Lexus has turned its already fast IS F over to the go-fast guys at Toyota Racing Development. The finished product is the IS F Circuit Club Sport, and the sport sedan wears a wide range of aero and mechanical improvements. We've known this model was coming for some time thanks to a 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon concept and details spouted late this summer, but these photos provide our best look yet at this touring-car-like model.
Outside, engineers have fitted the IS F with a new front spoiler, rear diffuser and hood, all of which are fabricated from weight-saving carbon fiber. You may have also noticed the vehicle's sizable rear wing. A performance damper kit is also part of the package, offering buyers two separate settings that independently adjustable compression. The luxury bruiser also comes equipped with lightweight forged aluminum wheels, though magnesium rollers are also available.
Mechanically, the IS F Circuit Club Sport Package utilizes a TRD limited-slip differential as well as a TRD big brake kit. At this point, there's no word on how much the package will cost or when it will be available. We aren't even sure American buyers will be able to sink their teeth into the factory-bred racer, so stay tuned.
For a luxury brand to be taken seriously nowadays it is a must to go racing with its most potent family car. All the European luxury brands are heavily involved in racing series like DTM, BTCC and the FIA World Touring Car Championship, and their successes on the track are well decorated in showrooms, to show their customers what the brand is capable off.
Japanese luxury car firm Lexus has, however, been less keen on taking the IS-F to racing circuits, but that hasn’t stopped some privateer entries from making race cars out of the brand’s most powerful sedan.
The latest IS-F race car hails from Europe and is campaigned by MN Motorsports team in the Superstars International Series where it will compete alongside other RWD V8-powered monster sedans like the BMW M5, Audi RS4, Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes C63 and even the Maserati Quattroporte and Chrysler 300C SRT8.
The team, which is owned by Mauro Nocentini will wear the number 06 and will be driven by Diego Romanini, who is a two-time Formula 3 champion.
The team has had problems at the start of the season, but we wish them all the best for the upcoming races.
Our own tcmaboy from PSTOC is in Japan, and has graced us with some of his own coverage of the Tokyon Auto Salon and the vehicles on display there.
WARNING: Do not expect too much information. Due to my language limitations this event was more of a photo scavenger hunt than serious research. I went out looking for things Toyota, things race car, and things just plain weird. What information I have comes from looking at the car, matching up logos, and tracking down company names. To kick things off I suppose I should start off with some Toyota-centric items. For those that follow the blog you have already seen the two IS F club racing concepts.
So, what hasn't appeared on the front page? What has Tom been up to all these years? Apparently making Lexus Parts. On display was a LS 460 with some very subtle body parts and an exhaust system.
Goodyear had a MK X on display all done up complete with booth girl (you wouldn't believe how hard it is to get pictures of the car when the girls are around). The MK X is the successor to the MK II, and shares a platform with the GS. The resemblance to a NASCARed Camry is a bit scary (must be the Goodyear effect).
Gazoo Racing was the primary Toyota representative, and they brought a few shiny toys to show off. Among them were race cars, mini vans, and even an iQ. Packing a giant shoe horn they some how they managed to squeeze an intercooled super charger under the hood of the already cramped iQ.
Continuing down the path of tiny cars was this EV sports concept. It is powered by twin DC motors and a lithium ion battery pack. In a rather interesting twist rather than using the differential to send power to the wheels, a diff was employed to send power from the twin motors to the transmission.
To top things off was this T Sports Concept. I am sure all were excited by the promise of the FT 86 as a return of the small rear drive sports car. This little guy looks equally exciting (though the snowball would have to survive hell first). Front engine, rear drive with a 108 HP engine backed by a 5 speed. While 108 HP doesn't sound like much it should be plenty of fun with a weight target just shy of 2000 lbs. For comparison the AE 86 was several hundred pounds heavier with the 4AG putting out similar HP. Over the years the gold has faded to beige for Toyota, and all I can say is please Toyota polish things up and bring back the golden years.
In addition to the IS-F CCS-R concept, Lexus is also displaying the IS-F Club Performance Accessory at the Tokyo Auto Salon, which is sporting performance parts from Toyota tuner TRD — once again, here’s some photos from AutoGuide’s prolific Colum Wood:
Here’s the full list of accessories:
Dino over at SpeedHunters also posted a photo of the TRD’d IS-F, and hinted that these accessories may be on their way to production:
Twelve months ago at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Lexus introduced the IS-F CCS – a track-tuned version of its high-performance sports sedan. Now the engineers over at Toyota HQ have taken that idea to a new level with a new concept dubbed the CCS-R.
CCS, we should point out, stands for Circuit Club Sports. And the R? Well, it stands for racing.
Unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon, the CCS-R comes painted in the same brilliant orange as its predecessor, and has both a carbon fiber hood and trunk lid, but there are some notable changes. It’s hard to ignore the racing touches, like the massive front splitter, cannards and the novelty sized rear spoiler that will help keep that rear end planted at almost any speed. Other upgrades include some custom racing seats, a roll cage, as well as some ultra light weight wheels with racing slicks.
With continued rumored that Lexus will take the IS-F racing, we’re hoping this concept brings the Toyota luxury brand one step closer.
Here’s a pretty eye-catching video of the Lexus IS F chasing a Porsche 911 GT3 out in the desert of Southern California. The track appears to be “Streets of Willow” at the famed Willow Springs Raceway just outside Palmdale, CA. Of course, we would all like to believe that the IS F triumphs over the GT3, but in all reality, it’s a great exhibition of two very highly sought-after performance cars. Entitled “Drift vs. Grip”, both cars dance around the track to the tune of the ’98 jam from The Cardigans, My Favourite Game. Props to ISG for putting this compilation together.
The latest IS-F continues to receive an enthusiastic response, with EVO awarding it their full five-star rating. The Torsen LSD on the new IS-F replaces the previous electric LSD function, which was part of the car’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) stability control system. Reviewer Ollie Marriage hopes that the new IS-F will find favorable buyer reception in a “post Lexus LFA world”, and adds that it compares well with its BMW and Mercedes-Benz rivals. Also of note, like other Lexus Europe models, the navigation no longer has a motion lockout.