Lexus LFA Review
The Lexus LFA is a car you'll know about if you're a car enthusiast. It's high pitched exhaust is seductive.
Chief engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi has poured obsessive hours into the ten-year development of a car that aspires to embody the hopes and dreams of car lovers and provide an otherworldly driving experience.
What we love:
- It's a supercar, and its road legal
- That sound
- Uncompromising efficiency and mechanics
- Really hard to find anywhere!
Lexus LFA review
Only 10 of these cars ever reached Australia. So what makes the Lexus LFA so special?
Breaking the record for the fastest lap of Nurburgring for a standard road car isn't the only cool thing about this car.
Body and Engine of the Lexus LFA
The exterior is an aerodynamic shape of swoops, angles and long lines. The car looks violent and high tech, but it's what you can't see that makes the frame of this car interesting.
The LFA chassis and bodywork is made almost completely of carbon fibre reinforced plastic, keeping the weight down to just 1,480 kilograms. The car body's final components are 65 per cent carbon fibre and 35 per cent aluminium alloy, making it light and rigid.
Image courtesy of Car Advice
The engine is made from aluminium, magnesium and titanium alloy, smaller than a V8 and weighing as much as a V6. The electronic individual throttle body control, dry-sump lubrication system and intricately engineered lightweight internal parts allow the rapid rev increase that's appreciated more as the car ages.
In Sports mode, the rear wing lifts to reveal polished alloy struts. From behind, the standout feature is a three-pronged exhaust. The gearbox is mounted at the rear, to perfectly balance the car's weight distribution, and shares the transmission tunnel with the exhaust, allowing the weight of driver and passenger to be as centred as possible.
Lexus LFA Cabin
The LFA is actually comfortable enough to be used as a daily driver. The soft leather seats are supportive and luxurious, and the interior design is minimalist and clean. Materials used include carbon fibre, hand-stitched leather, and individual pieces of forged aluminium.
Even the steering wheel is made from carbon fibre, sitting neatly in front of the driver display screen with features like a lap time clock.
The infotainment screen is artistically incorporated so that you'll hardly notice it. The driver display has digital dials, and changes from black to white when you enter Sports mode.
Driving the Lexus LFA
You'll get from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just 3.7 seconds. The top speed is 325 kilometres per hour. The engine has a low-friction design so titanium valves and connecting rods can rev to 9,000 rpm and higher in just 0.6 seconds. There's a digital rev counter on the dash so it can keep up, an analogue meter wouldn't cut it. It sounds like an F1 car used to sound (really).
In every detail, the Lexus LFA is designed to engage it's driver completely. You have to insert and turn the key before you hit the 'engine start button'. The paddle-shifters are mounted on the steering column for better control. Paddles are weighted individually so you can feel each isolated gear change. The lightest touch takes you up a gear, more force shifts you down.
There's still 12 unsold in the US - Image courtesy of Car Advice
The car is grounded, with vice-like grip through high-speed corners, at one with the race-tuned electric steering even under massive load. Most drivers will leave the LFA in auto even on the track, the shifting is so accurate even at high revs, perhaps using the paddles to downshift into corners.
The brakes are carbon ceramic discs, powerful and accurate. Braking late is absolutely no cause for concern, even when pushing the high end of this car's potential after a few hours at the track.
Driving at everyday street speeds, the gears are really light. On the open road you'll notice that there's no cruise control, so you'll have to keep half an eye on the speedo. Apart from this, the LFA is quiet, comfortable, and almost spacious enough for touring.
Who's the Lexus LFA 2015 for?
The high-pitched sound of the engine will turn heads, the 'Batmobile' looks of the car will keep them staring. There were only 500 of these built by Toyota, so if you're lucky enough to buy one, you could even be making an investment.
Don't buy this car unless you have the opportunity to take it to the track. For the exorbitant price you pay, you want to make the most of this performance vehicle, and take any opportunity to explore its outer edges. For overall dynamic driving experience, you absolutely cannot beat the Lexus LFA, if you can find one.
If you can't, you might consider the new Lexus LC500, which you can buy for $190,000. It's from the same factory as the LFA, the on-road and affordable concept-shaped car, built on an all-new platform.
Price: $750,000 when new, now worth over $1 million.
Engine: 4.8L naturally aspirated Yamaha Dual VVT-i V10, 412kW/480Nm
Transmission: single-clutch six-speed sequential transmission
Tyres: Bridgestone 305/30 ZR20s at the rear, 265/35 ZR 20s at the front with asymmetrical tread for all track conditions.
You can finance a Lexus LFA 2015 from $3,400/week*, get a quick quote to find out exactly what it will cost to drive this exotic supercar.
*Over a 5-year loan term.