The LFA is one of the most exclusive and controversial cars of the last decade. With only 500 units distributed from Lexus dealers worldwide, the supercar has become an enigmatic legend.
Reportedly, only 170 LFA’s were designated to the U.S., and you’ll be happy to know that Paris Hilton is the proud owner of one of them.
While the LFA has certainly proven its abilities on the track, it was not solely intended for racing. The catalyst behind the LFA was a desire to craft a car that could offer the most satisfying driving experience around.
The 10-year project was also never intended as a money maker. Even priced at $375,000, the materials and engineering that went into each LFA still exceeded the amount buyers paid for them.
It was a car created primarily as an engineering exercise, and the company’s highly trained teams certainly demonstrated their prowess.
Though many of us may never have a chance to get behind the wheel of an LFA, there’s always room to dream. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about Lexus’ renowned supercar.
One of the most impressive things about the LFA is that it is a bespoke automobile. Its parts were made specifically for it, and the primary material in its construction was carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber is one of the most talked about materials in the automotive industry because its unique properties make it perfect for designing cars that are durable and lightweight.
In order to create the parts for the LFA, Lexus built their own laser-controlled circular loom, one of only two that exist in the world. They needed it to weave carbon fiber yarn comprised of premium plastic resins into plastic sheets.
Those sheets were then formed into the parts that were used in the LFA. The supercar’s cabin frame, roof panels, floor panel, hood, and transmission tunnel are all made of carbon fiber. Even the key for the LFA is made with it.
The parts are incredibly tough, but they also weigh significantly less than if they had been made with aluminum.
So far the only Lexus-made car built with such significant amounts of the extraordinary substance is the LFA. However, Lexus doesn’t intend to keep it that way for long.
Now that they’ve figured out how to do it and do it well, the company is poised to use carbon fiber as a main ingredient in future production vehicles.
In addition, the LFA is equipped with a lot of other custom pieces that enthusiasts would love to get their hands on. It has a bespoke 4.8-liter V10 engine, custom made carbon ceramic brakes, specially developed ultra high performance 20-inch tires from Bridgestone, and lots more.
This 2-person supercar was formed from the ground up, and that’s why there is no other ride like it in the world.
Each LFA contains a front engine signed by the individual Lexus engineer who built it by hand. While the V10 takes up the same amount of space as a V6, it does not sacrifice power for size.
Delivering 553 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, the LFA is an adrenaline-junkie’s fantasy. And with its impressive top speed of 202 miles per hour, it was even able to outrun a personal business jet.
Wondering just how quickly the LFA can heat things up? Try 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. It revs to 9,000 RPM
in less than one second, hence the need for the tachometer’s digital needle. An analog one simply wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the car’s remarkable action.
Combined with its lightweight build, the LFA’s 0.31 aerodynamic drag coefficient allows it to fly ahead of competitors and maneuver agilely.
That Perfect Sound
Not only do you get to enjoy the rush of speed in an LFA, but you also get to revel in the unbelievable sound of its exceptional V10.
Chief Engineer, Haruhiko Tanahashi described the supercar’s sound as “The roar of an angel.” Its tones, which instantly make your heart beat faster, are no accident.
Lexus had the foresight to collaborate with Yamaha’s musical instrument division to perfectly tune the sound of the LFA. No car is truly great unless it has an unmistakable growl to match its performance.
In the LFA, distinct ribs in the intake manifold cover were used to refine the engine’s sound and maximize its auditory effects.
They must have succeeded because obsessive car enthusiast, Jay Leno, said that the LFA has “one of the greatest sounding engines of all time.”
As refined as the LFA’s aerodynamic exterior is, the interior is just as sophisticated. It is also dressed in specially designed materials that make it unlike any other car in the world.
It has supportive bucket seats for the driver and passenger that are both equipped with seatbelt airbags. The sporty steering wheel has a side-mounted start button and paddle shifters.
Lexus’ Remote touch Interface is mounted in the center so the driver has easy control options at their fingertips. And a 12-speaker Mark Levinson audio system generates crisp high quality sound throughout the cabin.
The sleek interior is dressed in either sleek white or slick red, giving it a distinctly modern appearance that’s enhanced by metallic trims and accents.
It also comes with custom made Tumi suitcases in different sizes that are suitable for different trip lengths. They’re also made with carbon-fiber style materials to keep the load light.
The Nürburgring Package
The LFA’s mechanical components, particularly the suspension, were primarily developed and refined based on trials at the famous Nürburgring track in Germany.
By testing the LFA on one of the toughest tracks around, Lexus’ design team was also able to come up with a specialized Nürburgring Package to emphasize racing performance.
It was an available option for buyers, and the package included aggressive aerodynamic enhancements, a honed suspension system, a recalibrated transmission, and 10 more horsepower.
In an LFA equipped with those elements, Japanese racing driver Akira Iida broke a record at Nürburgring, finishing in 7:14:64 in an LFA fitted with non-competition tires.
The feat was mind-blowing and showed how well the meticulously balanced car could handle itself when put to the test.
Since its inception, the LFA has won numerous awards and high praise from experts in the industry, confirming its unrivaled design again and again.
A writer from Car Magazine said: “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. ”
IN 2009, Road and Track named it among the top entries at the Tokyo Auto Show. Top Gear also named it one of the 100 Sexiest Supercars of All Time.
In 2001, Evo UK made the LFA’s V10 the Best Engine of the Year, and they called the engine “utterly intoxicating.” Those are only a few of the honors the car has received; it has racked up quite a list from authorities worldwide.
Though an extremely limited number of LFAs were produced and sold, Lexus has assured its fans that what was learned from the creation of the supercar is absolutely trickling into more and more of their vehicles.
LFA-inspired design and engineering elements have already appeared in other vehicles in their lineup and more is promised to come.
With the brand’s transformative focus on performance, enthusiasts everywhere are hopeful that the LFA was only the beginning of Lexus’ legacy of supercars.