• Oct 21, 2009

2011 Lexus LFA - Click above for high-res image gallery

It seems like the Lexus LFA has been around forever. In reality, the first concept version was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 2005, but that's a long time in the automotive world. Additional concepts followed in 2007 and 2008, and the on-off rumors of a production version haven't help. Nevertheless, the production version of the LFA is finally here at the Tokyo Motor Show, and it is glorious. All of which makes it harder to stomach that the car shown here isn't expected to reach customer garages until early 2011.

The specifications of the new rear-drive Lexus supercar are impressive enough: a 4.8-liter V10 with 560 ps (552 bhp), 354 lb-ft torque, a zingy 9,000 rpm redline, six-speed sequential gearbox, 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 202 mph. It looks amazing too, both in pictures and in person.

Of course, we can't help but make comparisons to the current reigning Japanese supercar, the Nissan GT-R. At just 3,263 pounds, the LFA easily has a better power-to-weight ratio, but that hasn't seemed to stop the all-wheel drive juggernaut before. Then there is the small matter of cost to consider. Unlike the GT-R, which is considered a performance bargain, the LFA will be exclusive – and costly. Only 500 units will be produced at a cost of...drum roll please....$375,000. Despite the colossal price tag, we hear that Lexus expects to take a loss on each one.

Will the LFA be worth the high cost? We should be able to tell you soon, as our man Damon Lavrinc will be getting some time behind the wheel of a prototype later this week. Until then, you can check out some amazing video of the LFA after the jump and live photos in the high-res galleries below.




Live Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.





PRESS RELEASE:

Tokyo, October 21, 2009 - Lexus announces today the official launch of the LFA, a two-seat supercar scheduled to go into production at the end of 2010 as the pinnacle of the Lexus "F" premium sports car series. Pre-sales start today.

Ultra-responsive and extremely stable even when taken to the edge, the LFA creates a sense of reassurance that opens up a new world of driving emotion, exhilarating the senses to move the driver in more ways than one.

The LFA combines high output, superb chassis design and meticulous aerodynamics to achieve instantaneous total-vehicle response characterized by high-rev, seamless acceleration echoed by a self-defining resonance from its 4.8-liter V10.

Only 500 units of the LFA are to be produced and sold worldwide.

A prototype of the LFA is now on display at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show, which is open to the general public from October 24 to November 4 at Makuhari Messe in Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture.

1. Packaging brings out the most in fundamental performance

Strong and light

The newly developed 4.8-liter V10 engine boasts exceptional power, while lightweight materials (aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy and titanium alloy) and a very compact size (smaller than a conventional V8) allows for optimal weight distribution and an exceptional power-to-weight ratio.

Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) cabin enhances high body-rigidity and reduces weight. This unique cabin is 100kg lighter than a comparable aluminum cabin. Detailed analysis and precise matching of CFRP materials allows for high rigidity and low weight. LFA CFRP production technology, including unique CFRP-to-metal joining, was completely developed by Lexus.

Balanced
Relatively higher weight components such as the engine and transmission are placed within the wheelbase. A low center of gravity is made possible by the use of dry sump lubrication1, along with placing peripheral components (oil pump, water pump) behind the engine. Furthermore, optimal placement of the transmission and the fuel tank in front of the rear axle adds to this application of centralized mass. This minimizes weight shift during cornering and contributes to outstanding performance and stability. Lighter weight components, like the radiator and electric fans, are placed behind the rear axle.

Combined with a front-engine and rear-wheel-drive configuration, the short, wide and low body allows the LFA to achieve its target front-to-rear weight distribution of 48:52.

Driver-centered
The driver's seat is positioned near the LFA's center of gravity. The centralized seating concept (with the seat between the front and rear axles and closer to the left–right center) is made possible by the use of a rear transaxle and vertically stacked torque tube and exhaust pipes reducing the width of the center tunnel. The driver placement is aimed to provide maximum car-to-driver feedback, especially under sport or high G-force driving conditions.


2. Emotive performance embodies an extraordinary driving experience

High–rev engine

Titanium valves, ultra–light weight rocker arms with a diamond–like coating and a fully integrated lower crankcase that reduces pumping losses at high RPMs combine to provide the driver with overwhelming acceleration right up to the 9,000rpm redline. The LFA's purpose-built V10 delivers 90% of its peak torque between 3,700rpm and 9,000rpm.

