Toyota’s luxury brand has just revealed specs for its long overdue 2011 Lexus LFA supercoupe. Being in the works for the last five years (it was January 2005 when the Japanese company first presented a sculptural model of the super-concept), the car is finally going to a limited production run of 500 units.
It looks like Lexus was actually forced into limiting the supercar’s production, because the new model actually sucks a great deal when compared to the current Nissan GT-R super-coupe.
Even while being motivated by a much more powerful 4.8-liter V10 engine capable of churning out impressive 560 hp @ 8700 rpm, it takes the LFA whole 3.7 seconds to sprint from zero to 60 mph and its top speed is limited at 202 mph.
The less powerful and 527 lbs heavier GT-R with its 3.8-liter V6 engine takes only 3.2 seconds to break the 60mph barrier and its top speed is only 10mph lower than that of its counterpart.
And, with an official price below $80,000, it is also 2.5 times less expensive than the Lexus LFA!
All things considered, the new car looks like an ideal candidate for the marketing disaster.
Although, if you really consider all things, it is not.
Developing this beautiful limited edition sports car, the Japanese car manufacturer actually turns to the Swiss watchmaking industry that has decades-worth of experience when it comes to selling luxury items with about 900 percent of added value.
The LFA’s main selling point is, of course, not its technical specifications: like a Rolex Submariner will never beat a Seiko diver in terms of accuracy, this new super car will have a hard time competing with vehicles that are manufactured by tens of thousands units per year. With such a small package to be produced and with so much manual labor involved, the car is doomed to be very expensive. It is going to be a Rolex surrounded by seikos.
However, this is exactly why Lexus will kill all the birds it needs with just one stone.
First of all, the car will probably sell out in days thanks to its exclusivity: on some markets, the brand will possibly sell no more than one or maybe two LFAs that will instantly make them more exclusive than a Ferrari California: everyone can have the Italian car if he or she has enough money to burn, but to get the LFA, you will need to have really good relationship with your local Lexus authorized dealer.
The second is, of course, the so called ‘hallo effect’ that Lexus is so interested in. Like the legendary Chevrolet Corvette helps the American brand sell more Cruzes, this new grand tourer without a doubt will increase the company’s market value and will make their not particularly inspiring SC and IS series of sporty cabrios and sedans sell like hot pancakes. It also proves once again that the Japanese car manufacturer knows a thing or two about industrial design and can produce a real work of moving art when their creativity is not restrained by the marketing department.
2011 Lexus LFA Specifications:
Price Range (estimated MSRP): $200,000
Body Type: 2-door coupe
Layout: V10 front engine
Engine: 560 hp @ 8700 rpm, 354 ft lb (480Nm) of torque, 4.8-liter, V10
Transmission: Six-speed sequential gearbox, Torsen limited slip differential
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/Wheelbase): 177.4 / 74.6 / 48.0 / 102.6 in
Ground clearance: N/A
Track (frt/rr): N/A
Curb Weight: 3263 lbs
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): N/A
Seating Capacity: 2
Direct Competitors: Nissan GT-R, Ferrari F430, Porsche 911