If youre an EU resident whos interested in buying a brand new Lexus LFA, were afraid to report that your time is up after a two-year, 500 unit strong production run, the last of the forty LFAs that were destined for Europe has moved into its new home in Switzerland.
With the ten-year long, topsy-turvy From Concept to Carbon-Fibre Reality tale of Lexus first stab at a supercar coming to an end, we decided to look back on the long life of the LFA, and pick out the key features and milestones in its history that made the Lexus truly special amongst its peers.
The Carbon-Fibre was ACTUALLY woven
Fun fact for yall: though Toyota – the parent company of Lexus – is most famous for making cars, it actually has its origins in the fabric weaving industry, having developed loom machines in the late 1920s.
As a result, it seemed appropriate from a heritage perspective that the perceived best way to make the LFAs A-Pillar as structurally sound as possible was to weave it out of carbon-fibre using a specially commissioned loom.
Whilst it might not have been the most cost-effective way of fabricating such a crucial part of the cars structure, in a world where automated machines play a major part in even the construction of Ferraris, its refreshing to hear of a car maker using a notably different production method, especially with a very hi-tech material such as carbon-fibre.
And, as youll see from the video below, its mesmerisingly beautiful when in action…
There are several stand-out elements of the LFAs drivetrain (well, except perhaps the clunky single-clutch paddleshift box…), but the component that will perhaps be revered in years to come as one of the marvels of the automotive world is the engine.
Inspired by the V10s that powered the Toyota F1 cars at the time the LFA concept car made its public debut over eight years ago, the 4.8 550hp unit is perhaps nothing short of an engineering masterpiece.
Sure, its not exactly bristling with torque, but when it redlines at 9,000rpm, and the cacophonic V10 wail increases in its sheer ferocity as the needle on the TFT display rises, its a compromise we reckon is certainly justified…
The LFA Nrburging Edition Hiromu Naruses Lasting Legacy
On the 23rd June 2010, the world sadly had to come to terms with the fact Lexus chief test driver, Hiromu Naruse, had sadly passed away at the age of 66, after a fatal crash in an LFA Nrburgring Edition prototype.
It would have been very easy for Lexus to cancel the Nrburgring Edition project in the aftermath of the tragedy, but the development of the special edition LFA wasnt halted. And thankfully so, given its seen by many to be one of the finest supercars in existence.
With an extra 10hp, more downforce, 100kg less weight to lug around and grippier rubber over the standard 560hp, 1,480kg LFA, the Nrburgring Edition proved its might on the race track. In fact, with a 7:14 lap time at the Nordschliefe, its officially the fastest car ever to post an official time on non-racing compound tyres.
With that accolade to call upon, were certain that, wherever Naruse-san is, hes mightily pleased with the LFA Nrburgring Editions statistical status as one of the top road/track cars on the planet.
It forever changed the way we see Lexus
Back when the first LFA design study was shown in 2005, there was an element of doubt over whether or not Lexus was the brand that was ready to have its own bespoke rival to the finest from Maranello and Stuttgart.
Even when the car eventually found its way into the hands of the motoring press, there was still criticism over the car being a Lexus, with the prime example being Top Gears televised review on the LFA.
As soon as it became apparent that the 335,000 supercar wasnt an overhyped disappointment, though, the aura of the LFA and the brand that built it began to change. Whilst it didnt redefine the companys image overnight, it did go some way to make Lexus a bit more exciting than it did before.
Especially to the younger car fans of the world, who wouldnt normally be interested in a firm that was most well-known for executive limos like the LS 400.
And, with the LFA paving the way for the influence of the F marque in either trim levels (F-Sport) and fully-fledged models (the Lexus IS-F sport saloon), you could argue that, should Lexus become a super cool and desirable brand in the near future, well look back on the LFA as the car that set the ball rolling…
We could go on all day and devote several thousands of words about the Lexus LFA, its curious quirks and the fascinating tale it has to tell, but weve had to keep our LFA piece here to the bare essentials.
What wed love to know, though, are the aspects you admire the most about Lexus flawed-yet-fantastic first stab at a supercar, so feel free to tell us your favourite elements of the LFA in the comments section below!