Lexus LFA Supercar Inverness

The car’s construction is where the money seems to go. There’s a bespoke, high revving normally aspirated 4.8-litre V10 (with 552bhp and 354lb ft), which comes mated to a six-speed sequential auto. The LFA is rear-wheel drive, and boasts a near perfect 48/52 front/rear weight distribution, thanks to the engine being front-mid mounted and the transmission being at the rear.

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Lexus LFA Supercar

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The Lexus LFA is finally here. It’s a car with a rather long development phase – nine years – with oodles of test mules spied and some racegoing LFA’s competing in recent Nürburgring 24 hour races to help fine-tune the road car.

Perhaps the inflated development period is one of the reasons for the equally large price – around £336,000 at current exchange rates. That puts it in the same ballpark at recent supercars such as the Porsche Carrera GT and McLaren Mercedes SLR, and well over £100K more than a handling pack-equipped Ferrari 599 GTB. So what does it do to justify such a stocky outlay?

Well, the performance is fairly impressive – 0-62mph in 3.7sec and a 202mph top speed – but both figures are bettered by some of the market’s much cheaper supercars.

The car’s construction is where the money seems to go. There’s a bespoke, high revving normally aspirated 4.8-litre V10 (with 552bhp and 354lb ft), which comes mated to a six-speed sequential auto. The LFA is rear-wheel drive, and boasts a near perfect 48/52 front/rear weight distribution, thanks to the engine being front-mid mounted and the transmission being at the rear.

Key to the LFA’s dynamics is its lightweight construction, with the chassis and bodywork consisting of CFRP – carbonfibre reinforced plastic. It offers four times the strength of aluminium while weighing in at around 100kg less on an LFA-sized chunk. As a result the car is 1480kg, leading to a potent 379bhp/ton power-to-weight ratio, more than the Ferrari 599. The engine’s 115bhp/litre specific output is also ten per cent better than the Prancing Horse’s.

Dynamically, the car has had extensive development at the Nordschleife, with wishbones for the front suspension and a multilink design at the rear. Both feature extensive use of aluminium to save further weight, something also achieved by the stonking carbon ceramic brakes.

Customers can choose to delete options such as the stereo to make things even lighter, but with the LFA straddling supercar and GT genres, it’s hard to see many people obliging.

LFA production will be strictly limited to 500 cars, with a maximum of 20 cars made per month and each V10 engine being put together by a single engineer – bespoke touches that go some way to justify the price tag.

We’ve driven the Lexus LFA, and you can read our views in Issue 138 of evo, on sale November 11 2009.

Click here to see a video of the new Lexus LFA supercar

New! Click to see the LFA's launch at Tokyo

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Author: Stephen Dobie

Lexus LFA supercar