For their 20th birthday Lexus went crazy and built a supercar. But what a car! The LFA is like no other Lexus, with F1 technology, 65 percent carbonfiber construction, 200 mph (322 km/h) top speed, and one of the best engine notes in the world. The 4.8-liter V10 is so fast-spinning that it can rev from idle to 9,000 rpm in 0.6 seconds—too fast even for a conventional tachometer.
The six-speed sequential gearbox has just one clutch for faster changes and a choice of seven different shift speeds. Dry sump lubrication, alloy subframes, and a rear transaxle highlight the LFA’s F1 origins. With such cutting-edge technology, Lexus lost money on every LFA they built.
A team of 175 engineers built the LFA in a dedicated factory, turning out one car a day. Numbers were limited to only 500 units and customers were specially chosen because they would not resell their cars for a profit. The last examples built were Nürburgring spec, good for 562 bhp and the most expensive Japanese road cars ever sold.
Body is special carbon reinforced polymer for extreme lightness.
Engine is front-mounted for perfect weight distribution.
Engine note is piped into cabin by twin sound ducts.
Carbon tub is made using one of only two laser looms in the world.
Rear Brembo brakes have four pistons and ceramic discs.
Speed-sensitive rear wing rises at over 50 mph (80.5 km/h) to aid down force.
The design was hugely radical for traditional Lexus and meant to endow the brand with badly needed sex appeal and glamour. Using carbon-fiber saved 220.5 lb (100 kg) over an alloy body and helped give the LFA a halo of technological modernity.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Lexus LFA (2009)
BODY STYLE Two-door, two-seater coupe.
CONSTRUCTION Carbon-fiber, aluminium.
ENGINE 4,805cc V10.
POWER OUTPUT 552 bhp.
TRANSMISSION Six-speed sequential.
SUSPENSION Double wishbone, multi-link.
BRAKES Four-wheel ceramic discs.
MAXIMUM SPEED 202 mph (325 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 3.6 sec
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 7.6 sec
A.F.C. 17 mpg (7.2 km/l)