Precise Response

Independent, electronically controlled throttle bodies ensure precise air-feed to each of the 10 cylinders, enabling immediate engine response from the accelerator pedal. The engine response time is approximately half the normal response time of a single-throttle valve.

The six-speed ASG transmission features heavy-duty synchronizer rings and a newly developed gearshift actuator, providing the driver with a very direct shift feel. Four selectable driving modes and a seven-stage shift-speed selector that results in upshift speeds down to 0.2 seconds provide a higher level of driver control.

Track-sized high-performance (Carbon Ceramic) CCM brake discs and Electronically Controlled Braking system generate ultra-powerful yet stable braking.

Responsive handling and engaging dynamics

The very light and rigid CFRP cabin, combined with a front double-wishbone suspension and a rear multilink suspension, result in a very stable, controlled ride. Detailed aerodynamic engineering results in elements such as a flat underbody, a diffuser and a speed-controlled rear wing, which allows precise vehicle response at all vehicle speeds, thus creating unity between driver and machine.

Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management integrates numerous vehicle dynamic functions that provide a high level of vehicle stability and preventative safety without interfering with the driver's intentions, especially when sport driving.

Exciting engine sound and L-finesse2 design
Equal-length exhaust manifolds combined with an equal-length dual exhaust system routed through a multistage titanium main muffler fine tunes the exhaust note.

An acoustically tuned surge tank linked to 10 individual throttle bodies creates a powerful induction sound. The coordination of intake and exhaust sounds overlap at various RPMs to create a unique, exciting and inspired soundtrack.

The exterior design includes carefully tuned aerodynamics and airflow management. The use of CFRP, in addition to strength and weight advantages, frees up the design of the exterior panels allowing a fresh supercar L-finesse design. The interior design combines state-of-the-art instrument-panel design and technology, along with a variety of custom-tailored interior trim packages to suit the most discerning driver.

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 255 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      sooo your paying a thousand dollars per lb-ft of torque?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Boudu
        An F1 car doesn't even weight half of what this thing does... and besides, they make like 1,000 hp... not to mention the F1 car is far more aerodynamic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You want torque go buy a Viper.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jordan,

        Lexus makes 416hp/371ft-lbs tq from their own DOHC 5.0L V8. That's more torque than their V10. Jaguar's DOHC 5.0L V8 makes 385hp/380ft-lbs tq, again more torque than this V10.

        I don't know what the Coyote V8 will put out, but just because this particular 4.8L V10 is limited to 354ft-lbs tq, does not necessarily mean every other N/A ~5.0L engine is stuck making less.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right - or in this case 3 Vipers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Paul P.
        you are correct. the ISF makes 371 torque and Jaguar makes 385.
        thx
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry Lexus, but this just isn't a $375k car. $175k would be just about right. Toyota is shooting itself in the foot by trying to recoup so much of the development costs. If they hadn't kept stopping and starting development for so many years, they could have priced it more along people's expectations. I predict that they will sell almost none of these in Europe, and very few in the US. Lexus just does not have much cachet with the people who can afford to buy a $400,000 car. Lexus is a brand for the upper middle class, not the very wealthy. How many NSX's was Acura selling at $90k? And now Toyota expects to sell this at $400k? Obviously the LFA is much more advanced than the NSX, but Honda could barely pull buyers away from 911s (which, btw, is a much larger audience), how is Toyota going to pull even more exclusive buyers away from the established supercar brands? Brands that have a long and storied history of building fantastic sports cars and race cars stretching back for decades. Lexus is a brand with a history of building Japanese Buicks.

      Also, reading many of these comments, it is very depressing to see so many so-called car enthusiasts who obviously know nothing about how engines work and develop power. In order to rev to 9000 rpm, you have to have a short stroke on your crankshaft. Long stroke engines just can't rev as high (just like the figure skater analogy mentioned earlier). Torque equals force X radial distance (T=F*D), where the force is generated by the combustion in the cylinder, and the radial distance is 1/2 of your stroke. Shorter stroke allows for high revs at the expense of torque. But, since HP = T * RPM (with some unit conversions), high revs reduce torque but make more horsepower at the top end. Toyota stated that they wanted to showcase their F1 involvement, which means they need a high-revving engine like F1 cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Independent, electronically controlled throttle bodies" - perhaps they should have bought a 1996 BMW and looked at double VANOS.

