As Lexus builds its final LFA Harris seeks out an example of this much under-rated supercar
The last Lexus LFA rolled off the line the other day.
Yours for 380,000 euros, for now
It was one of the most misunderstood fast cars of modern times, ridiculed by many and adored by a few. I should qualify that as a lucky few, because the one thing that everyone who thinks the LFA is a stunning machine has in common is that they have driven it.
On paper, it looks like the Nissan GT-R makes a mockery of the Lexus. Then you see the latter in the flesh and experience the quality and the engine and, well, you are in its spell forever.
A full carbon tub, a normally aspirated V10 that beats a Carrera GT’s for sheer exhilaration (largely because it sits ahead of the driver, so he gets more noise) and a set of dynamics which came to a head in the Nurburgring Edition, which is still the best standard street car I’ve driven around the Nordschleife.
Values can only go one way, reckons Harris
And all of it was wrapped in just the kind of obsessive engineering which we’ve come to expect from great Japanese companies. The LFA is a product which could easily have been adjusted to meet prevailing demands, but Lexus remained doggedly loyal to the original design brief.
This alone will ensure it becomes a much sought-after classic.
In fact I can’t find one for sale in the UK, and only three in Germany. This is the cheapest.
And here’s a Nurbugring lap, just to underline the point.
LEXUS LFA Engine: 4,805cc V10 Transmission: 6-speed automated manual Power (hp): 560@8,700rpm Torque (lb ft): 354@6,800rpm MPG: 18 (NEDC combined) CO2: 308 First registered: New Recorded mileage: 1km! Price new: £343.000 Yours for: 380,000 euros
The LF-A is more expensive because it is a 'supercar' with integrity.
1500 Kilos with engine at the front is about optimal for a road car with this amount of power.
The integrity lies in that it has Grand Tourer sensibilities - but with a chassis so strong (no one bothered to mention chassis strength vs weight yet) and sophisticated light weight multi-link suspension with ceramic braking (very low unsprung weight compared to other expensive cars), you have a very rare combination of raciness in a very high quality real world usable car - also the attention to detail when it gets built is staggering.
You have to remember, the Japanese do not follow the old 1960's template of performance cars, small temperamental mid engined cars that can only really be enjoyed by professional racing drivers is not what they do.
Edited by CoupeCrazy on Tuesday 18th December 22:53
Edited by CoupeCrazy on Tuesday 18th December 22:54
You don't need to sell me on the LFA , it's masterpiece..I just don't know why everyone keeps spouting and defending the marketing when it's obvious bullsh!t. The manufacturing process should not be selling you a car...it's entirely irrelevant if you end up with the same result.
I did not mention any manufacturing process - I was talking about the end result, and that is you have a car that somehow combines the sharpness of the best rose-joint suspended supercars yet with the refinement and accessibility for the driver and his missus - that I don't believe any supercar can match.
To do that you need a very strong and light chassis - a tall order.
Two chassis with CF incorporated into them from different car markers (Lexus vs insert supercar here) are not the alike, unfortunately data on how strong the chassis of the LF-A is not available on the interwebs or from any 3rd party source, but the very positive comments on the car's refinement and behavior is a very good indicator of how strong and developed that chassis is - yet the entire car is on the low end of 1500 kilos fully loaded.
The Ferrari F12 (1630 kilos & £240k) is a good contender though with its very unique combination of layering and interfacing 12 different alloys.
This development to reach this level of refinement and strength costs a significant amount of money - especially when done for the first time.
PJ S24 Dec 2012
So I'll stop here and just claim it's about the badge more than anything else.
It's the NSX story all over again.
PJ S24 Dec 2012
Makes me really want Lexus to try a mid size Cayman rival circa £40-50k.
Essentially a posh GT86 'R'
That is an interesting prospect, they did reveal a sports car recently did they not? Cant remember the name of it now tho!