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Lexus LFA prototype spied lapping the Nurburgring with new bodywork

This could be a prelude to a new Lexus flagship

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The Lexus LFA was a real engineering tour de force. Sure, it was stuck in development hell for years, and the 4.8-liter V10's 552-horsepower output wasn't super impressive when it came out, but it integrated a ton of expertise Toyota gained from its F1 team in the early to mid 2000s. Unfortunately, it didn't sell well. Last year, we found there were a few new models sitting on dealer lots, five years after the 500-model run ended. Still, it looks like Toyota may not have given up on the idea of a race-derived flagship for Lexus, at least based on this prototype running around the Nürburgring this week.

At first glance, the car pictured here looks like an LFA with the Nürburgring Package and some camouflage on the front and rear fenders. If you look closely, you can see that the fenders are significantly wider than on the standard LFA. Based on the license plate, this appears to be the same car with two different sets of wheels. Lexus may simply be swapping out worn tires, or they may be testing different wheel and tire combinations to fit the wider wheel wells.

Anything beyond this is just speculation. There have been rumors of a new flagship Lexus sports car that sits atop the LC 500 and LC 500h. We saw the Toyota GR Super Sport Concept back in January, though that car looks nothing like what we see here. As much as we would love that sweet Yamaha co-developed V10 to carry over, we're not holding our breath. Some sort of hybrid powertrain is almost a certainty. Maybe Lexus and Toyota could pull some tech from its Le Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid race car.

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Lexus LFA Information

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