Lexus LFA

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Lexus LFA
Lexus LFA Yellow Las Vegas.jpg
2011 Lexus LFA (US)
Overview
Manufacturer Lexus
Production Dec 2010 – Dec 2012
Assembly Motomachi, Toyota City, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-door coupé
2-door roadster (concept only)
Layout Front-mid-engine, rear mid-transaxle, rear-wheel drive
Powertrain
Engine 4.8 L 1LR-GUE V10
Transmission 6-speed automated sequential gearbox
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,605 mm (102.6 in)
Length 4,505 mm (177.4 in)
Width 1,895 mm (74.6 in)
Height 1,220 mm (48.0 in)
Curb weight 1,480–1,580 kg (3,263–3,483 lb)

The Lexus LFA is a two-seat supercar from Lexus. It is the second model in the F marque line of performance vehicles from Lexus, following the IS F. Three concept versions have been shown, each debuting at the North American International Auto Show with the LF-A designation as part of the LF Series concept line. After beginning development in the early 2000s (codenamed P280), the first LF-A concept premiered in 2005, followed in 2007 by a second LF-A with a more completely furnished interior and exterior. The third version of the LF-A, a roadster model, premiered in 2008. The production model, trademarked LFA,[1] was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009.[2]

The production Lexus LFA features a new V10 engine and a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) body. CFRP materials account for 65 percent of the LFA's body composition by mass.[3] The LFA went into production in late 2010, with a base price of US$375,000.[4][5] A circuit-tuned variant debuted in 2012 with a base price of US$445,000,[6] making it one of the most expensive Japanese road cars ever built.[7] Production ended in December 2012 with 500 vehicles completed, the final version being a Nürburgring Package model.[8]

Development[edit]

2000–2004[edit]

The first Lexus LF-A concept

In February 2000 the LF-A began development as a supercar project codenamed P280, which was intended to showcase the performance capabilities of Toyota Motor Corporation and its Lexus marque.[9][10] The first prototype was completed during June 2003. Prototypes of the LF-A were spotted regularly undergoing testing at Nürburgring, the famous motorsport race track in Nürburg, Germany,[11] since October 2004.[12] Numerous test vehicles had been equipped with automatic retractable rear wings, and carbon ceramic brake discs.[13]

2005–2006[edit]

The second Lexus LF-A concept

In January 2005, the first LF-A concept premiered at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan as a design study with no plans for production. The first LF-A concept had an overall length of 4,399 mm (173.2 in), 13 cm (5 in) shorter than the Porsche 911 Turbo (996) while its wheelbase measured 2,581 mm (101.6 in), or about 23 cm (9 in) longer.[14] The concept was nearly 1,219 mm (48 in) in height, with a width of 1,859 mm (73.2 in).[14] Some news outlets reported the concept name as referring to Lexus Future-Advance,[15] a claim later dismissed by Chief Engineer Tanahashi.[16] The first LF-A concept featured a glass roof and side cameras mounted in the side mirrors. Twin rear radiators were installed behind the rear wheels, and visible behind large screens. The rear bumper featured a triple exhaust placed in an inverted triangle formation. The wheels were shaped like turbines, and air-scoops were placed on the C-pillars.[14] Following enthusiastic public reaction for the LF-A concept on the autoshow circuit, development continued with a greater emphasis on a possible production model.[17] Concurrently, Lexus was preparing for the launch of its long-rumored F marque series of performance vehicles, with a production LF-A being a possible future member of this lineup. Reports in 2006 suggested that the LF-A concept car had received the green-light for production,[18] however these reports were not officially confirmed.[19]

2007–2008[edit]

The LF-A concept at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show

Following the original LF-A concept, development time was lengthened by the switch from an aluminum frame to a carbon fibre tub, the result of engineering efforts aimed at improving the LF-A's power-to-weight ratio.[9] The LF-A was reported to draw engineering resources from Toyota's Formula One team.[10] In January 2007, a restyled LF-A concept car premiered alongside the first production F marque vehicle, the IS F sports sedan. The second LF-A concept featured a more aerodynamic exterior, a near-production interior, and F marque emblems. Later that year, Lexus GB director Steve Settle indicated plans for a V10 and hybrid version of the LF-A.[20] The hybrid version, combining a petrol engine with electric motors, would likely feature a V8 powertrain similar to that designed for the Lexus LS 600h L. LF-A test mules continued to be spotted at the Nürburgring, including early models with a large, fixed rear wing.[17] In December 2007, Auto Express reported that the LF-A had set an unofficial 7:24 lap record at the Nürburgring.[21][22]

The Lexus LF-A Roadster concept

In January 2008, Lexus displayed a roadster version of the LF-A concept car designated LF-A Roadster or LF-AR at the North American International Auto Show. Initial specifications for the roadster were a V10 engine under 5.0 L with over 373 kW (500 hp) and a top speed of over 320 km/h (200 mph).[23] Automotive photographers capturing the LF-A in various test guises had photographed a disguised drop-top test model, dubbed LF-A Spyder, on the Nürburgring as early as October 2005.[24] After its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, the LF-A Roadster was also shown at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the United States Open Championship tournament, and at Lexus exhibits in Japan. A single LF-A racing prototype was also entered into Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring endurance races at the Nürburgring in May 2008, competing in the SP8 class of VLN events.[25] Media reports uncovered an LFA trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in December 2008, with the concept LF-A name dropping its hyphen to become LFA for a possible production model.[1]

Aft view of the LF-A Roadster concept

The second LF-A concepts had an overall length of 4,460 mm (175.6 in), and a wheelbase of 2,598 mm (102.3 in); height remained the same as the prior concept, while width grew to 1,895 mm (74.6 in).[26] While the original LF-A had been strictly a concept model, the second concept's design reflecting engineering analysis for possible production.[27] The exterior design had been restyled to take advantage of the flexibility offered by carbon fiber construction,[28] with improved aerodynamics and surface features aimed at improving the coupe's overall top speed.[27] The reshaped exterior featured smoother lines with additional detailing, and more curved surfaces. The aft radiator cooling vents were retained, but integrated into the rear fascia, and the lower side and front air intakes were restyled, along with the forward fascia and headlamps.[17] Designers reportedly drew inspiration from the 1965 Toyota 2000GT sports coupe, which was also produced in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, and represented the combination of Japanese technology and design ethics in an supercar.[28] However, no design features on the LF-A were directly derived from the 2000GT.[28] The second LF-A concept and accompanying LF-A Roadster were also equipped with a retractable rear wing for improved handling at speed and a two-seat interior with a two-tone color scheme.

2009[edit]

The production Lexus LFA at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show

On August 5, 2009, Toyota's new CEO, Akio Toyoda, publicly confirmed production of the LF-A in his speech at a conference held at the Center for Automotive Research in the United States.[29] The production vehicles were expected to carry V10 engines,[30][31] putting the car in market competition with the Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, the Porsche 911 (997), and the Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. Pricing was estimated at over US$225,000,[32] and close to US$400,000.[33] Two LF-A prototypes had also competed at Nürburgring VLN endurance races in mid-2009. In September 2009, reports in Japanese automotive magazines indicated that the 4.8 L V10 engine for the LF-A would carry a 1LR designation.[34] A subsequent television ad for the Japanese market showed the pre-production LFA testing at the Fuji Speedway.[35]

On October 21, 2009, the production Lexus LFA was unveiled on the first press day of the 41st biennial Tokyo Motor Show.[5] The vehicle was introduced by Akio Toyoda at a press conference, in which it was disclosed that the vehicle would be limited to 500 production copies. The vehicle carried the same designation as the concepts, LFA, but without the hyphen. The production designation reportedly stood for Lexus Fuji Apex,[36] another claim dismissed by Chief Engineer Tanahashi.[16] The LFA was shown as the final vehicle of the press conference, following the LF-Ch hybrid concept. Pricing details at the show was estimated at US$375,000.[5]

