Lexus ends production of LFA supercar (2012)Mon, 17 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800
The final example of Lexus's carbonfibre supercar – the LFA – has rolled off the company's Motomachi production line in Japan, bringing to an end a seven-year journey from the initial concept model, and two years of LFA production. It's surely the longest gestation and shortest lifecycle of any car in recent memory.That final Lexus LFA will be worth a few bob in years to come then...
Indeed it will. The final example built was a Nurburgring Package LFA, painted white. It's one of just 50 track-orientated editions of the LFA, set apart with a large carbon rear wing, front winglets, lighter alloy wheels wearing sticky Bridgestone tyres, and a 10kg weight drop from a regular LFA.
Mind you, the lucky owner had to stump up a not-inconsiderable £346,752 for the car. That's around £50,000 more than a regular LFA, yet Lexus allegedly never made a profit from its infamous halo project.So was the LFA just a vanity supercar?
It's easy to be harsh to the LFA. The car's long gestation saw a switch from aluminium to carbon construction, and performance numbers that were fast overtaken upon the car's release.
Its 4.8-litre Yamaha-tuned V10 paid tribute to Toyota's fruitless F1 exploits, but by the time the LFA arrived in 2009, F1 had switched to V8s. And although 552bhp can hardly be called small-fry, your common-or-garden BMW super-saloon can match that nowadays.
Still, the LFA stands out as one of the all-time greats to emerge from Japan. CAR picked it over the 691bhp Lamborghini Aventador when we tested the cars back-to-back in 2011, thanks to its supreme driver engagement and pure driving experience. Meanwhile, Ben Barry returned from the 'Ring full of praise for the limited-edition Nurburgring Package car. And of course, don't forget the outrageous noise...
Toyota's luxury arm now promises there'll be LFA know-how in your next Lexus. The company says the carbonfibre knowledge it gained from the venture will see duty in its future cars, and there'll be design elements too. Cabin details from the 2012 Paris motor show LF-CC concept were clearly LFA-inspired, setting a template for similar treatment in the new Lexus IS saloon.
By Ollie Kew