Oh. My. Word. If you want exclusive, this is it. If you want performance, this is it. Now, with the Lexus LFA, the Japanese luxury marque is delivering a short, sharp shock not just to the European luxury lines such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW, but also the more glamorous speedsters such as Porsche and even Ferrari. But you’d better be in quick, as there only going to be a limited number of these performance vehicles in the world. Australia will get ten of them… will one be yours?
OK, so what has the Lexus LFA got that makes it so sizzling hot? Normally, we’d start with a description of the engine, but this time around, we’re going to take a leaf out of Lexus’s book and start with the handling – this is where Lexus started. They wanted to build a supercar that felt like a supercar – something that was designed to go on the road but felt as though it was still on the Formula 1 track. At this point, it’s probably good to mention that the Lexus LFA won the Nürburgring 24-hour race in 2010 and later, in 2011, took out the title for the fastest time around the Ring for a production car, blitzing the Porsche 911 and the Nissan R35 Skyline GTR’s efforts.
The designers wanted the Lexus LFA to be lightweight and responsive. This meant that everything was designed all as one piece rather than one bit by this team and another bit by another team followed by coming to a compromise. The Lexus LFA is supposed to be fast and obedient. Everything in the Lexus LFA works towards this aim, from the race-tuned steering to the precision tuned suspension (double wishbone at the front, multi-link at the back). The Lexus LFA can handle high-speed cornering of up to 2 G – that’s G forces where 1 G is the acceleration of the earth’s gravity; you tend to black out at about 9 G. Naturally, the carbon-ceramic brakes are something spectacular as well – with this sort of speed and performance, they have to be!
The Lexus LFA is powered by a V10 engine that has been tuned like a musical instrument to rumble at the idle and scream at the redline – literally like a musical instrument, as the Lexus design team worked with musical engineers from Yamaha to get the sound just right. The working parts of the engine, including the variable valve timing intelligent technology, have been constructed from an exotic collection of materials, including lots of titanium and carbon. The construction is surprisingly lightweight, as this big V10 weighs the same as a regular V8 engine in spite of the extra oomph. Even so, the engine is at the front even though the driving wheels are at the rear to get a better balance between front and rear weight to maximise handling. And as for power and torque… mere words just aren’t going to do justice to 412 kW and 480 Nm. And the Lexus LFA can do the 0–100 km/h sprint in less time than it took to type this sentence: 3.7 seconds. The engines have been built by hand rather than by robot, and each has the name of the person who built it engraved on it.
They’ve had a lot of fun with the transmission in the Lexus LFA. It would be simplest to say that the transmission is a six-speed automated sequential gearbox system, but they’ve added the ability to customise this, with four driving modes and seven shift speeds to choose from.
Naturally, the Lexus LFA looks like a performance vehicle. It will turn heads. But the exterior styling doesn’t just look good: every single little detail has been chosen to help on-road capability and handling, from the rocker fins along the side to the active rear wing that tilts up at speeds of over 80 km/h to force the Lexus LFA onto the road for extra-grippy handling.
The interior of the Lexus LFA isn’t massive, but this car is about fun and performance, not hauling the troops from A to B. However, the driver and front passenger will have plenty of room, especially the driver. It’s all about the driver and the drive. All the usual driver aids you would expect are there, including a 12-speaker sound system (unless you want to listen to that engine), dual-zone climate control and a multi-function touch screen that makes everything visible: the navigation, the entertainment system, etc. But you’ll have to look quite closely to see some of the racing features: a lap timer, for example, and a tachometer that goes up to 10,000 rpm. Other racetrack influences are more obvious The steering wheel proudly proclaims the Lexus LFA’s sporting pedigree: it’s compact to give the driver extra room while trimming off a little extra weight, and (most importantly) to be extra responsive to the slightest move by the driver. And do I really need to mention that the Lexus LFA has got paddle shifters for the gears – column mounted.
If you don’t manage to be one of the lucky ten people in Australia who gets to own a Lexus LFA, don’t despair. Much, though not all, of the technology used to create the Lexus LFA has been used to upgrade the Lexus F-Sport range, which you’ll find elsewhere on this site.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Lexus LFA, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Lexus dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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