Lexus will have a role in the 2015 V8 Supercars season, but not as a participant. Rather, the marque will supply its Lexus RC F coupe as a safety car for this year’s race fixtures.
The use of the Lexus RC F as the racing series’ official safety car is part of a broader partnership between V8 Supercars and Lexus. Toyota’s luxury marque will also provide the series with course (GS 350 F Sport) and medical (IS 350 F Sport) vehicles.
Decked out in eye-catching livery, the Lexus support vehicles will be seen at each of this year’s 15 races, starting with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide that runs between February 26 and March 1.
Under the bonnet, the RC F features, appropriately enough, a 5.0-litre V8 that sends 351kW of power and 530Nm of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In December last year, the governing body behind the V8 Supercars racing series announced sweeping changes that would apply to the format from the 2017 season onwards.
The most notable change surrounds permissible engine types, with the organisers allowing cars with four-cylinder and V6 turbos to participate alongside traditional naturally aspirated V8s. The Gen2 Supercar specifications also require rear-wheel drive, a showroom-related four-seat body shell, and weight and aerodynamic parity.
Around the time of this announcement there was a lot of speculation about new participants in the rebranded Supercar racing series, with Lexus leading the list of the likely new entrants.
Lexus Australia CEO, Sean Hanley, told Car Advice that the brand was involved in “high-level discussions” with the representatives from V8 Supercars and that the “RC F may suit that landscape in the future”.