• Aug 28, 2008
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Lexus LF-A concept.

The writing has been on the wall for some time. Although the Lexus flagship graduated from "concept" to "prototype" when it campaigned in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, Toyota has refused to even hint at a production date for the V10 supercar. Then Toyota declined to plonk an LF-A silhouette on their Super GT racer, electing to continue with the doomed SC 430 jello mold.

Then news broke that production cars would cost a whopping $225,000, but the LF-A still wouldn't turn a profit. Needless to say, Toyota doesn't like things that are not profitable.

Finally, members of the testing and development crew who have been putting the car though its paces in Germany, as well as test drivers from rival Honda and Nissan crews, have told Autoblog that the LF-A is not destined for the showroom, and will remain only a development platform.

No reasons were given, but we can think of a couple. How many people are willing to part with nigh on a quarter of a million bucks for a Toyota/Lexus? Also, the world's most prolific car maker may not be willing to join the current Nurburgring pissing contest unless it is 100% sure that they can beat the Viper, ZR-1 and perhaps more importantly, the GT-R and upcoming NSX replacement.

Actually, one 'Ring test driver didn't mind going on the record with his opinion. Former Nissan racer, NSX development driver and Nurburgring legend Motoharu "Gan-san" Kurosawa reckons, "Toyota are good at making money, but they're no good at making sports cars."




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      What the hell is going on here? This post is way to civil for news about a major car company canceling a "major" sports car it has displayed, talked, and teased us for years. This is such a hypocrisy. Why the double standard.

      BMW cancels the M3 CSL. PEOPLE CRY BLOODY MURDER.

      Cadillac delays the STS/DTS replacement. THERE'S RIOTING IN THE STREETS. GM makes the conscience decision to make Pontiac mostly FWD to responsibly deal with fuel economy. PONTIAC SHOULD BE TAKEN BEHIND THE SHED AND SHOT. (you should think of that being said in a shouting male who is sorta losing his voice from yelling)

      Forget the fact that most Americans can't drive for s***. And rwd actually is on average less fuel efficient than a fwd layout..

      VW doesn't give us the Sirocco. Due to unfavorable exchange rates. WHAT IN THE HELL ARE THEY THINKING.

      Porsche makes and SUV that pays the bills. THE APOCALYPSE IS NEAR.

      BMW wants to focus on environmentally conscience vehicles. HAVE THEY BECOME HIPPIES.

      Ford not bring over there delectable Euro cars for year. F**ing cheap bastards.

      Honda is bunch of a-holes for not giving us any of their Type-R offerings

      But I digress. This is Toyota. Everything decision they make is prudent and responsible. Sure they don't give a damn about their roots. But that's okay this is Toyota. Sure they are green and all

      They refuse to give enthusiast a true vehicle to lust for. And if your lusting after a Scion you truthfully can't call yourself one of us.

      They kill the Celica, MR-S, and Supra.
      Give us the IS and it's offspring. That is not acceptable.

      And lets not forget the other unique vehicle in their lineup the FJ. All of you are aware that there getting rid of that. So what is Toyota good for. There the equivalent of Maytag and Whirlpool but with the four wheels.

      Long live the Toyota 2000GT.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a horrible insensitive word used to describe the non-manufacturing of a car!! shame on you . i am generaly not affected by advertising because it appeals to the least informed, however, i think stillborn is incredibly tactless.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That sort of price tag for a Lexus??? LOL! Lexus would do better to stick to their 30-50k arena. It's what sells best and what they are popular for. Maybe they can enter (and Win) some racing events for a few years to build some Pedigre and History into the brand. That might help them to justify a car that costs $225k large in about 50 years...

      They are the youngest luxury car make, and have done well but they need time to mature.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "$225k large" is $225,000,000.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree that $225,000 is a LOT of money to pay for a Toyota OR a Lexus, but it wouldn't hurt if Toyota could put out something for the driving enthusiasts out there. Since they dropped the Celica, they have nothing with sporty pretensions in their stable. I'm not asking for a return to the Supra--although it would be nice--but replacing one of their SUVs with something that would be fun to drive should be a no-brainer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll have to take issue with the Toyota can't make sports cars. The Supra, MR2, MR-s were class leading in handling and performance and could match anything in the price range. The sport compact Celica (all generations) had sharp handling and bulletproof reliability. Even the old Lexus SC was fast and handled well despite being softly sprung. However the world is not ready for a 200k lexus unless it had some advanced green tech like the telsa. Even Benz is having a hard time selling their large coupes and roadsters. Now is not the time for performance cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mark IV Supra was not a sports car. It had more than two seats. It was a Grand Touring car, with LOTS of power. It was a big car, Like the 3000GT/Stealth. At least the 300ZX had only two seats normally, with a +2 variant.

        The Celica was not a sports car either, again, more than two seats. It was a FWD Sport Coupe.

        The MR2 was the only real sports car, having only two seats, and everything, including practicality took a "back seat" to the act of driving. On the MR Spyder, even that figurative back seat was as non-existent as the literal back seats.

        The Lexus SC is a luxury GT, as is the IS-F.

        That has less to do with power than it does the actual design intent of the vehicle. GT coupes, and even sedans can be very good performance cars, without being strict sports cars.

        Now, the Supra/hybrid concept has been canned. The LF-A is evidently canned, which I can't say is a surprise. 250k??? HA HA.

        The Subaru/Toyota is the only thing resembling a sporty car. (tC is an econobox in coupe clothing.) And they need Subaru to actually build it to the price point they are aiming for.