The production announcement for the LFA supercar marked the 20th anniversary of the launch of Lexus.[37] Given the high cost of construction and development, analysts did not expect LFA sales to be profitable.[5] However, the coupe was intended to serve as a testbed for new car technologies, including carbon fiber mass-production, and related performance vehicle development.[38] At its debut, a circuit-ready model was also indicated for 2012 release.[39]

Production[edit]

LFA Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi with piece of foamcored CFRP material in front of LFA body during production in Motomachi plant

Lexus began taking orders for the LFA supercar on October 23, 2009. Buyers were selectively chosen by Lexus in the second quarter of 2010.[40] Production began in December 2010 as a 2011 model. Only 500 total LFA models were scheduled to be made worldwide, with only 20 produced each month. Each car had to be custom ordered to the customer's specifications, and cost approximately US$375,000, depending on options and customization.[41] Following the LFA's release at the Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus unveiled a website with a 'LFA configurator' which allowed users to select exterior and interior colors, brake caliper colors, seats, steering wheel leather, and other interior designs.[42][43] In total, there were over 30 billion possible configurations.[43] Each LFA was hand-built by a dedicated production team of engineers and specialists at Toyota's Motomatchi plant in Aichi, Japan.[44][45][46]

Production LFAs, lined up in Yokohama

In the North American market 150 LFAs were initially sold through a two-year lease program much like the Ferrari F50. This was to prevent owners from reselling the vehicle for a profit.[41] Racing driver Scott Pruett was hired to give test drives to interested buyers, demonstrating the vehicle's capabilities at Auto Club Speedway. The Lexus division of Toyota Motor USA stopped taking orders at the end of 2009, at which time they planned to open discussions about a purchase plan for the lessees. Lexus later changed their stance and allowed outright purchase, but only on the condition that they sign an agreement giving the dealer first right of refusal to buy back the LFA if the owner wanted to sell it within the first two years. The dealer would have the option to buy back the used LFA for either fair market value or the original sticker price, whichever is lower.[47] In the European market buyers order their LFA through a single Lexus dealer located in Park Lane, London where it is purchased outright.[48]

LFA Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi in front of autoclave used to cure CFRP parts

During LFA production, each vehicle received an individually numbered plaque, indicating the unit's place in the production run. Each LFA V10 engine carried the signature of the specialist who assembled it.[45] With 20 units produced monthly, production of the entire LFA extended from December 2010 to December 2012. Production ended on December 14, 2012, with LFA #500, in white, Nürburgring package. When production ended, no successor was scheduled. The LFA plant in Motomachi continued making parts with a small team.[49]

Overview[edit]

Engine[edit]

LFA 1LR-GUE V10 display model

The Lexus LFA is powered by a 72-degree bank angle 4.8-liter V10 engine equipped with dual VVT-i carrying the 1LR-GUE designation with a maximum output of 412 kW (560 PS) delivered at 8,700 rpm. Its maximum torque output of 480 N·m (354 lb·ft) arrives at 6,800 rpm, 90 percent of which is available from 3,700 rpm. The engine redlines at 9,000 rpm, but with a fuel cutoff set at 9,500 rpm,[50] and is constructed using forged aluminum pistons, forged titanium connecting rods, and solid titanium valves. The V-angle of the LFA's V-10 engine is set to 72-degrees (as opposed to the 90-degree V angle present in a Dodge Viper's V-10) to fully balance the firing force from the pistons. This 72-degree angle allows for even firing from the pistons without the use of a split-journal crankshaft, thus improving engine efficiency as well as lowering overall weight. Dry sump lubrication prevents engine oil starvation through high speed corners and lowers the engine's center of mass. Air is fed directly from beneath the hood through a visible slit passing into a dual stage variable intake manifold and then into ten individual throttle bodies before finally exiting from a dual-stage titanium muffler.

LFA Deputy Chief Engineer Chiharu Tamura explains LFA engine

The LFA's engineers selected a V10 engine over an equivalent displacement V8 engine for its ability to rev higher,[40] and over a V12 for its lower reciprocating mass,[11][40] allowing for more rapid engine response. Lexus claims their engine can rev from idle to its redline in 0.6 seconds and an analog tachometer needle could not accurately track the LFA's changes in engine speeds. This necessitated the use of a digital tachometer which can instantly display engine speed.[51] The engine reportedly weighs less than the manufacturer's own 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 engine. Engineers attempted to make the engine sound like that of a Formula One car with high revs, while at the same time maintaining reliability and vibration control. Along with other manufacturers such as Ferrari, Toyota had produced their own F1 engines and chassis designs.[10] The exhaust note has been described by Toyota engineers as the "roar of an angel",[52] and a US television spot later used the engine sound to shatter a champagne glass via resonance frequency.[53]



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The powerplant gives the LFA a weight-to-power ratio of 5.9 lb/hp and enables it to reach a top speed of around 325 km/h (202 mph).[54] Not like the IS F Yamaha co-developed not only the engine cylinder heads but also the entire engine. The engine exceeds Euro V emissions. The engine is installed with a front mid-engine placement.[55] According to Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi a front engine layout was selected instead of a mid engine layout as it is inherently more forgiving dynamically, affording less experienced drivers a wider safety net.[56]

The LFA front counter gearbox, torque tube and transaxle

Transmission[edit]

The gearbox is a six-speed automated sequential gearbox (electrohydraulic transmission) operated with paddle-shifters.

Chassis[edit]

The Lexus LFA's frame is made from an in-house designed and manufactured carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) center monocoque with aluminum front and rear subframes. The subframes, which can be removed and replaced minimizing potential repair costs, are joined to the monocoque using a newly developed aluminum flanged collar designed to create a stronger joint.[2] According to the manufacturer, the quality of the CRFP material matches that of aeronautical grades and is woven by a laser monitored circular loom, one of only two in the world.[38] Overall 65% of the vehicle's total body mass is CFRP material while the remaining 35% is aluminum.[3] Manufacturer data indicates that the use of CFRP saves 100 kg (220 lbs) over equivalent aluminum materials.

LFA chassis cutaway display

An electric power steering rack with a 14.3:1 gear ratio is used. The front suspension utilizes a double-wishbone arrangement and there is a multi-link arrangement at the rear with coil-over dampers at all wheels. The dampers are a monotube design, each with a remote fluid reservoir that includes an expanding and contracting bellows: a purely mechanical system. The LFA further features six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo monobloc brake calipers with 390 mm (15.4 in) front and 360 mm (14.2 in) rear carbon ceramic discs controlled by Toyota's Electronically Controlled Brake brake-by-wire system. Forged 20-inch BBS wheels fitted with 265 mm (10.4 in) front and 305 mm (12.0 in) rear Bridgestone next-generation Potenza tires are standard.[55] The LFA is equipped with a three-mode Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) stability control system with Sport setting.[43]

Side view of the pre-production Lexus LFA, showing carbon ceramic brakes

To maintain a near ideal weight distribution, a rear transaxle is used, in addition to the mounting of the fuel tank ahead of the rear axle and the radiators at the rear. The windshield washer fluid reservoir is mounted in the center next to the fuel tank to improve further the center of weight. Overall 48% of the LFA's mass is distributed along the front wheels with 52% at the rear.[57] The 73 L (16 imp gal; 19 US gal) fuel tank straddles the exhaust system keeping weight centered along the left-right axis. The engine is connected to the transaxle via a rigid carbon-fiber torque tube which the exhaust system runs directly below.[2] This stacked driveshaft and exhaust arrangement decreases the width of the center tunnel allowing for centrally located seating.

