Well shucks. It looks like Toyota has a useless carbon fiber mill on its hands now that the LFA is out of production – or does it?
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We were huge fans of G Sports’ Mark X Sports Concept back at Tokyo Auto Salon and are glad that those lucky photographers and writers out in Japan got a chance to see it up close and personal. Dino Dalle Carbonare is no stranger to AutoGuide, having worked with us back in the Modified Mag days and has reported on the Toyota Mark X from G Sports’ over at SpeedHunters.
Just as we assumed, Gazoo Racing’s variation of the Mark X is built off the 350S version of the Mark X that sports the 3.5L V6 powerplant in our American-based IS350 and GS350. None of the performance has been altered in their concept, so it still sports a modest 318-hp and 280 ft-lbs of torque.
But the aggressive exterior styling is what has us loving this car. The front end is just menacing, and the contrasting carbon fiber shade is a nice touch. Subtle yet functional carbon fiber hood outlets are awesome along with the vents on the rear bumper. There’s even more carbon fiber in the rear diffuser.
It’s worth noting that the interior sports suede-clad Recaro seats full of red accent stitching and tons of carbon fiber accents.
What’s just most exciting about all of this is how Gazoo Racing will help bring Toyota back to the spotlight with its performance-based models and hopefully we’ll be seeing G Sports out in America one day.
Check out many more pics of the G Sports Toyota Mark X sports Concept at the link below:
How much could possibly be reported out of Toyota’s Tokyo Auto Salon booth? With G Sports and Gazoo Racing sharing the real estate it’s no surprise there’s plenty to see. Along with the FT-86 G-Sports Concept, Toyota displayed a pair of Gazoo Racing cars: the iQ-based FR Hot Hatch with a widebody and stylish flat black accents as well as a track-ready MR-S roadster. Toyota’s MR-S never got the cult following that its predecessor the MR2, but it was nice to see a tuned MR-S nonetheless.
Two additional concepts from G Sports were also present in the booth with the Mark X (aka, Lexus GS) being converted from a mundane commuter sedan to an aggressive street prowler while the G Sports Prius Concept took the car’s aerodynamics to the extreme, covering up the rear wheels in order to reduce drag as much as possible.
GALLERY: G Sports Prius Concept
GALLERY: G Sports Mark X Concept
GALLERY: Gazo Racing FR Hot Hatch and MR-S
Toyota-branded models sold as the Lexus GS and HS250h in North America
With all the commotion surrounding the FT-86 G Sports Concept and the collection of G Sports vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Salon, it would have been easy not to notice several other Toyota models worth a mention. Eventually we did manage to tear our eyes off the FT-86, only to discover the Japanese-specific Mark X and Sai on display.
Essentially the Toyota-branded versions of two Lexus models, the Mark X is sold in the U.S. as the Lexus GS. In Japan its offered with either a base 203-hp 2.5-liter V6 or an optional 315-hp 3.5-liter V6, both with six-speed automatic transmissions. Only the 2.5-liter models are available with AWD, otherwise, both models come standard with a rear-drive setup.
As for the Sai, it’s the Japanese version of North America’s HS hybrid but with a much more “Toyota-friendly” front end.
GALLERY: Toyota Mark X and Sai
You probably haven’t heard of the Toyota Mark X and that’s not surprising considering it isn’t sold in North America. Its also a shame, however, as the largish car is based on the same platform as the Lexus GS, meaning it is rear-wheel drive – with an all-wheel drive option available.
It has a lot more in common with the Lexus than just which wheels put the power to the ground, however, as it comes with high-tech items like an adaptive variable suspension, variable ratio steering, VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) and even three driving modes (Sport, Snow and Eco) to let the driver choose his driving style.
Power comes from either a base 203-hp 2.5-liter V6 or an optional 315-hp 3.5-liter V6, both with six-speed automatic transmissions. Only the 2.5-liter models are available with AWD.
Toyota has no plans to bring the Mark X to North America, but it certainly would make for a compelling performance-oriented alternative to the Camry or Avalon. The new second-generation Mark X is set to launch tomorrow (October 21st) at the Tokyo Auto Show.
GALLERY: Toyota Mark X
Official release after the jump: