The race to the top of Pikes Peak is an excellent test of a vehicle’s capabilities. At 14,000 feet air is thin and cars without a lot of horsepower, compression, or both suffer. That is why it is very cool that Lexus will have a go at the Time Attack class in their new 2015 RCF GT Concept car.
Driving the car will be Justin Bell. Justin is a hot-shoe who makes automobile infomercials (which this author loves). If my memory is correct, he was the driver in the Lexus educational video shown last fall at the RC F media introduction prior to the track event at Monticello. Oh, and and he has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. So there’s that. Commenting on the RCF GT Concept, Bell said, “With very little time behind the wheel, the RC F GT Concept has already proven fast and easy to drive, very much like the production models, actually. We expect the race car will only pick up pace as we engage more testing, tuning, and data acquisition on the mountain.”
The Lexus RCF GT Concept is mostly an RC F, but Lexus has added a key ingredient. Lightness. Lexus used composites and other tricks to take away 800 pounds. The curb weight is now 3100 pounds. The engine and transmission are still the same ones in a street RC F, but they have been tuned quite a bit. Commenting on the RC F and motorsports, Lexus VP Jeff Bracken said, “The continued evolution of the F brand remains a top priority for Lexus, and motorsports provide us an outstanding opportunity to develop more than concepts and components for F brand products.”
The entire track up Pikes Peak is now paved in case you have not been following developments over the past few years. We don’t expect that Bell will set a course record like Sebastian Loeb did a few years back on his first attempt at the mountain. But you never know…