Exterior[edit]

The production Lexus LFA has an overall length of 4,506 mm (177.4 in), while its wheelbase measures 2,606 mm (102.6 in), with a height of 1,219 mm (48 in) and width of 1,895 mm (74.6 in).[58] Compared to the prior 2007–2008 concepts, the production model is nearly 51 mm (2 in) longer, with identical width, height, and nearly same wheelbase dimensions.[26][58] The exterior design of the LF-A concepts and the final production model was the work of car stylists led by Lexus Design general manager Kengo Matsumoto.[10][28] The overall design ethos was based on the principle of form follows function, with aesthetics secondary to aerodynamics and operation.[59]

Overhead view of the Lexus LFA with carbon fiber roof

The LFA body features sharp edges and cutoffs for improved aerodynamic performance, made possible by the carbon fiber body.[40] The body was designed with an emphasis on downforce. There are air scoops located over the rear fenders which feed the aft-mounted radiators and help cool the brakes.[38] A horizontal hood gap also feeds air to the engine.[38] Two small aft vents expel air that is collected by an underbody air scoop and used to cool the titanium exhaust pipes.[38] Dual hood ducts serve to move hot air away from the exhaust manifold.[38]

The LFA's speed-sensitive rear wing incorporates a Gurney flap and deploys at speeds over 50 mph.[40] With the wing retracted the LFA's body has a drag coefficient of Cd 0.31.[40] The LFA body is offered with a choice of 28 standard exterior colors,[38] along with 3 wheel colors and a matte black option. Additional "special colors" are available to order.[42] The front and rear fenders, doors, roof rails, and rocker panels are made out of blast fiber reinforced sheet panels, while the tail lamps are light-emitting diode (LED) lights.[38]

Interior[edit]

The production LFA interior, customizable to owner specification

The LFA interior incorporates carbon fiber, leather, alcantara, and metallic surfaces. There are two bucket seats, and Lexus' Remote Touch controller interface. The interior design uses bespoke materials and colors.[43] The instrument display is a digital thin-film transistor (TFT) speedometer with color-changing background, size-changing numbers, and side-appearing submenus.[40]

Right-hand drive two-seat LFA interior

In operation the TFT display shows small digits in automatic mode; larger and bolder numbers in normal mode; inverted colors, moved redline, and stark numbers in sport mode, along with a programmable redline warning color change.[43] The tachometer display also features an electric movable metal ring with layer acrylic plastic to create a 3D effect. The LFA further features a new driver and passenger seat-belt airbag design[40] increases similar to the S-Class ESF safety concept car.

The steering wheel features a right-mounted start button and alloy paddle-shifters.[40] To activate the vehicle the driver must insert the key beside the steering wheel then press the start button.[60] Two octaves of engine sound are channeled into the cabin via twin ducts which connect the firewall with the intake manifold, with the sound tuned in the manner of an Ovation guitar.[43] A 12-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with compact lightweight components was also developed for the interior.[61] Custom-made Tumi suitcases are designed for the LFA interior, with a two-piece set made from carbon-fiber style materials and inscribed with the VIN; a smaller "concourse" case is for track days and short trips, while a larger "coastal" case is for longer trips.[62]

Nürburgring Package[edit]

Chassis of the Nürburgring Edition LFA at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, with its V10 producing an added 7 kW (10 bhp)

On March 15, 2010, Lexus detailed the circuit-tuned variant of the LFA, plans for which were first disclosed at the LFA official press launch the previous October.[63] The variant is officially known as the LFA Nürburgring Package in reference to the similar setup employed on the LFA race vehicles at the 24 Hours Nürburgring.[6][64]

The package features an extra 7 kW (10 bhp) from its V10 engine, bringing the total to 420 kW; 571 PS (563 bhp). It also features a re-calibrated transmission with gear shifts made faster by 0.05 seconds, a front splitter, stiffer and more adjustable suspension, lightweight alloy wheels coated in track rubber, aerodynamic canards at the sides of the front bumper, and a large fixed rear wing.[64][65]

The LFA with the Nürburgring Package is a competition-focused variant, and will be available in four exterior colors, namely glossy black, matte black, orange, and whitest white.[65] The production totals are to be included in the 500-unit total LFA planned build cycle,[63] and will be limited to a 50-unit run.[6] At a base price of US$445,000, buyers will receive training sessions at the Nordschleife, accompanied by Nürburgring chief instructors, a one-night stay at the Lindner Congress and Motorsport Hotel Nürburgring, admission to the ring°werk leisure park, a Nürburgring branded jacket, and a one-year pass to the circuit.[6][66]

The Nürburgring Edition Lexus LFA, shown here at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, is based on the VLN racing model.

The Nürburgring Package LFA was tested at the Nürburgring in June 2011. Driven by Akira Iida, the LFA set a time of 7:14.64 (video confirmed),[67] the 10th-fastest time ever for a production vehicle. Lexus confirmed that this lap video was recorded as a "warm up" video for the "ADAC 24-hours" for exhibition purposes. The LFA hit 292 km/h (181 mph)[67] on the last straight uphill climb, which is one of the highest speeds achieved by a stock exotic supercar on that segment of the track. Standard OEM Bridgestone Potenza RE70 performance street tires were used.

On September 2, 2011 reports came from Lexus via Twitter as well as Chris Harris of Evo Magazine that the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package completed a lap of the Nurburgring in 7:14.64 with a top speed of 298 km/h on the "Dottinger" uphill climb, the fifth fastest time ever for a production car, and almost ten seconds quicker than the Porsche 911 GT2 RS at 7:24.[68] A few days later, the time was confirmed by Lexus as 7:14.64, a video was provided. OEM Bridgestone Potenza RE070 street tires had been used.[69] [70] [71]

Specifications[edit]

Manufacturer[edit]

Official specifications and performance figures for the Lexus LFA are as follows:[58]

Engine type 1LR-GUE 72° V10 Valvetrain DOHC 4-valves/cylinder, dual VVT-i
Displacement 4,805 cc (293.2 cu in) Bore x Stroke 88 mm × 79 mm (3.5 in × 3.1 in)
Compression Ratio 12.0:1 Redline 9000 rpm (rev limiter 9500 rpm)
Transmission 6-speed ASG Minimum shift times 200 ms or 150 ms
Power 560 PS (412 kW; 552 hp) @ 8700 rpm Torque 480 N·m (354 ft·lbf) @ 6800 rpm
Curb weight 1,480 kg (3,263 lb) Weight-to-Power 5.9 lb/hp
Weight distribution 49.8:50.2 (front:rear) Top speed 326 km/h (203 mph)
0-97 km/h (60 mph) 3.6 sec.[37] (official, w/o launch control)[43] 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 3.7 sec.

Performance[edit]

Tested performance specifications for the Lexus LFA from Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track†† and Insideline††† are as follows:

0-97 km/h (60 mph) 3.6 secs (w/ launch control.)[72] 0-190 km/h (120 mph) 10.8 sec.[72]
0-160 km/h (100 mph) 7.6 sec.[72] 0-210 km/h (130 mph) 12.7 sec.[72]
0-201 km/h (125 mph) 11.4 sec.[73] 0-261 km/h (162 mph) 21.2 sec.[74]
0-180 km/h (110 mph) 9.2 sec.[72] 0-240 km/h (150 mph) 18.3 sec.[72]
400 m (14 mi) 11.6 sec.[75] †††(@ 201 km/h (125 mph)) Slalom 121.0 km/h (75.2 mph)[75]†††
Lateral acceleration 1.00 G[60] (61 m (200 ft) skidpad); 1.05 G[76] Braking (113–0 km/h (70–0 mph)) 48 m (156 ft)[60]

Edmunds' Insideline managed to acquire a LFA from Lexus for one week and tested the LFA against the Porsche GT2 RS on the track including an impromptu grudge match on the drag strip. Both cars won 2 races each making it a draw.

