Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Lexus LF-A Nürburgring 24 racer

This time last year, the Lexus LF-A that competed in the ADAC Nürburgring 24 wore a decidedly un-glamorous "test-mule matte black" finish. This year, Toyota's entering two of its ten-cylinder supercars in the race, and as we inch closer to the Lexus LF-A's eventual production debut, it would seem that the automaker is looking to give the race-trimmed version a more formalized livery -- white up front, with a brush-stroke transition to satin black in the rear. Probably a good idea, seeing as Toyota's new head honcho, Akio Toyoda, is on one of the driver teams. Can't have the big boss rolling like every other test engineer who laps the 'Ring with this monster.

The production headlamp shape is cleverly hidden, though if you look closely, you can see the familial, knife-shaped panels that outline the spots where the production lenses will reside. And while there's a lower intake above the racer's front splitter, there's no grillework to speak of on the actual nose itself -- just a mail-slot-sized opening above the bumper.

It'll be interesting to see how hard Toyota pushes the LF-As this weekend. Given that the new corporate chieftan is one of the wheelmen, and that Toyota's obviously going for a much more "official" presence at this year's race, one wonders whether they're actually going to try and win it outright. A lot can happen during these 24-hour events, so there are no guarantees, but we have a feeling the web stream's going to be a worthwhile watch. And lord knows the fans in attendance are in for an aural delight as the Lexus supercoupes storm down the track.

Lexus LF-A in 2009 N24 livery
  • Lexus LF-A in 2009 N24 livery
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota
  • Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota

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