ANOTHER brand is poised to join the V8 Supercars grid and one day potentially swap paint with Ford, Holden, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo – Lexus.
Organisers for the championship have called a press conference for noon tomorrow at Sydney Motorsport Park, the venue for the first official tests for the cars competing in the 2015 championship series.
The subject? To make an announcement that an "on track partner" will join the series, a glimmer of hope in a watershed year where diehard fans will need to subscribe to pay television to watch every race live and over its full distance.
Lexus is believed to be replacing Chrylser as official supplier of safety cars in 2015, having expressed interest in joining the series potentially after rule changes come in for 2017, leaving the door open for a fully-fledged entry in the series.
The luxury arm of Toyota announced at Detroit that it was rolling out a war chest to compete in more motorsport events worldwide, using its RC F coupe as the performance hero of the brand.
V8 Supercars announced late last year that it would change its format from 2017, shifting away from its traditional V8-engined four-door sedan format to allow four-seat, two-door coupes and even cars powered by turbocharged four-and six-cylinder engines to swap paint on the circuit.
Lexus announced last month a race-honed version of the four-seat RC F would campaign in the Japan-based GT500 series. It will use a turbocharged engine closely related to the 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit used in the Lexus NX200t SUV, due to launch in Australia this month – the first turbocharged engine for the brand.
A GT3 version will use a V8 engine producing about 397kW, Lexus announced. A typical V8 Supercar produces up to 480kW.
Sources confirmed to Wheels that Melbourne-based Lexus Australia representatives would be in Sydney tomorrow, coinciding with the announcement.