Lexus LFA pace car at the Grand Prix of Long Beach

Insideline recorded a 0 - 60 mph in 3.9 seconds without launch control system and achieved the 1/4 mile 11.6 seconds at 200 km/h (124 mph). Lexus LFA circled the skidpad in 1.02 g and achieved one of the highest slalom speeds ever recorded at 121.0 km/h (75.2 mph). Insideline also managed to do 3 dyno runs on a dynojet dyno on the Lexus LFA, which resulted in LFA putting down 383 kW (514 bhp) to the wheels, which after factoring in RWD drivetrain loss turned out to be substantially higher than the 412 kW (552 bhp) at the crank factory specification.[75]

Car and Driver track-tested the LFA in November 2010 while conducting a comparo versus Ferrari 599 HGTE. The test was conducted in Wales and recorded 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) time of 3.6 seconds using the launch control system and a quarter mile of 11.7 seconds at 201 km/h (125 mph). Car and Driver noted that these acceleration numbers were quicker than those of Ferrari 599 HGTE.[72] Motor Trend recorded a stopping distance from 60-0 mph in less than 28.7 m (94 ft), and pulled 1.05 g on their skidpad.[77] Road and Track tested the LFA at 119 km/h (74.2 mph) through the slalom and 1.04 g on the skidpad.[78]

Lap times[edit]

Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours[edit]

Motorsports France conducted a track test on the Lexus LFA and ran a hotlap around the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours resulting in a laptime of 1:20.6, which was the fastest ever recorded laptime on the race track despite the test having been conducted in 0 degree freezing temperatures. It was one of the very rare track tests where actual LFA launch control system was used resulting in a very fast 0 - 260 km/h (162 mph) in only 21.2 seconds. The KTM X-Bow has a second fastest laptime of 1:21.2 followed by Nissan GTR at the third fastest ever lap time on the race track with a laptime of 1:21.5.[79]

Contidrom[edit]

Lexus LFA racer #50 at the Goodwood Circuit

Auto Zeitung Germany[80] in the August 2010 edition conducted a comparison between Lexus LFA and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Around Contidrom race track in Hannover, Germany, LFA turned a faster lap time by 1.8 seconds of 1:35.66 as compared to 1:37.50 of the SLS AMG. Although, the start sector both cars hit 204–208 km/h (127–129 mph), LFA continuously hit higher speeds in the high speed sector, dynamic sector where agility and spontaneous reactions are measured eventually turning in faster lap. AutoZeitung raved about LFA's handling, chassis control and race car-like reflexes and response.

El Toro[edit]

In the LFA's Top Gear USA appearance in the third quarter of 2011 in the "Beating Tanner" episode, the American Stig also did a hotlap around the Top Gear USA testing track in 1:22.6, located at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, which is the third quickest lap time ever on the race track. It was 2/10th of a seconds faster than the nearest wet lap which was the four-wheel-drive Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 and 7/10th of a second faster than the Ferrari 458 Italia. It is important to note, the 2 production cars with quicker lap times than LFA wore standard Michelin Pilot Cup racing compound slick tires.[81]

Goodwood Circuit[edit]

AutoWeek on the Goodwood Circuit in an LFA, independently clocked a fastest lap time of 1:24.8 making it the fastest ever recorded lap on the race track so far and quicker than the third fastest recorded lap by 3 seconds in Nissan GTR of 1:27.7. The 2nd fastest recorded lap is also in a Lexus LFA of 1:27.65.[82] PistonHeads on the Goodwood race track in an LFA clocked a fastest lap time of 1:27.65.[82]

Infineon Raceway[edit]

The LFA appeared on Top Gear USA in the third quarter of 2011 in the "Beating Tanner" episode where Tanner did a hotlap around Infineon Raceway in the LFA while competing against Adam and Rutledge doing the same lap in the LFA around 'Infineon Raceway in a video game. Tanner Foust ran a quickest lap around Infineon Raceway in 1:44.[81]

Nürburgring[edit]

Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi mentioned during the world's press at the Nürburgring in Germany that the LFA has lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in "better than 7 minutes 20 seconds", although no further specifics were given to the record lap.[83]

The LFA racing on the Nürburgring track near the village of Nürburg, Germany

Sport Auto[84] in the September 2010 edition conducted an LFA supertest with a red LFA that had been used in several other tests in Europe and Horst Von Saurma conducted a hot lap the LFA around Nurburgring. The LFA clocked the Nurburgring in 7:38. The LFA was wearing temporary Bridgestone S001 street tires since the LFA spec tires are still under development. Although the LFA lap time is slower than the chief engineer's "better than 7:20" claim, Sport Auto cited LFA ran exactly the same lap time with the same driver as other major competitors like the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Corvette ZR1 with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (PS2) tires and 2 seconds faster than the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, 2 seconds faster than the Porsche 911 (997.2) GT3, 4 seconds faster than the Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV, 10 seconds faster than the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and 9 seconds faster than the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. All tests were conducted by the same driver, Horst von Saurma.

Auto Bild Germany[85] in the September edition of 2010 in part 1 of the comparison conducted a head-to-head Nurburgring Supercomparo (longer 20.8 km version of the track) versus Nissan GT-R, Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera and Wiesmann GT MF5. Lexus LFA turned in the fastest Nurburgring lap time (7:38,85), which was faster by nearly 2 seconds than the Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera (7:40,76) and almost 5 seconds faster than the GT-R (7:43,65), 6 seconds faster than the SLS AMG and almost 12 seconds faster than the Wiesmann. The Nurburgring 20.8 km test driver Sascha Bert stated "LFA was built for the Nurburgring race track."

Top Gear test track[edit]

The LFA appeared on Top Gear in January 2010, where its power lap of 1.22.8[86] was the quickest wet test lap ever recorded on the Top Gear test track located at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, United Kingdom; it was 3 seconds faster than the nearest wet lap which was the four-wheel-drive Lamborghini Gallardo.[86]

Westover[edit]

Lexus LFAs at Las Vegas Speedway

Battle of the Supercars[87] did a head-to-head comparison of Audi R8 V10 with the Lexus LFA with Tanner Foust driving the LFA and Paul Tracy driving the R8 V10 at the runways of Westover Air Reserve Base. LFA comprehensively was declared the winner by the presenter where LFA lapped the short 1-mile track 1 full second faster than the R8 V10 with a lap time of 48.9 for the LFA versus 49.9 R8 despite Tanner having difficulties launching the Lexus LFA in the 1-mile road course lap and also the standing mile drag race where LFA won despite a delayed launch (no launch control used for these runs). This test also saw LFA using launch control for the first time in the 0-100-0 mph test, which led to the LFA accelerating from 0–161 km/h (0–100 mph) much faster than the R8 V10.

The R8 V10 conventional brakes brought the car to a stop to 0 mph quicker than the LFA's ceramic carbon brakes. However, in the behind the scenes footage, it was shown the LFA's carbon brakes meant for hardcore track usage were not warmed up properly, which is essential for carbon brakes to perform at their best. In the successive run, R8 V10 brakes suffered massive brake fade increasing the distance 17 feet while LFA carbon brakes were consistently getting better braking shorter in every successive run. In every 0 - 100 mph sprint shown in the behind the scenes footage, LFA out-launched and out-accelerated the R8 V10. In the top speed, rolling start run on the 3.2 km (2 mi) runway, LFA hit a speed of 296.3 km/h (184.1 mph) while the R8 V10 hit a speed of 298 km/h (185 mph). Tanner Foust explained there was no way to retract the LFA wing spoiler (deploys automatically at 80 km/h (50 mph)) at high speeds increasing drag substantially, which had cost him 6–10 km/h (4–6 mph).

