8/13/2012—Last weekend, the IS F CCS-R racecar and its champion drift driver Ken Gushi finally made their run in the high-altitude, heavily switch-backed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (the race was delayed back in July due to wildfires).
But as impressive as Lexus performed (the team finished second in its class), it’s not the race that truly matters in the big picture.
You see, the importance of the IS F CCS-R is this: Lexus built this vehicle for some very intriguing reasons, as Lexus IS F Chief Engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi explained in the staging area:
Lexus Magazine: Does the IS CCS-R hint at where the Lexus IS F is going?
Yaguchi: What I’m trying to do is keep this vehicle as a benchmark for the future of the IS F, so the IS F can move in this direction. What I’ve built into this car is the ultimate performance of the IS F, and I’d like to reflect a lot of its traits in the production version.
How about the IS F CCS-R itself—are there any plans for a production version of this racecar?
At this point there’s no current plans to mass-produce it. However, it depends on the customer needs. If the demand is strong enough, I’d definitely consider a production version.
Why did you and Lexus decide to build this car?
I wanted to explore something “in between,” like a club racer, something that Lexus drivers could easily race at an event, yet still is comfortable and not as harsh as a racecar. So the idea is to get back to the fun of driving, and for customers to have this experience.
What’s a key difference between the IS F CCS-R and the production IS F?
It’s approximately 300 kilograms lighter that the IS F. But the engine and transmission are stock.
Why did Lexus choose an unconventional race like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to showcase the vehicle?
I wanted to make sure this car is ready anyplace, anywhere, and anytime. It’s not limited to a race track. It’s flexible enough to go to a race track, a Pikes Peak-type hill climb, or other types of events. It’s not the ultimate for Pikes Peak, but it’s made so the driver can really enjoy a road like Pikes Peak.
What’s next for the IS F CCS-R?
In terms of what this is going to be used for next, that’s still being studied. It’s open, but I’m hoping to have a lot of driver feedback and potential demand, and if there is a demand, then there’s the possibility of producing this in larger volumes.
—BRIAN GILL, MANAGING EDITOR
 Model shown is a special modified race project for racing purposes by professional drivers only.
 Vehicle shown is a special project car, and may be modified with non-Genuine Lexus parts and accessories. Modification with these non-Genuine Lexus parts or accessories will void the Lexus warranty, may negatively impact vehicle performance and safety, and may not be street legal.