1 of 1 LFA Nurburgring 4.8L V10 562 HP 6 Speed ASG
- 1 of 50 Nurburgring Editions
- 1 of 1 color combination
- 562hp 4.8L V10
- 6-speed ASG
- Carbon fiber body
- Alcantara interior
Since its debut in 1989, the Lexus division of Toyota Motor Company had been praised for building high quality luxury cars. By the end of 2007, that reputation for quality netted the company annual sales in excess of 500,000 vehicles worldwide. While checklist items like comfort and reliability were always part of the brand's image, extreme performance was not. In early 2000, Lexus executives decided it was time to add speed to their repertoire by building a limited run supercar. Developed over nine years under codename P280, the end result was the stunning LFA coupe. The initial run consisted of 500 units with a base price of $375,000. The Nurburgring Edition, a circuit tuned variant, appeared in 2012. With only fifty produced and a price tag starting at $445,000, it is one of the most exclusive, expensive and impressive cars to ever come out of Japan. RK Motors Charlotte is proud to house one of those fifty cars.
Despite an absolutely endless array of interior options, Lexus opted to limit exterior choices to four colors on the Nurburgring Editions: Matte Black, Gloss Black, White and Orange. White is Japan's traditional racing color, so it makes sense that this Japanese supercar wears a glossy coat of Whitest White. Under that paint, a carbon fiber body has been fashioned with the sole intent of cutting through air as quickly as possible. Up front, a small gap under the hood forces air into the engine bay. The mirrors have been designed to channel air directly into the large vents that help cool the rear brakes. Absolutely every piece of this car serves a distinct purpose. The angles are sharp and the profile is low but neither come at the expense of aesthetics. From every angle, this Lexus is thrilling to look at.
The most obvious feature between the Nurburgring edition and the base LFA (if any LFA can be considered a “base” model) is the large fixed carbon fiber reinforced plastic wing. When combined with the exclusive front dive planes and a deeper carbon fiber front spoiler, the Nurburgring trim increases downforce by nearly a third while claiming a drag coefficient of just 0.31. With a 202mph top speed, this is no small consideration. While many cars can claim low drag coefficients and high top speeds, few are as well rounded as the LFA. When placed in the hands of Lexus driver Akira Iida, the Nurburgring Edition completed a lap around its German namesake in just 7.14. It is the fastest lap ever posted by a production car on street tires. Disregard the tire situation and it's still the fifth fastest lap posted by a production car – just a few down from completely mental cars like the Radical SR8 and Gumpert Apollo that seriously blur the line when it comes to being “production” models.
At the heart of the LFA is a hand built 72-degree 4.8L V10 producing 562 hp and 354 lb. ft. of torque. That power translates to 3.6 second 0-60 times and 11.4 second quarter mile runs right off the showroom floor. Developed exclusively for the LFA, there is no other engine in the Toyota family that resembles the 1LR-GUE. In many ways, it functions like two 5-cylinder engines. Each bank of cylinders receives its own airflow path complete with its own mass air flow sensor and air box. The plenum box is divided internally and sits on top of ten independent throttle bodies. Fuel is delivered via traditional port injection. Performance was at the forefront of every decision and it shows in a number of areas. Internals consist of forged aluminum pistons, forged titanium connecting rods and solid titanium valves that help make the 9,000 rpm redline sustainable. Dry sump lubrication was chosen to ensure the hand built engine stays lubricated through high speed corners. Compression is 12.0:1 and the engine is capable of revving from idle to redline in 0.6 seconds. Lexus engineers wanted to the LFA to sound like a F1 car and it's safe to say they achieved that. The engine roars to life before settling into a quiet idle. At the upper end of the tachometer, the sound is nearly indescribable. Toyota engineers have been cited as calling it the “roar of angels”.
Backing the V10 is a rear-mounted six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox operated with paddle-shifters. To tailor the driving experience, there are four pre-programmed settings: auto, normal, sport and wet. Drivers can also opt to override the system and go fully manual if the opportunity arises. Power is sent to the road though a Torsen limited slip differential that turns a set of 20 inch forged aluminum BBS wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza tires. When it comes time to slow down, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes get the job done quickly. The front setup is a 15.4 inch rotor with six-piston monoblock calipers while the rear wears slightly smaller 14.2 inch rotors with four-piston calipers. The front suspension consists of control arms while a multilink arrangement keeps the back end planted. The primary suspension pieces including the remote-reservoir monotube KYB dampers are aluminum. All of this is housed within a carbon fiber reinforced polymer monocoque with aluminum front and rear subframes.
Depress the recessed door handle and a fully customized interior awaits you. Lexus provided buyers the opportunity to choose the color and texture of nearly every piece in the car so finding two completely alike is highly improbable. The lightweight bucket seats are wrapped in red Alcantara as is the console, carbon fiber steering wheel and door panels. Black Alcantara covers the dash and headliner. There are carbon fiber accents throughout as well. Being a Lexus, there is naturally a fair amount of technology at play in the cabin. In the center of the console, the Remote Touch controller interface operates a plethora of features including the stereo, navigation system, back up camera and even personalized vehicle settings. The gauges are elegant thin-film transistor pieces with color changing backgrounds, different sized fonts and side-appearing submenus depending on what mode the car is in. According to Lexus, analog gauges were not an option because of how quickly the car can rev. The paddle shifters are metal pieces located behind each side of the steering wheel while the start button is located on the right side of the wheel.
One of the coolest things about cars of this caliber is the level of comfort, convenience and prominence their purchase affords. Not only did this white glove Lexus come with a set of matching luggage, it also served as the inspiration for a limited edition lithograph produced by Artmachines.
Only time will tell if the LFA is a one-time excursion for Lexus or the beginning of a lasting performance legacy. Either way, it is one of the most impressive looking and performing Japanese sports cars ever created. While rarity doesn't always ensure collectability, it's safe to say that Nurburgring Edition LFA's are exactly the kind of cars that will anchor future collections.
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