Toyota will return to the unforgettable 24 Hours of Nürburgring for the 14th consecutive year this next May with its Lexus LC grand tourer. This will be the brand's third 'Ring outing, but the LC will have an unfamiliar engine under the hood this time around. Out will be its naturally aspirated V8; and in will be a new, twin-turbo unit.
Lexus hopes that this engine (whose displacement and power haven't been specified) and a series of other upgrades will improve both the pace and reliability of its LC race cars, which have spent race-ruining hours in the pits these past two years. More importantly, of course, Lexus plans to test the engine rigorously before it offers it in a road car, as the automaker promises that the V8 is "destined for use on future road cars such as sports cars."
While it hasn't identified which products will be given the new engine, it seems inevitable that its first application will be the LC, given how its compatibility with the chassis has already been proven by its planned use in an LC race car. The replacement by the twin-turbo unit feels like an omen of what's to happen to the LC 500's delightful, naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, whose long-term viability has been in question since the model's launch in 2017.
We've reached out to Lexus regarding the future of the naturally aspirated LC 500, and will update when we receive a statement. Regardless of whether the five-liter will go the way of the Dodo by the new year, we'd urge anyone on the fence about which six-figure car to buy to consider the LC 500. Looks like those alone could make the LC 500 a future classic, and with how good the LC drives and sounds, it might be advisable to pick one up sooner rather than later. Your only real conundrum will be choosing between the hardtop and the equally gorgeous convertible.
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