• Jan 8th 2008 at 10:26AM
  • 38

click above to view more high-res images of the Team Lexus IS-F

No single car better demonstrates the determination of Lexus to stick it to the Germans than the IS-F. The high-performance sports sedan gives the BMW M3, Mercedes C63 AMG and Audi RS4 a real run for their deutschemarks euros. But Lexus isn't about to let it rest there. That is, not if the rumors are to be believed.

A few days ago we brought you a preview image of the IS-F Racing Concept, which Lexus is bringing to its home-court Tokyo Auto Salon later this week. But while it certainly looks the part, emerging reports now suggest that the concept is no mere concept at all, but that Lexus is actually planning on using it to compete in Germany's domestic (and both highly popular and ultra-competitive) DTM touring car series. The rumors are fueled by the image you see above, posted mysteriously on TeamLexus.com. If the reports turn out to be true, the IS-F could find itself trading paint with race-prepped AMG Mercedes C-Classes and Audi A4s before long.

However a seemingly conflicting report suggests that the racing IS-F pictured above is actually a GT2 car destined to succeed the previous IS300-based racer that Lexus campaigned in the 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Enough differences exist between the dark concept headed for Tokyo and the orange one in the new images to allow for the possibility that Lexus could be relentlessly pursuing perfection in two distinct classes with racers based on the same sports sedan. Check out the images in the gallery below for more angles.

[Source: IS-F Insider]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      VP, judging by your avatar, we struck a sensitive one here ey? BTW, your Nascar, usually airs 6 different races over at least 5 different channels, so do us a favor and kindly STFU!
        • 7 Years Ago
        or whine to ALMS for not treating it more like a business/entertainment and working to attract the fans that NASCAR has. arguably, the racing is better/ more technical so it must be something else that is amiss. the experience is not there.
        - build up to 25 races a year where only 3 or 4 are 12+ hrs.
        -take all the profit dollars and pump it all back in for 5 years towards building a better marketing machine and it would obliterate NASCAR. Globally, it enjoys a much larger viewership and the US viewer is a wealthier individual on average.

        • 7 Years Ago
        well, instead of whining here, why dont you whine to Speed?

        I dont see Speed Network advertising here or participating in the blog or comments, so your rants here are worthless.

        IF you forget that racing is a sport (?), and accept it as entertainment and/or a business you will realize that everyone is going to jump on the bandwagon that reaches 3x the viewership that the NBA does. 9.5M+ viewers. Heck, 2million people on average watch the AAA teams (Busch/Nationwide series). Of course the networks are going to all want a piece of the pie. millions of people tuning in week after week.

        But, fyi. no less than 3 channels carry the 12 ALMS series including ABC, Speed, and NBC Sports. and viewership is on the rise.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Now c'mon! You are missing a point here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don´t belive Lexus race the DTM.... not enough competition there... currently only Audi and Mercedes race the DTM with A4 and C-Class and both own extrem long experience.. no BMW there..no M3, RS4, C63

      DTM cars are tube fram race cars with F1 style carbon pilot crash box inside the tube frame with carbon chassie cover...the engines are front midd mounted.
      They have nothing to do with road going version ..they only look like... much like NASCAR but not for oval racing

      DTM engine rules
      4.0l (maximum)
      28mm air restrictor (2!!)

      would not fit with the Lexus engine

      • 7 Years Ago
      I think DTM, ALMS is for thoroughbreds. I don't see this challenging Porsche, Ferrari of Panoz even. I think it will go to DTMS and be soundly thrashed. LeMans or F1 rings a bell? Toyota always spends the most money and gets the least results.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The CTS-V's were so fast that they actually were limited to a lower redline (power output) than the Corvettes they competed against.

        This would mainly be because the Corvettes they race against were much closer to production than the Pratt & Miller designed CTS-V racer.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Weren't the CTS-Vs doing decently in ALMS? I'd hardly consider them to be any more of a "thoroughbred" than the IS-F is...
      • 7 Years Ago
      This good news, but these are the things should have done first along with replacing the Supra before coming out with the LF-A, IMO. I would love to see an IS350 mixing it up in DTM.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ok.... i guess rumors will debut at TAS but in the mean time ill debate the worth of the car in either DTM or ALMS.

        EJ NOTES

        1. The main competion for the lexus are the M3, the RS4, and the CLK. 2/3 are racing while BMW is losing out big time. (With a 4door m3 this will hopefully change, IM MEAN A 4.0L V8 GOES RIGHT WITH THE REGULATIONS). but i digress, you can see how the DTM works, its not a trully national championship because ALFA has competed and an event is held in France.
        The only issue is a 4.0l v8: (3uz-fe) so no problem there.
        IS-F DTM idea : :thumbs up:

        On the GT2 side..... well first of, the is-f isnt a gt car!
        With the F430, 997 GT3 rsr, aston martin vantage gt2, it just doesnt work.

