Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lexus LF-A to Enter GT1--Bring on Godzilla!!

So Toyota/Lexus has decided to take a run at the GT-R come 2011 in the FIA GT1 series and also run the LF-A at LeMans and elsewhere.

This also means that Toyota will not be entering the WRC as had been rumored--at least according to Motor Trend. I on the other hand would not be surprised to see Lexus enter GT1 with the LF-A and then Toyota enter the WRC with another vehicle.

Toyota is certainly capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time and has the resources to run both motorsport operations. Given their recent PR problems, running both a GT1 and WRC program targeting both Lexus and Toyota products seems like a move in the right direction to me. Leaving Lexus as Toyota's big international motorsport effort (NAPCAR remains in the U.S.) doesn't get as much done for them as the "people's supercar" effort of Nissan's GT-R teams.

One point I don't see raised by MotorTrend is in terms of what engine the LF-A will actually run in the GT1 series, nor what its true powertrain will be. A true Nissan GT-R is a twin turbo V-6 with AWD. The GT-R that runs in the GT1 series is a engine swapped V8 with only RWD in order to meet the FIA regs. for the series. It will be interesting to see just how "true" the LF-A will be to the 1/2 a million $ street car...

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