Reception[edit]

Car and Driver concluded in its review of the LFA and its performance that the carbon-fiber supercar rated as a "bargain" compared to the more expensive Enzo Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.[40] In May 2010, Motor Trend ran the LFA through several track tests and praised its driving dynamics and performance.[76] The LFA has also been criticized for being sold at a price much higher than comparable supercars.[88]

Production LFA model

GTspirit.com tested the LF-A in Monaco in May 2010 and gave it a positive review with quotes such as "The LFA is incredibly easy to drive. It communicates well, has a superb overall balance and the transparency of the options is an eye-opener. The choice between the racing setup and an all-day trip through a dense city is easily changed." and "the “I want one” feeling grew considerably ever single minute."[89]

Many reviewers have placed Lexus LFA near the top of the cars they have ever driven. Chris Harris of Evo UK had called LFA as the "best car I have ever driven around Nurburgring. No other car inspires more confidence than the LFA". Autoweek Netherlands professional driver Sandor Van Ees had stated "Lexus LFA - that sound, that experience. I place Lexus LFA in the top 5 best cars I have ever driven". Dutch European journalist Thomas Bangma had said "this car is an absolute gem ... It is absolutely the best car I have ever driven". Car Magazine editor and professional test driver Ben Barry called LFA Nurburgring edition as "the Bugatti Veyron of Japan".

Television programs[edit]

The LFA appeared on Top Gear in January 2010, when Richard Hammond drove the car and had rave reviews of it, and setting a record for the quickest wet test lap ever recorded on the Top Gear test track, faster than the Lamborghini Gallardo. However, it was noted that the LFA cost 3 times more than the Gallardo, and is £130,000 more than the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano but not faster than it; Jeremy Clarkson also noted that the 202 mph LFA costs 6 times more than the 193 mph Nissan GT-R but is not 6 times faster.[88] In response, Evo's review of the LFA pointed out that the performance of "a Bugatti Veyron is not 12 times more than the GT-R",[90] with reviewer Chris Harris observing that no cars are 6 times more than a GT-R either.[90][91] In Top Gear (Series 19, Ep.2) Jeremy Clarkson states "If I could have any car ever made given to me I'd pick a dark blue Lexus LFA."

Pre-production Lexus LFA model on display

The LFA appeared on Fifth Gear with presenter Tiff Needell driving the car around the race track performing hotlaps, powerslides and power oversteers. Needell described in detail the high-tech engineering used in the car and highly praised the 4.8 Liter V10's power and sound as well. Tiff declared "people who purchased the LFA would be very happy when they get their cars". At the conclusion of the review, he stated "for a weekend race track car, LFA is worth every penny".[92]

Jay Leno in 2012 featured the LFA on his internet car enthusiast program Jay Leno's Garage where he looked at in-depth features of the Lexus LFA including the carbon fiber construction, interior features and the engine. Leno heaped praises on the Lexus LFA engineering, attention to details and quality of work all around. Leno took the car for a test drive in the California mountains and had raving impressions of the LFA driving dynamics, handling, chassis rigidity and engine sound. Leno stated that the LFA was "one of the greatest supercars ever built and certainly the best supercar ever to have come out Japan". Leno was very impressed with the LFA's city driving abilities and thought it was a very "docile car around town". Leno summarized the LFA as "certainly, there might be cars out there that could individually do things better than the LFA. Maybe a bit quicker or handling a bit better. But, no other car I know of does everything so extremely well".[93]

Comparison tests[edit]

AutoZeitung Germany: SLS AMG vs Lexus LFA[edit]

In August 2010 edition of AutoZeitung Germany magazine, they conducted a full track test comparison between the Lexus LFA and Mercedes SLS AMG. In straight line acceleration tests, the SLS AMG and Lexus LFA attained similar results with 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) arriving in 3.8 seconds for the SLS AMG and 3.9 seconds for the Lexus LFA. The 0–200 km/h (0–124 mph) test was an identical 11.4 seconds for both cars. However, around Contidrom with the longer 3800 meter configuration, the Lexus LFA lapped the track in 1:35.6 seconds while the Mercedes SLS AMG lapped the track 1.9 seconds slower at 1:37.50. AutoZeitung praised the Lexus LFA handling, dynamics and chassis balance and awarded the win to Lexus LFA in a conclusion phrase [translated from German] "Like a NASCAR the SLS AMG roars through the track, but in the way of a precise formula 1 racing car, Lexus LFA reins it in and dominates it".[80]

Stevinson Lexus LFA vs Eclipse 500 Jet Race[edit]

In October 2012, Lexus staged a race as a result of a charity bet between pilot Marc Arnold and Kent Stevinson to race a Lexus LFA against an Eclipse 500 jet. The top speed of the LFA is 203 mph while the Eclipse 500 can reach speeds of 400 mph. In order to make it a fair test to measure acceleration, handling, braking, according to Paul Williamson the race took place on a 4800 feet runway. The plane was given a head start of about 110 mph with the Lexus LFA launching from a dead stop as the jet flew by at 110 mph. As the race begun, the plane started accelerating from 110 mph and Lexus LFA launched from a dead stop. Both accelerated to the end of the runway where the LFA will have to brake and turn around with the plane turning around as well. Then it was a race all the way back to the starting line with the LFA needing to brake before the plane in order for the Lexus LFA to win the race. The proceeds of the win were to benefit charities. Lexus decided to choose the Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition for the race and professional race car driver and champion Scott Pruett was selected as the driver for the Lexus LFA. Once the race was complete, the Lexus LFA was able to win through completing the race including a full dead stop at the end before the plane cleared the finish line 2 seconds ahead of the Eclipse 500 jet. The Lexus LFA hit a maximum speed of 171 mph before it hit the braking zone.[94]

Car and Driver: Lexus LFA vs Ferrari 599 GTB w/ HGTE track package[edit]

Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition in motion

Car and Driver[72] in November 2010 did a comparison test between the Lexus LFA and Ferrari 599 GTB HGTE with the US$30,000 additional handling package. The Lexus LFA won the comparison and was featured in full in the November 2010 magazine edition. The LFA was generally favored in the review as the more hardcore sports car while the 599 GTB was viewed as the GT car. The LFA out-accelerated the 599 HGTE from 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) and the 402 m (14 mi) with times of 3.6 seconds and 11.7 seconds at 201 km/h (125 mph) respectively while the 599 HGTE recorded a 0—60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 14 mile in 11.8 seconds at 201 km/h (125 mph). Both cars were tested using their full launch control systems. The reviewers praised the Lexus engine, technology, luxury, chassis and suspension calling it a 'rocketship'. Their comments on LFA were "The Lexus feels more athletic than the Ferrari, and its performance is more accessible, more immediately. The engine is remarkable. Austin noted: “They  figured out the engine. It’s really strong, and then you hit about 6500 rpm and your eyes get all big as the power hits another level.” The only street-car engine that matches this one for smoothness, ecstatic noise, and power delivery is the 458 Italia’s". The conclusion of Car and Driver was "if Lexus puts this much passion in every one of its cars, it will simply be unbeatable."

Car Magazine UK: Lexus LFA vs Lamborghini Aventador[edit]

The Lexus LFA V10 engine produces 412 kW (552 bhp)

In November 2011, Car Magazine conducted a comparison test between Lexus LFA and Lamborghini Aventador. The Aventador had a 139 HP advantage over the Lexus LFA. However, Lexus LFA weighs almost 230 KG less. The magazine had established the Lexus LFA engine as the better of the two going as far as saying that "[LFA] is powered by the best engine this side of Paul Rosche’s masterpiece in the back of a McLaren F1."[N 1] Regarding the exterior look of the Lexus LFA, editor commented "To me LFA is a glorious looking car - beautifully proportioned and meticulously finished and with drama in every crease and curve". Once the editors had the cars on mountain roads, clearly Lexus LFA seemed make a very positive impression on the editors as they commented "The way the Aventador quickly reverses in my rearview mirror, my guess was not far off". "[The LFA] zings between hairpins and then peels cleanly into them, front end assured, but never artificially pointy and the rear noticeably wants to edge just a few degreess wide as the V10 feeds the rear tires with its buzzsaw power". In the end in terms of sheer driving enjoyment, the editors were clear that Lexus LFA was the more enjoyable car of the two.[N 2] Car Magazine awarded the win to the Lamborghini primarily because of its higher exterior visual drama and also sheer 139 more horsepower of the Aventador over the Lexus LFA.[95]

