In Detail: 2012 Lexus LFA Mark Levinson Audio System

Although the 2012 Lexus LFA seems like something out of the future, the car has been in development for more than a decade. In fact, the car was originally to be constructed out of aluminum rather than carbon fiber. The recipe was changed around 2007, as Toyota engineers looked for ways to make the LFA lighter still. Reducing weight to increase performance is so critical to a car like LFA that even the audio system was customized to be lighter. The 12-speaker, 12-channel, 1,002 watt Mark Levinson surround sound audio system utilizes Harman's new GreenEdge technology. GreenEdge means lighter, smaller components that run cooler.

Harman is the audio components company that's responsible for such brands as AGK, Harman Kardon, JBL, Lexicon, Infinity and the Mark Levinson automotive sound system found only in Lexus vehicles. The audio manufacturer realizes that power consumption and weight are becoming more of an issue for all cars, not just V10 powered supercars. As battery-electric and plug-in hybrids become more common, high draw electrical components will sap vital power as automakers try to extend range and increase fuel economy.

The LFA uses large 7x10 in. woofers with carbon fiber cones, and energy saving, high efficiency, low directivity tweeters and midrange speakers. The 12 speakers are powered by the same technology used in audio equipment manufacturer Lexicon's new high-fi multi-room amp. To save power, Harman uses high efficiency transducers (HiE) and high voltage amplification.

The LFA's sound system also uses all-new Class D power amplifiers. Harman says the system has been "...engineered using the patents and switching amplifier expertise from Crown International, this highly efficient amplification is combined with new, custom engineered high-output, low-distortion transducers." Translation: Harman has found a way to deliver great sound with hardware that's lighter and more efficient.

Granted, anyone who gets within 10 feet of a Lexus LFA will perhaps be more intrigued by the sounds coming from beneath its hood, but Harman's GreenEdge audio technology is already working its way into other, less exotic cars like the Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept and the Subaru Legacy GTk sport wagon concept.

Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 59: Lexus LFA:

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