• Apr 21, 2009
Well, it looks like Toyota is committed enough to the Lexus LF-A to at least race it again in this year's 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Just like last year, the rumored on-again, off-again for production luxury supercar is set to tackle the Green Hell in another 24 hour endurance run. That certainly lends some credence to rumors that the company is still considering it for production. The last we heard they were planning on showing a production version of the LF-A in Frankfurt Tokyo.

While we have grown somewhat tired of all of the speculation, the car remains formidable, at least on paper and in the flesh. Driving it will prove or disprove our feelings, but what's not to like about a sexy 600 horsepower, V-10-powered supercar that should offer some of the same driving thrills as a Ferrari Enzo for one third the price? Racing it for 48 hours at the 'Ring can only improve the durability and aid in finetuning. GAZOO Racing is prepping the car for competition this year with just a few minor tweaks to the basically stock platform.

Lexus is also using this as an opportunity to give some young employees a bit of experience developing product under pressure. That will likely help with future product development as well. Hopefully, we will see a production vehicle in October, but until then, we look forward to seeing it under the whip in May. There's a press release from Lexus after the jump.



[Source: Lexus]

Press Release

'LF-A' Prototype to Again Enter 24-hour Nürburgring Race

Tokyo, April 21, 2009 - Lexus announces plans to again enter its "LF-A" premium two-seater sports car in the 24 Hours Nürburgring1 endurance race in Nürburg, Germany, from May 21 to 24, 2009.

Based on a prototype of the LF-A being developed with an eye toward commercial release, the race vehicle, entering the Nürburg event for the second year in a row, has been equipped with race-grade safety equipment, such as a roll cage and special fuel tank, and fitted with a spoiler and other aerodynamic features. Although engine, powertrain and frame specifications differ little from those of the base vehicle, the race vehicle has been retuned to better meet the demands of the course.

Engineers intend to use feedback from the grueling race to further enhance the LF-A's performance. Also, mainly by employing young mechanics for technical support, TMC intends to use the race as an opportunity to develop human resources.

Specifications of Lexus LF-A Competing in 24 Hours Nürburgring Race
Vehicle name Lexus LF-A (racing specs)
Entry category/class Division 2 SP8 (engine close-to-production)
Team name GAZOO Racing
Engine Type V-10
Displacement 4,805 cc
Maximum output More than 367kW (500PS)
Body Length 4,530mm
Width 1,880mm
Height 1,200mm
Wheelbase 2,605mm
Material Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP)
Vehicle layout Front-mid-engine, rear-mid-transaxle, rear radiator
Transmission Paddle-shift sequential, manual
Tires Front/rear size 305/30R20
Type Racing (Bridgestone)

Outline of 24 Hours Nürburgring Race
Name 37th 24 Hours Nürburgring1
Dates May 21-24, 2009 (main competition runs from May 23-24)
Venue Nürburgring (Nürburg, Ahrweiler, State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)

Reference
Plans call for live on-line coverage of the team's progress in the race at GAZOO Racing's (Japanese)
website, http://gazoo.com/racing/.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I believe they're just taking their time to get this car RIGHT! No sense in rolling out a "world class supercar" to only have it fall on it's face. Toyota does their homework THOROUGHLY before they throw their hat in the ring and it seems to pay off quite well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This has to be most complicated and confusing product development/launch in history. it officially doesn't exist but there are art museums and race cars dedicated to it. But it's not gonna be made.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      i seen this car last year at the 'ring both testing and in the 24hours and i must say its a nice car, it even looked quick when i was running right, toyota are well over due a good sports car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The comment with the Enzo Ferrari is a good laugher....

      Last year the 2008 Lexus LF-A 24h northloop racer perfromed so well that they were only 40s slower (Fastest Lap) than the race winning Porsche GT3 RSR...the Porsche GT3 RSR runs one class below the 24h race LF-A!!!!!!!!!! They have to walk a very long way till they serious can think about perfroming on Ferrari Enzo level.... it is always amazing how weak all the japaneses "supercars" perfrom on the Ring outside factory test claims and best motoring Ring attacks..
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree.

        Toyota (Lexus) needs to be competitive with the Porsche 911 and Audi R8 first.

        The LF-A did not even finish within the top 30 spots for the 2009 race which I think says something.

        Audi and Porsche easily dominated the top 5 spots for the entire race.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Those GT3, Golf, Fiesta, etc. were all so heavily modified from the originals that there were almost nothing from the production car left in those cars. The LF-A race car, on the other hand, was only lightly modified from its production-ready form just to meet the race requirements. Production-ready vs. fully race-modified. Big difference there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        congrats to Lexus finishing 87place of 112car with their best LF-A and finishing NOT with their second LF-A ....
        all FWD VW Scirocco were much faster in the 24h endurance than both LF-A ...

