CarAdvice has been given an exclusive sneak peak at the first and only Lexus LFA supercar in Australia. It’s car number 60 out of a total build of just 500 LFAs, and one of only nine allocated for this market. If you want one, you’re way too late; they’re all sold, at a cool $700,000 a pop.
Exclusivity alone means the Lexus LFA has already secured a top spot in the annals of supercar history, but there’s a lot more to this hand-built masterpiece by the Japanese luxury carmaker than meets the eye, although ‘eye candy’ it surely is.
Ten years in the making, the LFA is a ‘super-exotic’. It features no fewer than three types of carbon fibre weave, making up 65 percent of the car’s chassis. That makes it four times as stiff as an aluminium space frame. Of special note is that the carbon fibre material is of aeronautical grade and woven by one of only two laser monitored circular looms in the world.
Using experience from the punishing Nurburgring 24 Hour race in Germany, the heart of the Lexus LFA is a bespoke front mid-mounted 4.8-litre V10, with titanium valves and connecting rods along with diamond-like carbon silicon-coated rocker arms. It’s an extraordinary engine, even as far as supercars go, and will happliy rev from idle to 9000 rpm in an astonishing 0.6 seconds. That’s so quick that it requires a ‘fast reacting LCD needle’ designed to exactly replicate the V10’s acceleration. The old-school analogue dial simply can’t keep up.
Tap the hand-milled aluminium accelerator pedal and anywhere above 3000rpm you’re in for a treat. The LFA’s soundtrack from its naturally aspirated V10 is similar to that generated by an F1 car at maximum revs, and best heard from behind its unique triangular three-pipe exhaust. If you ever get up close to an LFA at full throttle, make sure you’re wearing earplugs.
The LFA goes like an F1 car too, with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 325km/h.
Two-piece carbon ceramic brakes with six-piston calipers up front and four at the rear are standard fit, while grip from the massive 305 bespoke asymmetric Bridgestone tyres should be prodigious.
One thing you won’t find on the LFA is a dual clutch transmission (although it was tested with the LFA), but rather a six-speed automated sequential gearbox that not only weighs less but offers a more involving shift. To give you some idea of the detail that has been engineered into this car, the downshift paddle requires more force than the upshift paddle. There are literally hundreds of examples of this kind of intricacy throughout the LFA in Lexus’ quest for a world class super sports car.
It might be one of the world’s fastest cars, but inside the Lexus stamp of quality has been taken to an unprecedented level with the cabin trim featuring super-soft hand-finished leather and Alcantara, matched with glossy carbon-fibre panels. I seriously doubt there are more comfortable sports seats than the orthopedically designed pews in the LFA.
You still need to turn the ignition on with a traditional key and then hit the starter button, but that’s a routine you won’t get sick of when you hear that F1-style starter whine before the V10 fires up.
The Lexus LFA – an extraordinary piece of performance engineering and well worth a high-speed test drive. We'll bring you a full road test and review as soon as the car is available for a steer. Stay tuned.
Read more about the Lexus LFA.