      "speed-controlled rear wing ... creating unity between driver and machine." ROFLMAO!
        • 5 Years Ago
        double VANOS has nothing to do throttles. Just dual camshaft phasers.
        Regular BMW engines are single throttle, besides the V12.
        Valvetronic is something else [intake valve lift scaling system], and only revs to 7K
        BMW M engines are [were] multi-throttle. McLaren F1 s70/2 had 12 throttles along time ago.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey Mike,

        Right I meant valvetronic.

        My dad had a '32 Ford with a flathead that had 8 throttle valves. My point is that this engine is supposed to be so advanced - one would expect a valvetronic-like system.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or Valvetronic + double VANOS. 2001
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds fantastic!

      On that note the engine has a smaller profile then a "reg" size v8 which means the bore and stroke is gonna very small. One reason it can rev to 9k RPM. A shorter stroke usually means less torque. Try getting a mustang to rev to 9000k. not gonna happen AND have that much torque. but just reading the press release it says that 90% of the torque is available between 3700 - 9000 RPM which should make for great driving.

      And The 458 Italia is a great car but I don't know what's up with the styling, the front end not some of their better work. the headlights and where they meet is weird at the bumper. But the LFA hands down has one of the greatest interiors I have ever seen in a Supercar

      And the type of person looking at cars in this price range isn't really scouring over his bank records to see IF he can afford one or if it makes more financial to buy a DBS or a Porsche. Carrera GT was WAY above most 911's when it came out and people didn't squabble over the price.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Financial Crisis?

      Perfect.

      Let's launch a supercar that looks so-and-so."

      LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Toyota: designed for those of us that feel "meh." is good enough."


        I take that back - I actually like the Venza.
      • 5 Years Ago
      THREE HUNDRED ANS SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.


      Why would ANYONE but a Fast and Furious ricer pay that for this car?

      Car's I would take over this crap:
      ZR1
      Ferrari 458 Italia
      Lambo LP560 (preferably twin turbo-ed)
      911 turbo PDK
      GTR
      • 5 Years Ago
      not groundbreaking. not worth it. for fun, put a Ferrari badge on it and see what that does to how beautiful you think it is. To be honest, I don't like the new Italia either, but This could just as easily be a carbon fiber Supra and even with the carbon fiber, not groundbreaking. Its only saving grace is they want to make 177 One-77 for some even more ridiculous amount of money over a million. Who knows if that will be a great car either? Its slightly better than I thought it would be at double what I thought is would cost. Maybe they mean for it to compete with a 599. It is better looking than that, but otherwise will get trounced.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i really dont think the design is worth any  were near the price ......it's not as drastic or expressive as say a 599.....and for a v10 power suckes.....coulda had a v8...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or it could have had a smoother running V12.

        I don't get the appeal of a 10 cylinder engine. The cylinder count is not divisible by 3 (power strokes per revolution, 60 degrees apart) or 4 (as in four cycle engine).

        It is divisible by two power strokes per revolution, but that just makes 5, and 5 isn't divisible by 2, 3, or 4 either It seems like it would have to be an odd firing order by necessity, which makes it less smooth than a V8 or a V12.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The front looks like a Jack-o'-lantern's face! And strangely, I like it. I just might have to carve an LFA pumpkin this year.

      A shame the car's so expensive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't think this car worth 20 Camry's, doesn't matter how fast it can run. Also I think Toyota should stop the L-finesse design crap for upmarketing. Oh according to the article, it should be L-finesse2. New technology I guess.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Waiting for the obligatory post from Mike W ranting about how the gear/diff ratio's are all wrong.
        • 5 Years Ago
        MikeW will most likely also complain about the inadequate number of gear ratios. Why would a LS460 have 8 gears and this super car 6?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You'd figure that they would go tall gearing, for a very race like authenticity. Half speed F1 engine.
        Revving to 9K: 1-60mph, 2-90, 3-120, 4-150, 5-180, 6-210

        Ideally they should have a 7 speed double clutch, so they can match what you can get in a $75K Cayman S [what they hey, check all the option boxes]

        Mileage is of no concern once you crest the 100K threshold, so you don't need the supercruise gear, that the 8 speed auto gives you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweet Jesus that's ugly.
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