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.
'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
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)
Plans call for live on-line coverage of the team's progress in the race at GAZOO Racing's (Japanese)