMW M4 and Audi RS5. Lexus says the LF-CC racer is now getting a shakedown at the Suzuka circuit in preparation for the Super GT series.
These racers should temper the anticipation for the upcoming performance models from Honda and Toyota. Look for the Honda NSX-GT and Lexus LF-CC to duke it out next year in Japan.
Source: Lexus, Honda