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Lexus turns its LC 500 coupe into an insane Super GT racer

The Lexus LC 500 luxury coupe hits showrooms next year, but it will also hit the track.

Lexus is replacing its RC F-based Super GT race car with a new one based on its upcoming luxury flagship coupe. A different version of the RC F will continue to race in the U.S., but the LC 500 will be the focus of Lexus’ efforts in Japan as the carmaker seeks to promote the new model in its home market.

Super GT isn’t very well known in the U.S., but it offers some pretty cool racing. The cars look like production models infused with technology from a futuristic anime series, and the racing is generally pretty close and exciting. On track, the LC 500 will compete against the likes of the Nissan GT-R and Honda (aka Acura) NSX.

Read more: Lexus LC 500h hybrid powertrain details

Like other Super GT cars, the LC 500 wears extensively modified bodywork. While that can sometimes break up the cleaner lines of a production-spec car, all of the crazy flares and spoilers actually work pretty well with the big Lexus’ already-extroverted styling. The trippy livery borrowed from the outgoing RC F adds to the bonkers look of the car.

The LC 500 racer boasts extensive modifications under the skin as well. Series rules call for cars in the LC 500’s GT500 class to use 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines, even though that’s nothing like the powertrains Lexus will offer to consumers. The road-going LC will be offered with a 5.0-liter V8, or a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain in the LC 500h model.

Unveiled back in January at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the LC coupe is an important model for Lexus. The carmaker needs a high-profile new model to bolster both its performance and luxury credentials, and the LC was built to do exactly that. While it remains to be seen whether the LC can pull that off in showrooms, it should look pretty cool on the track.

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