UNIQUE AERONAUTICAL PARTNERSHIP INSPIRED NEW REAR WING FOR LEXUS LC FLAGSHIP COUPE
- Long-term Lexus collaboration with world champion air race pilot Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya enables exchange of automotive and aeronautical innovations
- The unique partnership has already produced advances in aerodynamics and inspired a new rear carbon fibre wing for the LC Flagship Coupe
- Available as part of the new Lexus Bespoke Build programme
Since 2016, Lexus has been reaching for the skies in a unique collaboration with Japanese champion race pilot Yoshihide Muroya, winner in 2017 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship series. In this rare cross-industry partnership, the Japanese luxury carmaker benefits from aeronautic technology while the air race pilot leverages Lexus’ automotive breakthroughs. One of the tangible results from this collaboration is a new aviation-inspired rear wing for the 2022 LC Flagship Coupe.
With the principal aim of winning air races, Lexus and Muroya worked together to develop championship-winning aircraft using the technology, craftsmanship and experience from Lexus. The Lexus design and engineering team has helped develop flight technologies in areas such as aerodynamics, cooling and ergonomics.
The collaboration has produced notable innovations, including a control column grip for Muroya’s cockpit that incorporates Lexus’ sensitivity technologies and a new turning manoeuvre for the aircraft based on aerodynamic data from Lexus.
Race pilot Muroya commented: “It was with strong support from Lexus that I became the first Japanese Red Bull Air Race champion back in 2017 and our collaboration continues to deliver real mutual benefit.”
NEW CARBON-FIBRE REINFORCED PLASTIC REAR WING FOR LEXUS LC
For 2022, the Lexus LC flagship coupe will sport a new carbon-fibre reinforced plastic rear wing developed together with Muroya. This lightweight, highly rigid and sleek wing maximises aerodynamic performance and makes for more agile driving. The design draws its inspiration from the wing-tip vortices that influence the design of winglets on jet aircraft.
Lexus Takumi master driver, Yoshiaki Ito: “The winglets sharpened the LC’s handling, but without using drag-creating downforce, resulting in better performance without sacrifices.”
AERODYNAMIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
During demanding test flights with Yoshihide Muroya, Lexus engineers analysed his plane’s drag-reducing winglets and the associated vortices, that are normally problematic. In the Lexus wind tunnel, engineers found that vehicle dynamics on the ground could be improved by turning the wing upside down and adding winglets.
CRAFTED IN CARBON FIBRE
Once computer and wind tunnel tests were completed, Lexus’ elite team of designers, engineers and Takumi artisans set to work milling an aluminium prototype, which, like Yoshi’s race plane wings, was later produced in carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRC). Laminated in carbon-fibre and epoxy resin with a hollow core, after baking in an autoclave, the woven texture is visible through the lacquered finish. Long and lean, the LC’s new wing is nearly 2 metres wide, yet very durable and warp resistant.
AVAILABLE VIA THE NEW LEXUS BESPOKE BUILD
The carbon fibre rear wing spoiler is available exclusively with the new Lexus Bespoke Build programme*. The vehicle will be built by an elite team of Lexus’ ‘Takumi’ master craftspeople at the legendary Lexus Motomachi factory that built the LFA supercar. For the first time ever, customers can personalise their Lexus LC exclusive features. Lexus Bespoke Build is further distinguished with a personalised interior badge installed on the centre console.
YOSHIHIDE "YOSHI" MUROYA
48-year-old Yoshihide "Yoshi" Muroya (室屋 義秀) is a Japanese aerobatic and race pilot who takes part in events like the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. He started flight training in a glider in 1991 and went to the United States privately to earn his pilot’s license by the age of twenty. At the same time, he continued glider training in Japan and learned long-distance flight techniques in Australia. In 2009, Muroya was the first Asian pilot to participate in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship and went on to become the 2017 World Champion. To date he has taken part in around 170 air shows without a single incident.
*Rear wing spoiler available in limited quantity