        No good at making sporty cars, indeed. Nice Job, Toyota. All that money, all that marketshare, and you still fail to build anything worth turning the wheel of. Congratulations on your FAILure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @mk

        Come on, man. You're not seriously going to pull out the "classic" sports car definition into this discussion are you? If you are then you have to go all the way, because "classic" sports cars are not really suposed to have fixed roofs either. The Miata and S2000 are about the only modern offering from Japan these days that fir that outdated (IMO) model and I don't think "gan-san" is only talking about those, but in the fact that Nissan has done well with the Skyline, the Fairlady, the Sylvia Mazda did great with the FD and the Miata, Honda with the NSX and S2000 and I'm sure he would say the Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru WRX are great sports cars too even though they are 4 door sedans.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I had a MR2. I bought it instead of a Harley. Great handling and quite fast. I love the way they look too. However !....Toyota should have put some kind of a trunk in it. My wife and I couldn't even go over night somewhere with it, no place for a small bag. Also, talk about hiding the oil filter !...ridiculous.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Welcome to the Big 3, Toyota. You've inherited the coveted #1 spot once held by GM. Now you're looking like GM, ramming offerings thru without thinking, and looking moronic doing it. Your Tundra is a disaster, Scion is negligible and even Lexus, the golden child, is even putting out red-headed step-children. Makes me laugh
        • 6 Years Ago
        last time i checked, toyota still means profit and the big 3 still mean FAIL.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe this is a belt-tightening measure to prevent a GM-like meltdown.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Your mom means fail, Doug.

        The big 3 have come a long way...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I know there are a lot of negative reasons listed there, but I think canceling the LF-A is a good idea. They can always do it later or instead adapt an existing car instead of making a new one (like the IS-F).
        • 6 Years Ago
        I doubt losing money on one vehicle, when they make mega-bucks on everything else, is going to hurt them.


        Sometimes you just gotta whip it out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. While I would love to see this in the showroom, it's a very good business move by Toyota.

        I'm just hoping they have something else planned for enthusiasts.

        Why not something like a Supra with about 450-500 hp, 70-80 grand, something to go head to head with the GT-R.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Profit, schmofit. They should've just done what VW did with the Veyron and build the darn thing. It's not like Toyota's broke...

        Forget all that... I'm just bitter. I agree it probably wouldn't have made much sense from a business point of view, but It showed so much promise. Shame it won't make it to production.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Am I the only one that thinks rumors about a Toyota supercar from test DRIVERS from other car companies are dubious at best?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Says which sources? None were named, no links were posted, this is dubious and I call BS.

        Seriously......wtf would be the point in canceling now? And keeping it as a test platform? For what?

        • 6 Years Ago
        It isn't just test drivers from other car companies, it's Toyota's own R&D crew -- along with other sources that wouldn't go on the record.
      Karen
      • 6 Years Ago
      Justin,

      You call yourself a journalist? Bonehead its called common business sense, In these days and times any smart company would not put out a car for that type of money and I guess alot of people by Lexus and Toyotas, look at the JD Powers and the sold lists lately? Go find a job you're good at!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Karen
        You're right Karen,
        "LF-A - Aborted" would be more apt.
      TJ
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice looking car, but come on, $225,000.I do NOT understand these car companies in this economy, taking on this type of project. These cars are for an "image" not profit. I LOVE cars and have had way to many but why would anyone spend that kind of money. It's not like a classic corvette, hemi or shebly, this car's value drops by 50% when you drive off the dealers lot and does not stop there. You be lucky to 25% in 2-3 years.There are alot of very nice sports car out there for not alot of cash. The Saturn Sky at
      • 6 Years Ago
      Stop making 500hp+, 200mph cars

      I need something that is MOST FUN TO DRIVE from 20-90mph since this is where we spend 95% of our time.

      Loved my 1994 MR-2 just needed another 100hp.

      Would someone in Japan build a great car in the $50 - $75k prince range that doesn't look like that ugly GT-R or the big bulky muscle car looks that are coming with the next Camro
      • 6 Years Ago
      Toyota doesn't need to do this.

      GM needs the Corvette and Camaro, Mercedes needs AMG cars, BMW needs M, Nissan, to a lesser degree, needs the 350 and Skyline. Honda can get away with the Civic Si.

      Toyota? Well, they could do it, but why? They have so much brand value in everything they make that they don't need a halo car to make people feel good about them.

      Think about Toyota and GM for a minute: how much corporate self-esteem does GM have invested in a precious few models? How long was the Corvette the only car GM could really be proud of, the car that pretty much carried GM's reputation through some very dark years? Now, think about Toyota, and the cars that define it's brand: the Corolla, Camry and--recently--the Prius.

      Toyota isn't like GM, Daimler or other makes with "soul". They don't trade in heritage or hubris, they trade in cold, simple competency, and they do it across the board. About only one other company works this way, and, amusingly, they're kicking ass and taking names, too: Hyundai.

      That should tell you why they're just not bothering with the LF-A or Supra, and, more importantly, why it doesn't matter.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well then Toyota doesn't need to be in motorsports then, according to you. Why compete in F1 and NASCAR if all you deal in is appliances with no soul? They do want to stir emotion and show pride in accomplishment in some way. I really don't think this car was meant to be a big money maker, but just another way of showing the world how good they are and capaitilize on what is TRD. They may have realized the cost was too great, the car not good enough or whatever, but what if this car could give you Enzo, Carrerra GT, Murcielago performance, but at half the price with Lexus quality? I believe they were shooting for much higher goals then just beating everything from Japan. For a quarter mil, IMO, they better beat the Italians too.
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