Yet again, race cars hold the answer. This time, it’s with an aesthetic grievance: Lexus’ creepy hourglass grilles. While impressive in their complexity, the end result on the road car looks like some kind of unsettling alien web meant for trapping possums on the road and shooting them into an alternate dimension.
While the Lexus RC F GT3 race car’s hourglass grille shape still shows up the second you put a color that isn’t black or dark grey around the grille on the car, it’s also far less visually offensive than the gaudy grille on the road car.
I finally noticed on a close-up of the race car’s grille the reason why the race car doesn’t make me want to slowly walk to its rear to politely avoid mention of the weirdo insectoid mouth. There’s a concept of “too much,” and the continuous weave that forms the mouths of roadgoing Lexuses everywhere is a prime example. It doesn’t have to be this way, Lexus!
Lexus’ GT3 racer actually uses two different textures in its grille: a thicker diamond weave like the road car’s grille up top, and a more open netting across the bottom of the grille that allows more air to rush through to the radiator. This makes the grille far less in-your-face, and almost even attractive.
While I’m glad Lexus took the design risk on something that—thank goodness—is unique to them, it seems as though their GT3 car figured out a way to make it look better and work better to keep the engine cool and happy. I daresay the function over form side has it, and it’s a rare case where the more complicated option actually looks a bit better.
We’ll see that much-awaited Lexus RC F GT3 finally make its North American racing debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona later this month. 3GT Racing, whose team includes Sage Karam and Scott Pruett in the No. 14 car and Robert Alon and Jack Hawksworth in the No. 15 car, will campaign two Lexuses in the GT Daytona class for the full WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season.