It takes a while to get around the Nürburgring Nordschleife – around seven minutes in even the fastest of machinery with the best driver behind the wheel. But apparently it takes even longer to get around to releasing a special edition Nürburgring package that makes your go-fast supercar even more track-friendly.
We're talking, of course, about the Lexus LFA Nürburgring package, ToMoCo's six-figure V10 supercar fitted with extra kit for track duty. Lexus announced last May that they'd make 50 examples, and the better part of a year later, confirmed that it would finally be unveiled to the public at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Now less than a week away from its debut, Lexus has given us some additional details and images of the car which we only saw from three angles until now.
So what do we need to know? For starters, that extra ten horsepower isn't meant to give the Nürburgring package-equipped LFA a quicker acceleration time. Nor a higher top end, either. The ten-horse boost is included to counteract the drag of the giant rear wing that helps keep the track-focused supercar glued to the Karussell. Also, while we knew the 'Ring edition LFA could be had in white, black (matte or glossy) or orange (as pictured), Lexus has also confirmed that the interior can be trimmed in all black, black and red, or black and purple (a good match for the orange exterior if you were ever formerly known as 'Prince'), and only European customers, for some reason, will get the full carbon-fiber interior.
There are more details to soak up in the press release after the jump, plus a new crop of images in the gallery below. But we'll leave you with one more salient detail: Lexus is offering buyers one-on-one instruction from a 'Ring master (or mistress) and a year's free pass to lap the Nordschleife to your heart's content. Of course, this is included in the $70,000 premium that the Nürburgring package commands over the already lofty $375,000 purchase price of an LFA. Tack on another $20K for the matte black finish, of course.
LEXUS PRESENTS LFA NÜRBURGRING PACKAGE
- Lexus reveals special performance package for its LFA supercar at the Geneva motor show
- Nürburgring Package offered as an option on a maximum of 50 cars – just 10 per cent of the total LFA production run
- Designed for more track-focused performance through additional aerodynamic elements, lowered suspension and engine revisions
- 10bhp increase in power from V10 engine to 562bhp ensures LFA's 0-62mph acceleration time of 3.7 seconds is maintained
- LFA production underway since December, with one hand-crafted car completed per day
- Use of advanced, automated Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) production processes serves as a test bed for future models
To sharpen the car's circuit driving performance even further by increasing downforce at high speed, the Nürburgring Package introduces modifications and additions to several key carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components. These include a larger front spoiler, fin-type side spoilers, a canard fin and a fixed rear wing.
To ensure the LFA maintains its 3.7-second acceleration time from nought to 62mph, in spite of the increased drag, the V10 engine has been revised to increase maximum power by 10bhp to 562bhp. Shift times in the six-speed sequential transmission are just 0.15 seconds.
In terms of handling modifications, the package features suspension tuning and a 10mm reduction in the ride height. Exclusive mesh-type wheels are introduced, fitted with dedicated high-grip tyres.
Exterior colour choices are restricted to matte black, black, white or orange, with interiors finished in black and red, black and purple and all-black. Cars delivered in Europe will feature a carbon fibre centre console and door trims, with carbon fibre sports seats finished in Alcantara.
Customers who specify the package will also be offered one-to-one driving tuition from a Nürburgring chief instructor and a year's pass to enjoy their car on the famous Nordschleife circuit.
CFRP parts manufacturing
LFA production began in December with just one hand-crafted car completed per day. A team of 175 people are involved in CFRP parts manufacturing, vehicle assembly and painting.
CFRP is exceptionally strong, rigid and lightweight, and accounts for about 65 per cent of the LFA's body structure weight. This amounts to a saving of about 100kg, compared an equivalent all-aluminium body.
Lexus is producing and assembling the CFRP components in-house, with a view to future development of the technology. It is a time-consuming process, compared to working with steel or aluminium, but the LFA project provides a valuable test bed for new, automated processes which will be used in the manufacture of future Lexus and Toyota models.
Different manufacturing technologies are used according the shape, role and required properties of each component.
- Pre-preg: this is an industry-standard composite sheet material made of carbon fibre, pre-impregnated with epoxy resin. It is used for the LFA's main structural elements, such as the dash, side and cross-members and panels.
- Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM): this is dry sheet fabrication, with epoxy resin injected into the mould. It is mainly employed in the LFA's secondary main frames, such as the crash boxes, roof side rails and vehicle floor.
- Carbon fibre – Sheet Moulding Compound (C-SMC): this is used for fabricating the upper body components and frames that have complex geometries.
The LFA assembly line moves through five consecutive processes, each of which has been digitally validated. For the first four – sub-assembly, underbody, small aluminium parts and main body – adhesive bonding is used. Final assembly of the aluminium parts is by mechanical fastening.
This is the first time Lexus has used adhesive bonding for main body assembly, a process that has required new quality control measures to be implemented to ensure each of the five stages involved in the bonding meets the required criteria.