Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lexus LFA V10 supercar - $375k

Toyota became the hit of the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday with the debut of its $375,000 Lexus LFA supercar. The 747 freighter that will bring it to America is already warming up its engines.


Toyota plans to show off the car at the SEMA aftermarket parts show in Las Vegas next month - Drive On will be there to bring you the blow-by-blow - and the Los Angeles Auto Show in December. Whew! When you've got it, flaunt it.

ALSO ON DRIVE ON:Pair sentenced for bombing cars with rocks in freeway stripping sex game AND How many other Toyota models could you buy for a single Lexus LFA?

TOMORROW ON DRIVE ON:Can you identify Mystery Car 5?

But will Lexus sell any? We'll have to see the full specs, but if it performs as intended, more than a few rich sports-car freaks could defect from German and Italian exotics. But as is with most two-seat supercars, selling out all 500 that will be built isn't the point:

The goal is to get Lexus lovers' hearts pumping, get them to see Lexus in a new way. The LFA will be hand-built, so whether Toyota can sell a lot or a few isn't a big issue. What is a big issue is that everyone can see that Lexus can kick sand in the face of Mercedes-Benz and BMW - and play in the same sandbox as Ferrari.

“Only 500 will ever be built worldwide, and each will be assembled to customer order, offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of a small, exclusive group of individuals,” said Mark Templin, Lexus division group vice president and general manager.

What about performance? The LFA is a rear-wheel-drive sports car with a 4.8-liter V-10 that puts out 552 horsepower. Top speed is 202 miles per hour with a six-speed gearbox and paddle shifters.

The car is all about stunning weight reduction. Lightweight aluminum alloy suspension components are complemented by carbon ceramic brake discs. The body is carbon fiber reinforced polymer. It's going to be done in-house. Rather than outsource this sophisticated materials technology, the LFA team is developing its own carbon-fiber processes for ultimate quality control and to make an engineering investment in the future.

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