        Yeah i see this car better suited for the DTM...but it could also fit in with the SUPER GT GT500 class!
        • 7 Years Ago
        This car doesn't have DTM or SuperGT aero. It looks like something you'd expect to see in Speed GT or Grand AM with a chance at ACO/FIA GT2 (ALMS here). The IS isn't a typical GT in any sense of the word, but we've seen Imprezas run in GT300 and CTS-Vs run in Speed so it's not out of the question to see a race-prepped sedan in a similar series.

        With the GT-R coming soon, especially with racing intentions Toyota really needs to race their flagship sports sedan (since that's all they've got) to garner some PR and get people to pay attention.

        That being said I'd still like Toyota to put on a more global GT effort.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "should have been done first" that is...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Since the orange car has Goldsborough & Borcheller driver stickers on it, it's prob. an ALMS car. Plus if it was a Grand-AM contender it would have been at Daytona yesterday.

      The black car is deff. a DTM car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lexus will be competing in the SPEED World Challenge GT class in '08 as announced at Laguna Seca in October
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is highly unlikely. Have you even seen a DTM car inside? It would be difficult to make a DTM car cost-effectively.

      DTM cars aren't even really production-derived, they are entire tube chassis and the whole drivetrain is changed. If you've seen under the hood of a DTM car, the engine and entire drivetrain is below the top-to-bottom midline of the hood area. That is, except for a brace to keep the hood from collapsing, the entire top half of the area under the hood is empty. This is because the engine is sitting right on the ground.

      The above vehicle is clearly not a DTM car because DTM cars actually look very squashed compared to the production vehicles, because they want to keep the CG and wind profile down.

      Anyway, the changes Lexus would race in a one-country series when they could make a GT3 or GT2 car and race in several series in the US, Europe and even JGTC (SuperGT) is exceedingly unlikely.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Agreed. Based on the looks of both cars, IS-F is about to enter both the DTM and ALMS here. That black IS-F was no doubt DTM car and it will be interesting to see how will they do against Audis and Mercs.

      Now if only "Nascar TV"... I mean "Speed" carry more of that Euro stuff.
        • 7 Years Ago
        • 7 Years Ago
        Right on! Too bad that schedule will change when Nextel Cup or whatever the f&%k they call it starts.

        BTW, Australian V8 Supercars that's like Aussie Nascar with right hand turn and steering wheel on the other side. Yawn!
        • 7 Years Ago
        hey man.... dont mess with the name of the channel!!!!!


        " NASCRAP TV"
        • 7 Years Ago
        The real issue is that Speed used to carry it and talk about it until FOX took them over and turned it into NascarNetworkLite, and they sweep all other forms of racing under the rug now. Just think, if there's enough complaints to annoy you, there's probably enough fans around to justify carrying it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        DTM airs about 8 times this week on Speed (I'm not joking). And V8 Supercars runs about 5.

        (all times Pacific, and you already missed some yesterday)

        German Touring Cars - 9:00a 1/12
        German Touring Cars - 10:00a 1/12
        German Touring Cars - 9:00a 1/14
        German Touring Cars - 10:00a 1/14
        German Touring Cars - 1:00a 1/15
        Australian V8 Supercars... - 12:00a 1/11
        Australian V8 Supercars... - 1:00a 1/11
        Australian V8 Supercars... - 11:00a 1/12
        Australian V8 Supercars... - 11:00a 1/14

        Speed has not reduced their coverage of these two events since back when they were Speedvision.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Enough with the bashing of SPEED on every racing post. If there are enough viewers for a sport, somebody will carry it. SPEED is supposed to loose money just so that they can satisfy a 100 people at the expense of millions? I am cricket fan and you can't even find highlights on American TV, but i don't sit here and moan. If you really want to see that stuff find it on the internet, if not watch what they show!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      again, this is not for the DTM series. the black is more on track/design..

      This car has a ton of body work!

      theres to much to copy/paste here, but here are some links to the car specs for different series..


      DTM flickr shots of engine:

      World Challenge - GT and TC

      ALMS (PDFs)
      The top class in the Grand Touring (GT)
      division is GT1 featuring production-based
      two-wheel drive race cars such as the
      Corvette C6.R, Aston Martin DBR9 and
      Saleen S7R. Reaching speeds of 180-
      195 mph, these highly modified racing
      GTs produce between 600-650 horsepower
      and have a minimum weight of 1,125
      kilograms (approximately 2,480 pounds).

      The production-based, moderately modified
      two-wheel drive race cars comprise
      the GT2 class - Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta,
      Panoz Esperante GTLM and Porsche 911
      GT3 RSR. With top speeds of up to 180
      mph, these elite GTs produce between
      450-500 horsepower and have a minimum
      weight of 1,125 kilograms (2,480 pounds).

      Grand-AM is a bitch to extract. Team Lexus did run two cars in this series. They also have a 2006 ALMS schedule up..? Even if you look at the entry list for 2008, no Lexus entered (yet)

      BTCC has a few indie Lexus running.
        • 7 Years Ago
        in the BTCC run only 2 Lexus IS200 raced by BTC racing team... the cars run under the FIA Super2000 regulation means 2.0l n/a 4banger ... the Lexus earned 0 points in the whole 2007 season
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, this orange one has a body kit more in-line with ALMS, maybe even GrandAm if they feel like slummin' it.
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