Evo UK: Ferrari 599 GTO vs Lexus LFA[edit]

In August 2011, Evo UK conducted a direct head to head comparison of Lexus LFA and Ferrari 599 GTO, which mainly consisted of driving in the mountains of Scottish highlands. While the Ferrari 599 GTO makes 100 more horsepower than the LFA, the LFA is 125 KG (275 pounds) lighter than the Ferrari 599 GTO and also has much more compact dimensions. Though the Ferrari 599 GTO delivered more power, they praised the Lexus LFA dynamics immensely. They also called it "the greatest high-performance car Japan has ever built". Evo said, "Both cars feel sensational, but it's the Lexus that displays greater body motion control, traction and progressive on-limit breakaway, never once grazing the road with its belly despite countless pre-emptive grimaces from Green and myself. The Ferrari is the wilder ride, uttering the odd skrrrsh from a few bits of sacrificial plastic and breakaway traction, but it is still grin inducing fun". In the end they awarded the win to Lexus LFA.[96] [N 3]

Evo UK: Best 10 cars of 2010[edit]

A matte black Lexus LFA at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show

Evo UK compiled a car of the year for 2010 with "Best of the best" top 10 cars chosen including Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche GT3 RS, Porsche GT2 RS, Lexus LFA, Lamborghini LP570-4, SLS AMG, Audi R8 V10, Lotus Evora, updated 2012 R35.2 Nissan GT-R, Audi R8 V10. Lexus LFA was highly praised and placed in the top four with the Porsche GT3 RS, Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche GT2 RS. Evo UK called LFA a "very very special car" and praised the engine as "extraordinarily stunning V10 that is only comparable to the V10 in Porsche Carrera GT". The SLS AMG was placed fifth and updated 2012 R35.2 Nissan GTR was placed eighth while Lamborghini LP570-4 was placed ninth. Lexus LFA was placed in the top four despite not completing the track tests as Evo UK had to return the LFA to Lexus because it had to be flown elsewhere. Overall, all the testers at Evo UK overwhelmingly commented positively about the Lexus LFA, particularly its 4.8-liter V10.[97] Chris Harris also noted "there is nothing else out there that has ever felt this special since the Macca F1".[97] [N 4]

Edmunds Inside Line: Lexus LFA vs Porsche 911 GT2 RS[edit]

Edmunds' Insideline managed to acquire a LFA from Lexus for one week and tested the LFA against the Porsche GT2 RS on the track including an impromptu grudge match on the drag strip. Both cars won 2 races each making it a draw. Insideline recorded a 0 - 60 mph in 3.9 seconds without launch control system and achieved the 14 mile 11.6 seconds at 200 km/h (124 mph). Lexus had not given the permission to Insideline to use the launch control system, but due to the track surface for the head-to-head drag race was prepared with compound, it provided adequate off the line traction for the LFA. The 14 mile for the Porsche GT2 RS was also 11.6 seconds. The skidpad number were 1.03g while the slalom speed was 72.5 mph. Lexus LFA circled the skidpad in 1.02 g and achieved one of the highest slalom speeds ever recorded at 121.0 km/h (75.2 mph).[75]

Motor Trend: Lexus LFA vs Nissan GT-R[edit]

Motor Trend conducted a track trest comparison between Lexus LFA and Nissan GT-R. Lexus LFA was provided to them for just a few hours so Motor Trend quickly conducted the comparison. In acceleration tests, Lexus USA had not given the permission to Motor Trend to use the in-built launch control system for the LFA.

Row of Lexus LFAs at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

Through improvisation, Motor Trend developed a way to neutral-drop launch the LFA. Lexus LFA had the heavy advantage in the test was over 300 pounds lighter than the Nissan GT-R while putting down 60 wheel horsepower more when they strapped both cars to a Mustang dyno in this test while Nissan GT-R came with stickier high-grip tires and also offered a launch control with AWD. However, this flawed method that did not control traction through alteration of ignition timing and stability control like a launch control system does, it was the best method they had available, which resulted in a 3.8 seconds 0−60 mph (versus 3.5 seconds for the Nissan GT-R). However, Lexus LFA achieved 0−100 mph 0.4 seconds quicker and by quartermile mark, LFA was travelling 4 mph faster at the 14 mile trap with a time of 11.8 seconds (versus 11.9 for Nissan GT-R).

The magazine wrote, "In fact, the LFA hits 100 mph four-tenths faster than the GT-R -- and just keeps going. As both flash past the quarter-mile marker, the LFA never looks back". The magazine also found the LFA to be superior in dynamic handling.[N 5] Regarding challenges in launching the LFA with its automated transmission without having the ability to use its launch control, Motor Trend noted "It works, but not all of the time. A great launch means only a chirp of the tires and blistering acceleration, but vary the rpm just bit and the LFA torches its rubber before rocketing down the strip. A slight delay between paddle actuation and SMG response further complicates a fast start." Motor Trend awarded the win in this comparison to Lexus LFA.[98][N 6]

Top Gear: Greatest 5 supercars of 2010[edit]

In Top Gear's comparison of the LFA with the Porsche GT3 RS, Lamborghini Superleggera, Ferrari 458 Italia and SLS AMG, the Stig praised the Lexus LFA and was quoted as saying it is an "Amazing track weapon, super-stiff chassis makes it extremely sensitive to inputs...V10 engine has power everywhere and delivery to make the most of that...brakes powerful but don't interfere...lots of grip in slow and fast corners..full balance into...through, out of corners. What's Lexus? Does it also make fridges?" Top Gear had also hailed the LFA as the "greatest high-performance supercar ever from Japan."[99]

Sunday Times: Clarkson[edit]

In 2012, Jeremy Clarkson wrote an article in the Sunday Times about his Yorkshire drive in the moors of the Lexus LFA. Jeremy highly praised the LFA's appearance and how special it felt both inside and out by saying "It looks very very special and inside it even gets better. Unlike Ferrari that fits button everywhere it can find some space, Lexus has thought through everything beautifully in this car. Apart from the switch that engages the reverse, which is behind the mileometer - there's a Spock-like logic to everything. And when you push or pull or engage anything, there is a sense that it will continue to work for thousands of years. It is the nicest car interior I've ever encountered and I would never ever tire of the tool that moves all of the dials around". Clarkson highly praised the LFA engine by saying "Then you fire the engine up. Snick it into first, move off and... whoa! The noise beggars belief. This is not a car that shouts, growls or barks. It howls. Up there, on the moors, it sounded otherworldly. Like a werewolf that puts its foot in a gin tap. And while it is not as fast as you were expecting, you quickly realize on damp moorland road that 552 BHP is perfect. Anything more and you're going to be picking heather out of the grille for a month". Clarkson had high praises for LFA's handling and confidence inspiring capabilities as he writes "The LFA inspires tremendous confidence. Then up ahead, Gouge marks in the tarmac show clearly over the years, many a sump have clattered into the road and you brace for impact that never comes. The LFA may be lower than a worm's navel, but so successful is the suspension, it never bottoms out". Clarkson sums up his experience in the LFA by saying "I have to say I absolutely love it. It is an intelligent car built by intelligent people. In some ways it is raw and visceral: In others it is a lesson in common sense. Engine at the front, two seats in the middle and a boot you can use. Despite all of this, there is a sense that you are in a real, full-on race car. If cruise control was invented for Nevada, Yorkshire was invented for the LFA. It is a car that reminds you every time you drive it why we have corners." Regarding only 500 LFA's being built at a high price, Clarkson summed it up "The trouble is that there are only 500 being built..still, it is not the end of the world since you can have the Nissan GT-R. It is nine-tenths as good. But costs almost five times less".[100]

Top Gear: US Road Trip[edit]

