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.
Related GalleryTokyo 2009: 2011 Lexus LFA
Related GalleryLexus LFA
Live Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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