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Lexus RC F GT500 seen testing in full race livery

by Ben Hsu

The new race cars will attack the Japanese Super GT series starting April.

Even as Lexus get ready to unveil its new RC F GT3 race cars at the Geneva Motor Show, similarly bodied race cars bound for Japan's Super GT series are already undergoing testing.

For the 2014 Super GT season, Lexus will campaign no less than six teams in the GT500 class, all of them using the RC F body. Unlike Europe's GT3 racers, however, these will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder to meet new regulations for the 2014 season. The new mills are still expected to develop power in excess of 500 hp, a similar output to that of the 3.4-liter V8s that dominated the league since 2010.

Like the engine, the car itself has rather little in common with the road-going version of the RC F. The body is a tubular-frame chassis and most of the body panels are carbon-fiber. Base weight of the 2013 cars came in at approximately 2,424 pounds, but running mass depends on the weight penalties applied to the cars a la NASCAR.

Photos of the ZENT RC F to be driven by Yuji Tachikawa and Kohei Hirate testing at Okayama International Circuit have been circulated by Lexus UK. Images of the ENEOS RC F to be piloted by Kazuya Oshima and Yuji Kunimoto were shared by Oshima himself on Facebook.

Until now, Lexus has participated in Super GT with cars bodied in the shape of the long-defunct SC 430. The RC F GT500 finally allows Toyota to go head-to-head with a modern silhouette against Nissan's GT-R and Honda's NSX. The 2014 season kicks off at Okayama International Circuit on April 5.

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