By: IOL Motoring Staff

Nagoya, Japan - Even before the release of the LC500 grand touring coupé on the world market, Lexus has developed this radical race car based on its new sports flagship model.

The broad styling cues, which we first saw on the LC500 concept, are still there, notably the love-it-or-hate-it spindle grille and distinctive L-shaped headlight clusters, but amped up with big-booty flared wheel arches, ground-hugging aero kit, a dramatically cantilevered rear wing and lots of vents to suck air out of the car's 'hot spots' and away from under the chassis to increase down force.

The standard shell has also been radically lightened to get the LC500 race car right down to the minimum weight - 1020kg - for the Japanese Super GT500 series, where it will replace the Lexus RC-F from the 2017 season, racing under the Lexus Gazoo banner.

Super GT500 rules specify a two-litre turbopetrol four, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox - and the direct-injection, twin-turbo Lexus LC500 is rated at more than 450kW, giving it a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio.

The SuperGT LC500 is expected to begin track testing in September, while the production version, with 348kW worth of five-litre, naturally aspirated V8 attitude, will be released on the South African market during 2017.

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