Officially Official- The Lexus LF-A is finally here

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Lexus finally took the wraps off the new LF-A super car this week at the Tokyo Motor show.  This car has been in development since approximately 2000 and the amount of man hours put into this project is staggering.  Most of the leaks, when it comes to specifications, were spot on if not close.  The car will be rear wheel drive with an all in house developed V10 engine sitting up front.  That V10 is a 4.8- Liters making 562 hp and 354 lb-ft will rocket the car 0-60 in 3.7 seconds.  Lexus says the top speed is 202 mph which is super car territory and tops that of many competitors.  Weighing in at 3,263 lbs, it is rumored that weight distribution is 48/52 front-to-rear which would explain why Lexus is boasting about the driving dynamics.  Another tidbit of awesomeness on this cake is the redline is a staggering 9000 rpm!  That helps explain the F1 sound coming from the LF-A flying around the Nurburgring all these years.  The inside is luxurious for a sports car and it has a trick gauge cluster.  The whole speedometer is digital.  When you hit redline the whole background turns red.

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Last night on #carchat we had a open discussion about this car and it seems many people do not like it.  Keep in mind we are not the customer Lexus is going after with this vehicle.  Most of us are not rich and could not afford the $375,000 price tag associated with ownership.  The majority said it was ugly and that for the money they would rather buy other cars.  Many mentioned cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette Zr1 or the Nissan GT-R for the price and performance.  Fact is those aren’t exclusive cars when compared to this car, though they are both halo cars for each brand and in that regard they are similar to the LF-A.  I was definitely in the minority and thought it was a good looking car and truly love the sound of the V10 at full tilt from the videos leaked.  I feel the LF-A is definitely not a screaming value then again with only 500 units being made this will be a exclusive car.  The fact remains that while the price puts this car deep in super territory where the elite compete such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and others, what separates this car from those.  The separation comes with what Toyota/Lexus does best, reliability.  Super cars are not known for being super reliable.  This could be a new way to compete.  Without question Lexus/Toyota will be taking a loss on each car after all the years of development.  Then again can you put a price on a halo car that truly puts your brand in the spotlight with a super car even for a moment?  Lexus has not had a sports car nor a halo car to speak of.  Toyota just announced recently they want to be building fun cars again that stir the soul of the driver.  While that is not what they are currently known for this car might put a pulse to that statement.

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Check this video by Lexus/Toyota listen to that engine.


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One Response to “Officially Official- The Lexus LF-A is finally here”

  1. Unfortunately I missed the #carchat rant on the LF-A on Twitter last night. I have seen the concept car for years in various forms at the Detroit Auto Show and, in person, the car is absolutely stunning. I think it is a very impressive looking car. Sure the rump is a bit large but hey I like a little junk in the trunk if it is sculpted well. 😉

    What I find most surprising with this car is the pricing. I would’ve expected something more to compete with the Audi R8 or if BMW ever builds it a new M1. Pricing in the $150-200k would’ve been much more interesting for the brand and still would’ve made it a halo car for Lexus. Problem is Lexus isn’t a super car brand but I guess neither is Mercedes with their insane SLR McLaren which is probably more inline with the LF-A’s competition. Though the Mercedes effort was smart enough to leverage the McLaren brand in with their car, Lexus lacks such a lift.

    It’s a limited production vehicle so accessibility has little to do with the product, this is more a brand lift play to get people to think of Lexus as a performance brand. Products like the IS-F will benefit most from this since it is adding some impressive street-cred for the brand. Plus it lets Lexus put some of its F1 efforts to layman use.

    Overall I’m glad they built it and hope it inspires BMW to get off their butt and make a new M1, and not that funky green version they are touting around.

    10/22/2009 at 8:56 am Reply

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