In the Season 19 opener, Hammond, Clarkson and May took a trip across the US with Clarkson selecting the Lexus LFA as the car of his choice, May selecting Aston Martin Vanquish for his choice and SRT Viper for Hammond. In various events in the episode, all three participated in burn out contests as well as a drag racing event at the Las Vegas speedway where Clarkson in the Lexus LFA beat the Viper SRT-10 and Vanquish in head to head drag races. The episode concluded with a race across America to the Mexican border with the loser being given the task to review the first ever Mexican sports car in the following episode. Hammond in this race with the Viper had lost so he was given the task to do the review. Clarkson while summing up the Lexus LFA said "it is the best car I have ever driven" and claimed "if someone gave me a choice of selecting one car, I would have a blue Lexus LFA. That is how much I love this car". While describing the traits of Lexus LFA, Clarkson described "The word immediate was invented for the throttle response of the Lexus LFA and for the steering, and the gearbox and just about everything else".[101]

Top Gear: Reader Poll of 50 greatest cars[edit]

In the October 2013 edition of Top Gear magazine, the magazine conducted a poll of the top 50 greatest cars in the last 20 years. Over 100,000 subscribers responded to the poll with ranking of 50 greatest cars with Lexus LFA being polled at number 10th greatest cars. Top Gear on their website described Lexus LFA as well "Expensive, over-specified and looks like an evil transformer. The greatest Japanese car? Maybe".[102]

Motorsport[edit]

2008[edit]

The Lexus LF-A prototype, No. 92 at the Nürburgring in 2008

A Lexus LF-A prototype was entered on 10 May 2008 on the Nürburgring 4 hour VLN endurance race. Despite being lapped 5 times and finishing 77th[103] overall among over 200 teams, it surprisingly won the over 4000cc class SP8,[25] as all other five class entrants, including a Porsche 997 Turbo and Aston Martin Vantage, failed to finish. The best lap time of the Lexus, on the 24.4 km version used in VLN, was 9:06[25] in 3rd[104] of 23 laps, on par with old Porsche 996 GT3 Cup (class Cup3A), while the fastest SP8 cars managed 8:20s.

Lexus also took part in the 24 Hours Nürburgring[105] on 24/25 May 2008, with four Japanese drivers including Akira Iida leading the team. The LF-A was involved in a crash just prior to the race and was hurriedly repaired in two hours to make the race.[106] As car #14,[107] it qualified 27th[108] among 223 cars, and finished 7th in the SP8 class of 11 entrants, and 121st overall, with a best lap average speed of 163 km/h (101 mph), compared to 175 km/h (109 mph) of the fastest cars.

2009[edit]

On 4 April 2009, a LF-A and a Lexus IS F entered by Gazoo Racing (which had already raced smaller cars in 2007 and 2008) finished first and second in the SP8 class[109] in the ADAC-Westfalenfahrt VLN 4h endurance race, as all three other class entrants, a Gallardo, a Corvette and an Audi R8, failed to complete the race. In winning its second VLN 4h event, the LF-A improved its fastest lap time, with one driver completing 8:41 laps both in practice and in the race;[110] by comparison, the fastest overall race laps were 8:27 by a Dodge Viper and a Porsche 997 Cup S, both of the new SP9 class, which is close to FIA-GT3.

The 2009 24h Nürburgring race car No. 15 in Goodwood

The LF-A was subsequently entered into the 24 Hours Nürburgring race for the manufacturer stated purpose of obtaining feedback for fine-tuning production versions[111] along with training of support technicians.[112] Gazoo registered two LF-As and a single IS F in the SP8 class (4000cc to 6200cc), as the LF-A racecars were powered by a 4.8-liter (4805cc) V10 engine with a 9000 rpm redline.[113][114] At the 2009 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race held on May 23/24, the No. 15 LF-A[115] driven by Jochen Krumbach, Armin Hahne, André Lotterer, and Hiromu Naruse achieved sub-9min laps and a best time of 8:50.458, which was the fastest time in the SP8 class,[116] with a best lap speed of 172 km/h (107 mph);.[116] The fastest times by the race leaders (SP9 class) were in the 8:40 range with a best lap speed of 176 km/h (109 mph).[116] About 90 minutes from race completion, the No. 15 LF-A experienced a separated driveshaft and a fire which poured white smoke from the vehicle's rear section.[117] The No. 14 LF-A completed the race and was ranked 4th in its class and 87th overall,[116][118] behind the 3rd ranked No. 16 IS F[119] During the early portions of the race the No. 14 LF-A recorded its peak position of 14th overall.[120][121] One of the drivers of the No. 14 car was Toyota's new CEO Akio Toyoda, who also met Aston Martin's President and fellow race entrant Ulrich Bez at the race before deciding to build the Aston Martin Cygnet together.[122]

2010[edit]

LFA race cars #51 and #50, SP8 class winner at the 2010 24h Nürburgring

Lexus/Gazoo again entered two cars in the 2010 24 Hours of Nürburgring, in the SP8 class over 4000cc. The “Balance of Performance”[123] required a minimum weight of 1500 kg, a restrictor diameter of 34.2 mm, and a fuel tank size of 120 liter. The No. 50 car won its class,[124] and finished 18th[125] overall with 142 laps, 12 laps down. The No. 50 car, with 4 Japanese drivers, did a fastest lap of 8:55.934 (average of 170.470 km/h[125]), which was over 20 seconds slower than the top 10 challengers, and slower than last year's performance.

The Chief Test Driver/Engineer Hiromu Naruse, who coached the 2010 LFA race team, died in a tragic accident on June 23, 2010 testing the Nurburgring Edition of the Lexus LFA on the roads local to the Nordschleife in Germany.[126][127] According to police reports, the traffic accident occurred when his LFA Nürburgring Edition test prototype veered into oncoming traffic, colliding head-on[128] with a BMW 3 series near the Nürburgring, at Boos.[129] The BMW was also a test vehicle,[130] both occupants were injured, one severely; both were expected to survive.[131] All three test drivers wore helmets,[132] however Naruse was reportedly not wearing his seatbelt, and as his LFA test vehicle was a pre-production prototype, its safety features, including airbags, were not functional at the time.[133]

Sculpture models[edit]

Lexus LF-A Salone Milano 2005 concept model at the Teatro dell'Arte in Milan

In April 2005, Lexus presented a sculptural model of the original LF-A concept at that year's Milan Design Week exhibition in Milan, Italy. Part of the marque's introductory display of its L-finesse design theme, the full-size LF-A model was presented next to a production Lexus GS model, in a design space produced by painter Hiroshi Senju, designer Junya Ishigami, and architect Kazuyo Sejima.[134] The sculpted LF-A model followed the first introduction of the LF-A concept at the North American International Auto Show in January of that year. In contrast with the production GS sedan it shared the display space with, the LF-A model did not have interior access.

