Lexus has dropped its strongest hint yet that a future Lexus V8 Supercar team is on its radar.
The Japanese carmaker has confirmed to TMR that it is adopting a 'watch and wait' position to see what other carmakers were doing and how the new regulations affected the sport, and has also confirmed that its RC F performance coupe will continue its duties as a safety car.
With its 5.0 litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine, the RC F may appear to be a natural fit with the sport’s ‘Gen 2’ regulations that will allow body shapes other than four-door sedans to compete.
Lexus’ involvement as a course car provider has been seen as a ‘toe-in-the-water’ exercise. The company's recent statement however leaves the door open for future involvement as a competitor.
In the statement, Lexus Australia CEO Sean Hanley said Lexus "would continue to have a presence in V8 Supercars while monitoring the sport's developments, including the 2017 Gen2 Supercar regulations that open up the series to new engine and body configurations".
"At this stage we will not enter V8 Supercars as a competitor, but we are delighted to continue providing high performance Lexus support vehicles, including the RC F V8 Safety Car," Mr Hanley, said.
"V8 Supercars remains a strong interest for Lexus and we will keenly watch how the sport evolves with the new regulations in 2017."
Speaking with TMR, Lexus Australia Corporate Manager Adrian Weimers said the carmaker was keen to see how the new regulations affected the level of competition within the sport - including any future involvement from Holden or Ford.
Mr Weimers said Lexus was not seeking or waiting upon a change in the Gen2 regulations, and that a development program would have to be initiated to determine if the RC F’s 5.0 litre V8 was suitable for competition use under the rules.
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