Lexus finally announces all-new twin-turbo V8, will race the Nurburgring 24H

Jonathon Ramsey



In March 2013, Motor Trend wrote about rumors of Lexus bolting two turbos onto the high-revving, atmospheric 5.0-liter V8 in the RC F, the new engine for eventual use in an LC F super coupe. We heard the rumor again from multiple directions in 2017, and again in 2018. At last, the rumor gets official confirmation as an aside in a Lexus press release about taking the Gazoo Racing LC race car to the Nürburgring 24-hour for a third time next year. After two years of "unavoidable hours in the pit to resolve issues" with the LC in 2018 and 2019, the luxury carmaker said that next year it "[aims] to complete the race without any trouble by adopting a variety of new technologies, including a newly-developed V8 twin-turbo engine destined for use on future road cars such as sports cars."

That's all we know for certain about what's coming. Predictions supposed Lexus has paired two of its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engines with a 90-degree angle to create the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. Estimates over the years guessed output as anywhere from 600 metric horsepower, 592 of our U.S. customary horses, to 620 hp, to 660 hp. The guesstimate torque figure comes in at "up to 506 pound-feet," arrived at by a Japanese magazine that figured Lexus was trying to outdo the Nissan GT-R. What's safe to say is that the engine – created with an emphasis on performance – will outdo the 471 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque from the Yamaha-developed, naturally-aspirated V8 currently powering the LC 500 flagship. The new engine might not outdo the 7,300-rpm redline.

Since the press release mentioned "sports cars," plural, there's every right to expect the hi-po power plant to migrate to other offerings. In the press, the engine's been mooted for everything from the RC F and new GS F to an LS F and a super-potent SUV inspired by the LF-1 Limitless concept that would take on the Lamborghini Urus.

Further changes to the LC F accompanying the new motor could include a great deal more carbon fiber, about 200 pounds trimmed from the curb weight, a stiffer structure, a "low-weight and high-rigidity suspension," and more refined software systems for tech like driver aids, traction control, and anti-lock braking. 

Lexus will take the start line at next year’s Nürburgring 24-Hour weekend from May 21-24 in the SP-Pro class.