The waiting is finally over, and Lexus has taken the wraps off the production version of its eagerly-anticipated LFA supercar in Tokyo. A visual amalgam of the various LF-A Concept vehicles that started appearing in 2005 and the GT racers that have been entered in the "near-production" category at various European endurance events since 2008, the street version of the hyphen-less LFA matches high profile looks with even higher-profile performance credentials as it prepares to go head-to-head with cars like the Audi R8 and Mercedes AMG SLS. The mechanical good stuff starts with its titanium-intensive 4.8-liter V10 that makes 552 horsepower at a stratospheric 8,700 rpm. It sends those ponies to the rear wheels via a six-speed paddle-shifted sequential manual transaxle teamed with a TORSEN limited-slip differential. Lexus says that's sufficient to send the LFA streaking from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and propel it on to a top speed of 202 mph.
Dynamic assists for the LFA's competition proven all-alloy suspension include a specially-tuned, tri-mode version of Toyota's VDIM integrated stability/traction control systems, electrically assisted power steering and Carbon Ceramic Material (CCM) anti-lock brakes complemented by ultra-grippy 20-inch Bridgestone Potenza ZR20 tires wrapped around BBS alloy wheels. Construction that matches 65 percent Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) with lightweight alloys keeps the LFA's curb weight to a mere 3,263 pounds, which is distributed in a near-ideal 48/52-percent split.
Intermixing supple leather, Alcantara and aluminum trim, the LFA's driver-centric cabin features deeply bolstered power-adjustable bucket seats, a flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel and liquid crystal displays teamed with a full range of creature features including dual-zone auto climate control, HDD Navigation with rear-view camera and a Mark Levinson premium sound system.
Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager, summed up the status of the division's "F-line" enthusiast-grade flagship by noting that its development was unlike any other car in the portfolio. "Minute details were engineered to provide an engaging and serious supercar that delivers impressive performance on and off the race track. 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." Construction of the first of LFAs will start in December 2010 and the run will be completed within 24 months. The price of admission for an LFA opens at a heady $350,000-$375,000, not including any of the myriad available "personalization" options. For a closer look at the new Lexus LFA, visit the LFA microsite.