Lexus LFA Crystallised Wind at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show

In April 2009, Lexus presented an acrylic glass sculpture LFA model, called 'Crystallised Wind', at that year's Milan Design Week exhibition at the Museo della Permanente art gallery in Milan. Commissioned in partnership with architect Sou Fujimoto, the full-sized LFA crystal sculpture had a transparent appearance, allowing viewers to see the engine, chassis, interior, and other internal components.[135] Although closely resembling the 2007 coupe concept, design elements on the LFA Crystallised Wind model differed from previous iterations of the coupe, with five-spoke wheels, different headlamp shapes, and other separate details. The vehicle was presented along with a collection of accessories, gadgets, and styling products all produced from the same acrylic materials used in the Crystallised Wind model.[136]

Awards[edit]

In October 2009, the debut of the Lexus LFA was named among Road & Track's Best of the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show.[137] For his role in leading its development project, Top Gear awarded Lexus LFA chief engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi as one of its Men of the Year for 2009 along with Sébastien Loeb, Jenson Button, and others.[138] In April 2010, the LFA topped the Stiff Magazine list of the Top 5 V10 Road Cars.[139] In its 2010 test of the LFA, Car gave the vehicle the magazine's maximum rating of five stars.[140] The LFA was also named to the Top Gear 100 Sexiest Supercars of All Time list in 2010.[141] Top Gear magazine in its September 2010 edition picked "5 greatest supercars of the year" and the LFA was honored as one of the greatest supercars of the year along with Porsche GT3 RS, Lamborghini Superleggera, Ferrari 458 Italia and SLS AMG. All 5 cars were featured in the magazine in a side by side comparison and LFA was picked as the "Stig's most favorite supercar".[99][99]

The LFA's surge tank was acoustically engineered by Yamaha.[43]

Evo UK in its January 2011 edition held a "best engine of the year" selection. Lexus LFA's 4.8 Liter V10 was selected as the "best engine of the year" over SLS AMG's V8, 458 Italia's V8, GTR's V6, LP570-4 and R8's V10, Porsche GT2 RS and GT3 RS' flat-6, Evora's V6 and Focus RS500's inline-5 engines. Some of the comments regarding the Lexus LFA's V10 were "A mix of road and racing engines: Lexus LFA's utterly intoxicating 4.8 Liter V10.", "There is the noise it makes, for a start, a dense shriek like a V10 F1 car's", "Then there's the wall of torque from 5000 rpm to 9000 rpm and a strong thrust even before that", "Lighter than an average V6 and it even meets the Euro 5 emission standards", "It is hard to imagine that such an engine's career will be over when all the LFAs are built, given the love that has gone into it. We certainly hope not".[142]

Car Graphic magazine compiled a 'Best Cars of the Year 2011' in December 2011. It was based on all the cars that were tested during the year in their own respective months. Lexus LFA beat Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 to win the 'Best Cars of the Year 2011' award. Lexus LFA was tested during the summer months in very wet conditions, but the track test even in the wet as well as daily city road driving warranted enough positive impressions for the magazine to award Lexus LFA the win. The Lexus LFA test numbers also reflect the implications of testing in the wet conditions.[143] In February 2012, Singapore Car Mart awarded Lexus with "Best Car of the Year 2011" award for their Lexus LFA exotic supercar.[144]

The LF-A Roadster concept received an iF product design award from the International Forum Design organization in 2008,[145] and the first LF-A concept was a recipient of an IDEA award from the Industrial Designers Society of America in the Design Explorations category of 2005's International Design Excellence Awards.[146][147] The LFA was also a finalist in the 2009 Car Design of the Year[148] and the Festival Automobile International's "most beautiful supercar of the year” awards.[149]

In popular culture[edit]

Gaming[edit]

This first LF-A concept car is featured in The Fast and the Furious, Forza Motorsport 4 and Forza Horizon. In late 2010, Polyphony Digital, game developers for Sony Computer Entertainment announced that the Lexus LFA would make an appearance in Gran Turismo 5 on the PlayStation 3 game console. The LFA is one of over 1,000 cars featured in the game. In Gran Turismo 6 it's joined by the LFA Nurburgring Package.[150] The Lexus LFA is also featured in the game Shift 2: Unleashed[151] and The Run[152] as a part of PlayStation 3 limited-edition pre-order of the game.[153] It is also available in Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) as the 7th Most Wanted car in the game.[154] The LFA also features in Real Racing 3 since May 2013 on mobile devices.

Movies[edit]

A black LFA was featured in the last part of the 2011 film Fast Five, featuring Sung Kang and Gal Gadot speeding across the Autobahn.

References[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  1. ^ Car Magazine went further to elaborate: "Speaking of F1, the LFA’s 4.8 wails like a true Formula One V10 too; at first you’ll change up 6000rpm, then 7000rpm, then 8000rpm, then 8500, then 8600rpm, and then eventually you’ll just pin it until the digital dial flings its needle round to 9000rpm, the whole dashboard flashes red and you won’t know whether it’s you or the engine screaming. Utterly glorious and completely addictive."
  2. ^ Car Magazine commented: "Last night I'd had a nagging realization that the Lexus is actually a more exciting car than the Lamborghini. On this road, it's confirmed with astonishing certainty. It's not faster, but it's more thrilling and more rewarding. The engine feels sabre-sharp and its singular howl is of the highest quality, the steering hums and pulsates with feedback and the chassis allows you to drive the LFA anyway you choose. I feel mildly shocked by that conclusion. How can a front-engined car with a mere 412 KW provide a richer multi-layered experience than a huge hunk of mid-engined Italian testoterone? It's in the detail. The steering rack is lighter and completely uncorrupted, the chassis is more supple at low and medium speeds that provides greater body control when you start to use the full performance, its engine trades all out grunt for F1-spec precision and response and its agility is intrinsically linked with a set-up that really demands a lot of the driver."
  3. ^ EVO UK: "Privately I'd wondered in the days prior to this test if the GTO's extrovert character would simply overwhelm the LFA, but with each passing day the Lexus has proven itself to be a worthy and formidable adversary. What it lacks in outright accelerative savagery it makes up for in deft dynamics and the sheer musical quality of that extraordinary V10. What marks out the LFA for particular praise is its bravery and originality; for Lexus to create such a car from scratch, with no evolutionary engineering or existing basis from which to work, is a remarkable achievement. Innovative, extreme, immaculately executed and exquisite to drive, it's the greatest high-performance car Japan has ever produced. Get hung up on the badge and you'll be blind to its magic. Revel in its rarity, its rare abilities and the fact we're unlikely to see its like again and you'll understand why the LFA is one of the greatest, and why this test ends with three unexpected, hard-won and thoroughly deserved words: Lexus beats Ferrari".
  4. ^ EVO UK: "There is nothing in the world like the Lexus LFA. It is more special and intriguing than the 458 and demonstrates an extraordinary level of passion and commitment. Bespoke and limited edition, it is also a genuine supercar that can scare the pants off you. This is mainly thanks to its extraordinary 552bhp 4.8-liter V10 that does everything a Carrera GT's does and then goes completely mad as it closes in on 9500rpm. Its uncompromising ride adds to the challenge, and it was generally agreed that it would have been a bit of a handful up on the moors, but we were beguiled. "It's a beautiful thing, all the details, and it has the integrity and functionality of a Lexus. Feels like a step up from everything else here," said Meaden. "Very, very special," said Metcalfe. Thank you, Lexus."
  5. ^ Motor Trend regarding Lexus LFA dynamic superiority said "Subsequent testing proves the LFA to be dynamically superior to the GT-R in nearly every category including the much stronger acceleration of LFA beyond 60 mph. Any doubts that the Lexus is anything but a legitimate supercar are absolutely gutted on the test tarmac. Only supercars manage to brake from 60 in under 94 feet and pull 1.05 g on the skidpad. Sure, the GT-R retains bragging rights to 60 mph due to all wheel drive and shorter gearing, but to triple digits and beyond, it is all LFA. Then there is the way it handles our figure eight."
  6. ^ Motor Trend summarized its comparison by saying "Remove the collectors and speculators from the equation, and the LFA is merely another absurdly fast, glorious sounding supercar, right? Oh, if it were only that simple. Armchair experts, looking hard at our images and videos, will dissect and ultimately denounce the LFA for not being invincible. Sure, if a GT-R can catch it off guard, so can a Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche 911 Turbo, Corvette ZR-1, and Dodge Viper -- all for a lot less money. But citing times, trap speeds, or dollar signs as enough reason to elevate any one of those over the LFA is missing the point entirely. The LFA belongs in the elite supercar club as much as any choice Porsche, Ferrari, or Corvette. It looks and sounds like nothing else on the road, and is as fiendishly fast as it is complicated and indulgent − the very embodiment of the country and motoring culture from which it comes. As for what its worth on the street? You need only hear the intoxicating bark of that V-10 touching 9000 rpm to know the answer. Worth every penny."

Notes[edit]

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