It's safe to say Toyota took enthusiasts by surprise in January 2022 when it unveiled the spectacular GR GT3 Concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan. Unfortunately, it's been tight-lipped about the low-slung coupe and its massive carbon fibre rear wing ever since. That said, the name of the show car left little to the imagination regarding its purpose. It's bound to race in GT3 and consequently replace the ageing Lexus RC F GT3 later this decade.

Patent images emerged from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in June 2022 when Toyota of America's Group Vice President Product Planning and Strategy Cooper Erickson confirmed development had started. Fast forward a year later, Toyota WEC team director Rob Leupen has told our sister site Motorsport.com the race car will compete in WEC in Europe from 2026.

Toyota GR GT3 Concept

That's not all he said as Leupen confirmed a street-legal sports car based on the GR GT3 is in the works: "The date [2026] is in alignment with the road car side, which is following the philosophy of Toyota to have a motorsport-bred car on the road. This is moving forward at the moment." Motorsport.com asked him whether the rumours are true about the road-going model getting the Lexus badge: "At the moment, it seems to be. It depends on how it develops within Toyota, but at the moment, yes."

It's unclear when the road car will be launched, but one would argue it can't come soon enough considering the RC has been around since 2014. In early 2022, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) president David Wilson hinted the GR GT3 previews Lexus' follow-up to the GT3-spec RC: "It's fairly safe to connect the dots and suggest that that could be a precursor to the next global GT3 car for Lexus."

Logic tells us the second-generation RC won't be offered from day one with an F version but the GR GT3 Concept's styling should rub off onto the regular model as well. Here's hoping the side exhausts will make it to the production-ready RC F. We wouldn't necessarily count on it since that's not the case with the current road version as opposed to the track car's side-exit exhaust. Still, there's a lot to like about the concept, which means there's huge potential for the new RC as well.