Is this confirmation of a twin-turbo V8 LFA successor? We're not so sure.
Rumors surrounding the possibility of a Lexus LFA successor have been swirling for so long that we almost lost interest. But then Toyota and Lexus teased a slew of electrified concepts, and among them was the Electrified Sport Concept, which was touted as a "future battery-electric supercar inspired by the Lexus LFA." This suggests that the LFA could be an EV, which is contrary to prevalent rumors that the LFA is likely to be powered by a twin-turbocharged V8.
However, Toyota has also shown off the GR GT3 Concept while telling us that it intends to commercialize motorsports cars rather than making existing production cars race ready. All of this has led to speculation that the GR GT3 Concept is actually a preview of a new Lexus LFA or the lesser LC, but the truth is that it's a taste of what's to come on the Lexus RC successor.
All of this provides context for the otherwise confusing image you see below.
The image was captured by a user of the Lexus Enthusiast community site and depicts the Toyota GR GT3 Concept sporting a key difference: this example is proudly wearing a Lexus badge on the hood. The concept was reportedly displayed at a Lexus USA dealer meeting, but shortly after we discovered the solitary image, the page on which the post was made disappeared.
Could it be that Lexus considers this to be too revealing an image and asked for it to be removed? Quite possibly. If the concept was shown at a dealer meeting, it's feasible that it was displayed in order to give dealers a preview of what's to come from the brand so that they can inform their current Lexus RC buyers of what the brand intends to do to compete with its German rivals.
Going on looks alone, a production Lexus model based upon this concept would certainly grab the attention of those pompous drivers in their BMW M4s and Audi RS5s. But how would it handle? After all, we've waxed lyrical on many occasions about the soulful 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 you can get in the Lexus RC F, but we've never had quite so much praise for the car's capabilities as a sports car. It's far too compromised and too luxurious and too heavy to ever be as sharp as the products produced in Munich and Ingolstadt.
But that's exactly why Toyota and Lexus are developing their new sports cars as racers first. This will minimize weight, heighten agility, and guarantee an efficient body shape - for both the track stars and the production sports cars based thereupon.
But what about the Lexus LFA? Since we teased you with that in our opening, we feel obliged to give you the latest rumor, even if it seems unlikely given the brand's EV-suggestive comments about the Electrified Sport Concept. According to Japan's Best Car, the new LFA will be a plug-in hybrid with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The engine alone will supposedly produce 650 horsepower, but the addition of electrification would bump that all the way to 937 hp. If the publication's sources have provided valid claims, this will debut in 2025. Perhaps this is true. Lexus didn't call its fantasy car the Pure-Electric Sport Concept, did it?
Either way, it's clear that Lexus and Toyota want to take the sports car world by storm, and this Lexus-badged GR GT3 Concept looks like the genesis of a new era. Bring it on.