Koji Sato: The chassis and drivetrain [of the Super GT cars] are different from the production car. But the upper body section is the same shape as the commercial car. So we test many things for the LC’s dynamic performance on the racing car’s upper body. But really the GT3 or GT4 category is more important for the production car.
Also in the Nürburgring 24-hour race we ran an LC prototype. Our team is very different from other racing teams. Most of the crew are actual production engineers, not race crew. So we got a lot of feedback. We tested some future parts [for the LC] which changed the weight distribution which, with the heavy rain, meant we couldn’t get a good result. But we got a lot of good data, which is very important for the future projects.
KS: It shows that Lexus, working with Akio [Toyoda, son of the Toyota founder and Toyota CEO] has mastered the handling performance. Particularly the steering – you can feel the front tires and get that feedback, have a conversation. This kind of feeling is our focusing point for Lexus, to create our clear driving taste.
KS: There is no need to go back. The LC project is not finished yet. Every year we implement some important improvement points for LC. So we are always moving forward. It’s never-ending.
KS: In Japanese we say Ichi-go-iche e. It means that every moment you have is special and unique. That’s what you have driving the LC. It has a special reverberation that makes you look back at it when you have parked it. This is very Japanese.
KS: I cannot share the details of that project but LC has a big meaning for the Lexus brand. So that means the LC needs to have some more – you see my face [breaks into a big smile].
KS: The two are very well-connected. I have many friends in Gazoo and also I work with the Gazoo team members. At every GT series I’m at the racetrack. I get a lot of information from that team. And also Akio is controlling both Gazoo and Lexus.
KS: Yes, it’s the racing brand. The LC will remain more luxury, yeah.
KS: I’m in my 40s, so when I was a baby it was the big boom of the supercar – particularly Lamborghini or FerrarI. I had three posters, but my favourite was the Ferrari Dino 246.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.