        Should I mention that the Scirocco´s only used a slightly modded production engin and completely stock DSG tranny, with three Sciroccos in the top20 + a Audi A3 racing the same SP3T class.

        there is a truth outside factory Ring laptime racing.... and the 24h at the Ring are till today a extrem bitter medicin for all the "record claimers"...

        2009...
        Viper.... did not finish
        Corvette... did not finish
        Ford GT... did not finish
        LF-A.... did not finish

        Porsches best answer to all that commercial, "we beat Porsche on their hometrack the Ring by miles", they destroy the competition in real racing with close to production cars on the most demanding race track in the world... and they did it 4. time in a row...
        • 5 Years Ago
        congrats to Lexus finishing 87place with one car and finishing NOT with the other.... all FWD VW Scirocco were much faster in the 24h endurance than the LF-A ...
        Now ca
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ nagmashot
        Go back to sleep
        • 5 Years Ago
        I talk about the perfromance the Team Falken Nissan R-33 and R34 GT-R showed in 10 years at the 24h at the Ring... powered by the Nismo 500hp JGTC engine it was not able to stay in touch with Porsche, Viper, DTM Opel and Audi...even in the wet it was not able to beat their main rivals... in 10years all they reached was 2 time 5. place several blown engines trannys and a car that nearly burned down...in the same time the Viper won 3times the 24h overall and finished 2times as second... a fact that is completely ignored by most US car nuts...

        The Honda NSX-R (JGTC GT1) which raced the 24h at the Ring was finished of after 8hours on the bumpy northloop... the bumps broke the backbone of the car... the connection between engine and tranny... it lost within seconds all it´s oil ....

        should I continue with their race highlichts during the 24h at the Ring??????
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think he's talking about the LF-A, which finished well behind such behemoths as the golf, and ford fiesta, in 2008. You have to walk the walk as he's said, and as i've mentioned, I don't get why toyota enjoys wasting their money so.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I Love this car. So wonderful and beastly.




      Lexus please make it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't care if it's on track, the bigger question is can it even complete qualifying. I'm at a loss to understand why toyota even bothers (and i own two of their products).
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Affalterbach,

        If you're too ignorant to know what "stilts" are as opposed to "stills," then I'm pretty sure your comment is null and void... lol
        • 5 Years Ago
        You guys take me way too seriously...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @zamafir

        "...I'm at a loss to understand why toyota even bothers (and i own two of their products)."

        Exactly! Toyota has a nice Camry-on-stills to sell you (Venza)......or even the hardcore-for-octogenarians Corolla XRS
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yup, just like how the GT-R took a giant sh** on the competition. For years people (myself included) kept saying that Nissan couldn't pull it off, at least not at the price point they claimed. Then what happened? They DID IT! Ha, then what did people start to say? "Oh, it's still ugly." Ha, I love how once the objective hard track facts are set in stone, people jump on the subjective boat of whether or not THEY think it looks good.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lexus LF-A to compete with Italian Exotics. Sounds kool, I hope this is another beast that comes from Japanese automaker.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a self admitted Toyota / Lexus supporter, i must say i am somewhat disappointed with the results of the Lexus LF-A at the 2009 24hr Nurburgring and Toyota's performance at Morocco (F1) on the same weekend.

      However, while i agree that Toyota / Lexus sell little in the way of performance machines to the general global market, i do however give credit and support to thier numerous efforts in injecting some 'motorsport' and 'performance machines'
      into the organisation which does not come easy for them but atleast give 'em credit for thier consistant persistance that i believe will eventually pay dividends in the years to come.

      F1 ... has always been a challenge yet Toyota has stuck it out year after year and so far this season they have certainly demonstrated some promise and currently sit 3rd in the Manufactuers Points.

      NASCAR ... well, lets be honest - this is one sporting avenue that Toyota (with thanks and recognition to Joe Gibbs Racing) that they truely excel at and have been either highly competitive or just simply dominating in wether it be the 'Sprint Cup' - 'Nationwaide Series' or 'Craftsman Trucks' not to mention have now secured a number of Manufactuer Titles over the past couple of seasons

      WRC ... Toyota no longer competes and folded thier highly successful Castrol Celica GT-4 Rally Team infavour of establishing what is now the Panasonic F1 team but before thier self-imposed dismise they infact secured 3 WRC Titles during the '90s

      Other Rally Championships ... not only has Toyota secured 3 consecative Australian Rally Championship (ARC) titles ('06, '07 & , '08) but has been highly competitive in the South African and European Rally Championship aswell with their highly modified S2000 Corolla's / Auris's

      As it stands (at the moment in time i write this comment) - Toyota's Motorsport efforts through-out the world is infact quite succesful despite the fact they exhibit limited 'production examples' of performance orientated vehicles with the IS-F, IS350, Blade Master G (Japan only) and TRD Aurion (Australia only) being the extent.

