By Ben Hsu
Sunday, Mar 23rd, 2014 @ 2:02 pm
 

Toyota Motorsports has released a slew of official photos and an accompanying video of the 2014 Lexus RC F GT500 race car undergoing testing at Okayama International Circuit in central Japan.

The high-pitched howl is that of turbocharged, direct-injection 2.0-liter inline-fours laying down 500hp, the result of a new set of rules governing the GT500 class of Japan's Super GT series. Though the newly engineered mills have half the cylinders of last year's Lexus SC430-bodied racers with their 3.4-liter V8s, the power generated is about the same.

However, in preliminary testing the RC F, along with its rivals the Honda NSX and Nissan GT-R, all surpassed Okayama Circuit's previous lap record. The fastest run of 1:21.072 was achieved by Hiroaki Ishiura behind the wheel of the number 39 Denso Kobleco RC F.

In total, Lexus will field six two-driver teams for the 2014 Super GT season. Last year's champions, Yuji Tachikawa and Kohei Hirate, were seen testing their ZENT-sponsored RC F earlier this month, but the solid red livery has been replaced with an eye-catching red-and-chrome graphic treatment.

The first race of the 2014 season kicks off this April 5. Note, however, that this car is different from the 540hp, V8-powered Lexus RC F GT3 that will compete in Europe.