While the Germans have promptly moved on from big-bore naturally-aspirated eight-cylinder engines to ones with smaller displacements and forced induction, Lexus carries the rumbling torch proudly. Though, it seems winds of change are in the air.
Lexus recently announced that they are in the midst of building a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that will be slotted in the nose of a Gazoo Racing LC racer in time for next year’s Nürburgring 24-Hour weekend.
The Japanese automaker hasn’t released any details on the blown eight-cylinder engine, however our guesstimates are that this new V8 could be the result of welding a couple of turbocharged 2.0-litre four-bangers together at a 90-degree angle to create a 4.0-litre V8 with possible outputs of over 450kW. Other theories include bolting on blowers to the existing 5.0-litre block.
The blown engine isn’t the only thing Lexus is testing out before next year’s showdown in the Green Hell but rather the company has said that they’re looking into three key areas of development, namely: body, suspension and driving control.
Lexus and Gazoo Racing are developing a low-weight, highly-rigid body structure with improved aerodynamics that’ll help the LC take on rivals such as Mercedes-AMG, Audi Sport and BMW M. Apart from the body, the suspension gets worked on to increase rigidity while keeping its weight in check. Even the wheels are put on the Atkins to reduce unsprang mass.
The final area of development according to the brand are advances made to the vehicle’s stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes and other control systems. The LC will hit the haloed tarmac from the 21st of May with chief driver Hiroaki Ishiura, Masahiro Sasaki, Kazuya Oshima and Naoya Gamo behind the wheel.
Lexus has also said that the twin-turbo engine under the bonnet of the racecar is “destined for use in future road cars”. This would suggest that a twin-turbo V8-engined LC-F with stacked exhausts is in the pipeline. We simply can’t wait.