      Current Global Motorsport Standing (as of time of writing)

      * F1 ... 3rd

      * NASCAR

      - Sprint Cup ... 2nd
      - Nationwide ... 1st
      - Craftsman Trucks ... 1st

      * Japanese GT 500 & 300 ... 1st ( or is that 2nd)

      * Australian and South African Rally Championship using S200 Corolla's ... 1st
      • 5 Years Ago
      I REALLY don't understand all the Toyota hate around this place. Their products are some of the most reliable in the business. Their product quality, fit and finish are great! Hell, even their business model is obviously second to none. They have competed in and WON in IMSA GTP, WRC, NASCAR, CART. Hell, the GT-One didn't win the 24 hours of Le Mans, but came close except for a tire failure and even held the lap record on the course until the R8 LMP debuted. Don't think Toyota CAN'T be competitive in motorsports, it's just not as high a priority as some. I remember reading idiots spouting off on message boards years ago saying the Toyota Supra Twin Turbo was "Over-engineered. That's the only reason it can make so much power on stock internals." Excuse me, but I fail to see how that's a BAD thing. Please explain to me why you people do nothing but hate on Toyota. I would love to hear why they're such a "horrible" automaker when their products are the definition of quality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the point is their business model is upsetting to average joe tuner who can't afford a 250,000 car. The LF-A is a waste of time IMO for that person, because it doesn't put a Supra, MR2 or RWD Corolla class vehicle in the common man's hands, and it seems like a huge pat on the back for the company to celebrate F1 dominance, which they haven't been able to do.

        And as far as the Supra being "overengineered." Well no, its not a bad thing, its just that maybe they were selling an $80,000 car for $50,000 losing money on every one of them and now that everybody else can get one for $20-25,000 years later we find out how great a car it is. Toyota overbuilt the car and even though they cut the price they still priced themselves out of the market and people kept buying Corvettes and Mustangs. I don't think they can afford to do the same thing with the LF-A if people still decide to keep buying Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, ZR-1s and GT-Rs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not hate, it's curiosity. Audi's dominated Lemans for damn near a decade now, so your pre R8 talk is about 3 decades old in car speak (as, anyone who follows le mans knows, 3 years is about an eternity for any car).

        With a brand like audi, you see them dominating lemans, and you see them selling an R8, or an RS4, or a TT-RS. The only, one, singular, 'performance' car Toyota sells is the IS-F. That's it. Sure, they're contemplating a range, but if you've driven the car, it's hardly superior to the likes of the M3 or various AMG offerings (comparing apples to apples in this circumstance and skipping the awd iterations).

        Basically, like you've identified, toyota's priority until recently was producing reliable appliances, which is great, there's a huge market for it. But they've had little business producing fun cars since the supra peeked. Go drive an entry level 3 series, IS, and A4 on the track, it's pretty clear which one is NOT intended to be a fun drive. Which again, isn't bad, it's just a difference in focus. So when we see toyota trying so hard with this last great hope, it's odd, especially with zero current intentions to produce the car.

        I’m sorry if the general skepticism of the public has caught you off guard, it’s not going anywhere, especially with a true Japanese supercar already in the wings, and an American supercar just as quick, both for half what Toyota had indicated they’d sell this for. It’s just irrelevant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      LF-A work is pretty much completed, all they gotta do is stamp them out. When Toyota thinks the market is ready, they'll roll them out asap.

      Some pre-production number for LF-A at the ring:

      6:11.13 Porsche 956
      6:55 Radical SR8
      7:12 Radical SR3 Turbo
      7:14 Donkervoort D8 RS

      7:24 Lexus LF-A

      7:25 Nissan GT-R V-Spec
      7:27 Pagani Zonda F Clubsport
      7:32 Porsche Carrera GT
      7:32 Porsche 911 997 GT2
      7:38 Nissan GT-R
      7:39 Porsche 997 GT3
      7:40 Bugatti Veyron 16/4
        • 5 Years Ago
        there is no production LF-A
    • Load More Comments