• Aug 5, 2010
Lexus LFA – Click above for high-res image gallery

Shortly after the LFA supercar was unveiled last fall, Lexus announced that it would only be available to lease in the U.S. Toyota's intent was to drive speculators out of the market for its $375,000 supercar by forcing owners to hold onto the car for at least two years. Once the lease was up, customers would then have the option to buy the car outright. That two-year lease, by the way, costs the princely sum of nearly $300,000, which Lexus wants upfront as part of its 1Pay Lease Program rather than in monthly installments.

Lexus has apparently had a slight change of heart. According to a letter delivered to Autoblog by an LFA intender (see below in gallery), American customers will now be able to buy the LFA outright, but only on the condition that they sign an agreement giving the dealer first right of refusal to buy back the LFA if the owner wants to sell it within the first two years. The dealer will have the option to buy back the used LFA for either fair market value or the original sticker price, whichever is lower.

What happens if an owner sells the LFA within two years having not given the dealer the chance to buy it back first? The dealer is owed the difference between what the buyer originally paid for the car and what he sold it for, plus any legal fees. So whether you decide to lease or buy the LFA, Toyota is going to considerable lengths to ensure that no speculators will make a profit on reselling the LFA during the first two years.

Though 99.9 percent of Autoblog readers are most likely not in the market for an LFA, we're still curious if Toyota's tactics strike you as fair or would deter you from handing over your inheritance for a car that comes with strings attached, so have your say in Comments.





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  • 86 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      its sad to see how people are influenced by their own country. people say that all foreign cars are bad because they are not made by their country.

      i live in canada, and i HATE GM. in fact i hate dodge, jeep, etc. ford is the only appreciable american company out there.

      its a lexus. yes. DEAL WITH IT. I'm sure if you tried building your own car from scratch, you would want people to drive it, not just take it and sell it again. Geez people grow up, not just your physical self.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Keep in mind that the entire reasoning behind this move is to thwart speculators who just want to park the car in a garage for a short amount of time and flip it for a profit. A car like this should be owned by someone who truly appreciates the engineering that went into it and the capabilities it has. Someone who loves it and cares for it and knows how to hit an apex and actually drives it and raps the rpms up and takes it to a track and....

      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think I would want to sell this thing anyway. Even if I could think about affording one, I would almost certainly keep it for more than two years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I had $400,000 to spend on a car, I would never in a million years consider a purchasing experience that required me to jump through hoops.

      I'd just walk into a Ferrari dealership, and walk out with a one-year-used car with 2,000 miles on the clock (for half the price of the LF-A). Hassle would not be in my vocabulary.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You do realize that Ferrari dealerships make their buyers sign the exact same thing for their cars, right? You'd have the exact same hassle, and far more annoying maintenance requirements (go look up how much money the Ferrari services are).
        And for the record the "cheaper" Ferrari's people like to talk about cost just as much as the LFA once you actually look at how much dealerships get for the cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        >Hassle would not be in my vocabulary.

        Until you started to drive the thing, then I'm sure the frequent, expensive scheduled maintenance and repairs would give you a whole new meaning for the term "hassle".
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Though 99.9 percent of Autoblog readers are most likely not in the market for an LFA, we're still curious if Toyota's tactics strike you as fair or would deter you from handing over your inheritance for a car that comes with strings attached . . . "

      No. I don't think Toyota's tactics are fair. If I am leasing the vehicle and Toyota's 'do not sell within two years' policy is part of the terms and conditions of the lease, then one agrees to that once they've signed on the dotted line.

      However, if I 've placed my cash on the table and purchased the vehicle outright, then the car becomes my property. And as the owner I have the right to do with it as I please. Sell it. Give it away. Or whatever I choose. Toyota's jurisdiction ends once the deal is done.
      • 4 Years Ago
      this has got to be the biggest fu to the consumer; and given the Toyota reputation of late I find this action over the top for such a non-important piece in automotive history.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Sports Car Advisor - it's been to the ring several times, failed due to reliability issues twice, and finished at the top of it's class, a comfortable distance away from the big boys (audi, porsche, bmw). So credit where it is due, lexus is improving, they don't have a ton of experience in international endurance races with supercars so it's going to take them a while... though given their performance in F1, I wouldn't be holding my breath for any outright finishes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yeah, i could see if this car wins 12 hours of sebring or Le Mans and becomes an important car, but it's unproven eye candy at this point.
      • 4 Years Ago
      man with business practices like this, If I were a billionaire, I would buy it...just to destroy it right in front of the dealer and say ok, you can buy it back now, at sticker ;)
        • 4 Years Ago
        The letter said fair market value or sticker, whichever is LOWER. What do you think the fair market value of your destroyed LF-A would be, and do you think it'd be higher than sticker?

        Reactionary comprehension fail.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I buy the car outright, its mine. No one is going to tell me what to do with my property. They can keep the Lexus LF-A, I'll take my Aerial Atom.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Damn, I agree with you. I never would have seen that one coming...
        • 4 Years Ago
        They must have consulted with Steve Jobs on this one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well until you own the car it's Lexus' car and they don't want the next buyer to be someone only buying it to resell for a profit. And they have every right to try and find an owner that'll buy the car because they love it and not because they love making money.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No one's going to tell you what to do with your property?

        So, if you buy a car, you won't obey speed limits or other rules or the road? After all, the car is your property. Why let anyone tell you what to do with it?

        But seriously, every LFA is the property of Toyota, until they decide to do whatever _they_ want with it. The public doesn't get the right to purchase any good on the free market merely because the thing exists.

        This contract is just like any other: either you're ok with the terms, or you don't sign it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So how much will dealers be marking this thing up?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seems that Toyota is bound and determined to make this car 'exclusive.'

      $400k for this? "Well, we're only gonna make a few of them, so they're collectible, even if they're not worth the money."

      ...but I can only lease it - in a one-time payment of $300k?? "Oh no - you can definitely buy it...but you can only sell it back to US, so that we get to make ALL of the sales, both new and used..err, 'pre-owned,' and artificially control their value to make sure everyone knows what they're worth!"

      yeahhhh, nothanks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      LMFAO, 375.000 for any Toyota , Lexus branded car is insane, Toyota and Lexus need to address their reliability problems before putting out a car that would cost 375,000...I think Mr Toyoda is smoking something pretty hard, LOL .

      Omg I can not stop laughing at the thought of a Toyota that cost 375,000, I mean come on any Toyota today that is costing over 10,000 is a questionable buy with Toyota's problems, LMFAO let along a lol 375,000 dollar car from toyota we hope it will stop, lol good one Toyota, your so funny ,LOL ..

      I like to meet the fool that buy this car, Omg not to metion there are fords and Hyundai's that look better then this car! Heck even their own toyota tocoma with the hood scoop look better then this 375,000 mess!
      • 4 Years Ago
      They should make it the price paid for the car or market value as the dealers will certainly gouge on a car like this. Heck, they're trying to gouge on a 2011 Honda Odyssey!
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