Lexus LFA Test Drive
Undeniably the new Lexus LFA is a thing of beauty. The athletic and slick new Lexus supercar boasts 552 horsepower at 8,700 RPM, a 4.8-liter V10 engine and 354 lb.-ft of torque at 6,800 RPM. It goes without saying this car is a dream to drive. Read on for the first-hand account of the experience.
I was excited as I made my way towards the Fontana Speedway, where I would be test driving the new and incredible Lexus LFA
. Any racecar fan will appreciate my enthusiastic anticipation of riding shotgun with driver Scott Pruett.
If you do not follow automotive news, allow me to give it to you straight: this is the first and only Lexus supercar. In fact the closest that any car comes to the LFA within the Toyota family of production cars is the Supra, yes, the Supra.
After arriving at the racetrack, I was greeted by the sounds of a Yamaha-tuned Lexus supercar flying around the speedway. Only a handful of individuals were present on that otherwise quiet morning. The intimate event consisted of only a few journalists, publicists and Bruce Jenner, longtime friend and teammate of Scott Pruett. After soaking up the pure beauty of the LFA, I fitted myself with a fireproof hood and helmet and jumped in.
The interior of the LFA hugs you almost as well as the car hugs the road. Drivers have the ability to modify the dash to suit their mood and driving needs: you can toggle between WET, AUTO and SPORT mode, naturally suited to make you feel like you are driving a race car, or NORMAL mode, which is tailored to the more everyday drive. Similarly, owners can choose to drive and shift, or allow the car to change gears automatically. Naturally the LFA is not the sort of automobile to offer superior trunk space, however buyers do receive two pieces of Tumi luggage as a gift with purchase, custom made to fit perfectly in the space that is there.
After my quick tour of the cockpit, Scott inquired as to my comfort with speed. I told him to open it up; he took me to a heart-pounding 177 mph (the LFA's top speed is 202). He was nice enough to slow down to about 135 on tight turns. It was better than any roller coaster I can think of; the adrenaline rush is superb. Wishing I could have ridden alongside Scott for the majority of the day, I dutifully emerged from the supercar and forfeited my place to the next journalist. Before long it was my turn again: this time I was behind the wheel. The LFA reaches 60mph in 3.6 seconds, so naturally I hit 100 with zero effort.
When I had the joy of test-driving the LFA there were only two in the United States. A decade in the making, the LFA has been slowly unveiled during auto shows throughout the world; a highly anticipated car that enthusiasts have looked forward to for years. Made in Japan, the new Lexus supercar is already living up to its name: LFA stands for Lexus Future Auto. The 6-speed, single clutch, paddle-shifting roadster is gorgeous. Every car made is hand-built with an array of colors and interiors available. Lexus has stated they will make only 500 LFAs, with only about 170 of them destined for the US, making them one of the most enviable vehicles on the road.
The cars' bumpers are constructed of aluminum, making them easy to repair should the need arise. Paired with a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic body and chassis, the combination contributes to the LFA's ultra-low 3,263lb curb weight. A few of the LFAs (around 25 in total) will be available as the Nürburgring Edition, which will run you a cool 70k extra. Springing for the upgrade gets you black mesh wheels with dedicated high-grip tires, a sport-tuned suspension and for better handling: a larger front spoiler along with a fixed rear wing that naturally improves the cars' high speed down force. Need one more reason to purchase the limited edition LFA? According to Lexus, "In addition to the Nürburgring vehicle specifications, a package of special privileges is included in association with the Nürburgring course itself. The perks comprise, but are not limited to, private parking, co-pilot ride, one night at the Lindner Congress and Motorsport Hotel Nürburgring, private training with Nürburgring chief driving instructor, a Nürburgring branded jacket, as well as a one-year annual pass valid for driving on the Nordschleife and admission to ring°werk leisure park."
The Finish Line: the LFA is an amazing piece of machinery, lets leave it at that. Secure one now, they are going to go fast. Not that they don't already. The Lexus LFA starts at $375,000. See the full specifications from Lexus.
By Courtney Driver