With such reverence now (correctly) surrounding the Lexus LFA, it can be hard to recall its tricky gestation. Thank goodness, then, for the internet. After the on-off-on saga as the world's financial institutions went into meltdown, Toyota confirmed a price in 2009 for the 500-car production run: each was going to cost £336,000.
You can probably guess how PH reacted. "Is only a Toyota after all", read the first comment; "No thanks, I'll the GT-R" read another; "Toyota/Lexus are deluded" was there before the end of the first page. Though, naturally, some aired opinions to the contrary, many felt Lexus charging so much money for its first supercar (one with 'just' the 560hp, don't forget) were on a hiding to nothing. The fact that so many remained unsold in US lots for as long as they did perhaps validated that opinion.
But all that overlooks one crucial element: the LFA, from absolutely nowhere (albeit with a decade of development), was one of the 21st century's greatest supercars. And we've not had a bad 20 years for them. For many years Clarkson claimed it was the best car he'd ever driven; one magazine test ranked it ahead of the Ferrari 599 GTO; PH said... well, PH queried whether it was worth the money being asked. Everyone makes mistakes. And that was before the Nurburgring Edition; announced in 2010 and with just 50 built from 2012 onwards, the ultimate LFA is one of the unsung heroes of the Nordschleife. With just 10hp more than standard, it lapped the 'ring in 7:14 back in 2011, a time that would still be pretty damn good for a car of comparable power today.
The fact that Lexus lost money on the LFA project, despite charging what it did - its development cost remains a secret - probably explains why it was quite so exceptional. No expense was spared in creating it, hence the carbon tub, bespoke 4.8-litre V10, ceramic brakes and transaxle gearbox. And this was Lexus, don't forget; the IS F had emerged just prior to the LFA, but the mere existence of a clean-sheet supercar from Toyota's luxury offshoot was shocking enough - the fact it was so staggeringly good took everyone by surprise.
In fact, it's formidable reputation has ensured that original asking price doesn't look quite so silly a decade and a bit later after its announcement - this one is £549,995. A Swiss car imported to the UK in 2015, it's been looked after by Lexus Milton Keynes ever since. While black on black is a bit muted - some might even say sombre - it's at least less divisive than something like the orange made infamous by the Nurburgring car. Despite being first registered in 2012, this LFA has covered a mere 4,000 miles since; even allowing for the surfeit of supercars any prospective buyer is likely to own, that seems a criminal waste.
Because even though Toyota, laudably, is continuing its supercar story with the GR Super Sport, nothing like the LFA will exist again. That V10 alone is almost worth the price of admission; that the engine also comes with a phenomenal supercar around it makes half a million look at least simple to comprehend. It's less than a 599 GTO will cost, put it that way. Or a 722 SLR. Or a Zagato Aston Martin. All of which boast more illustrious names than the Lexus, sure; that the LFA more than stands comparison with all of them shows just what an achievement it was.
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