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Lexus LFA

2011 Lexus LFA
Price: $375,000+
Engine: V10
Torque: 354 lb-ft.
Horsepower: 552 hp
0-60 MPH: 3 sec.
Top Speed: 202 mph
EST. MPG: 14 City/20 HWY
Available: Call Lexus ASAP

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Written by: Nicolas Bates
Photos by: Lexus

When I was younger, my mind malleable like the silly puddy in my hand, my step father tried to fuse my brain to the belief that Japanese auto makers were only good at one thing: making motorcycles. And that the automobiles they produced were by no means on par with American vehicles like Ford and Chevrolet. Thank you for divorce! I saw the flaw in this line of thinking and quickly grew an appreciation and respect for Toyota in my early teens. You do not compete and win in almost every form of racing on the planet without knowledge, dedication and talent. What's my point? Toyota can do anything they want, and right. Case in point: the 2011 Lexus LFA.

The 2011 Lexus LFA concept car first saw the fluorescent lights of a showroom in 2005 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI. In August of 2009, after undergoing chassis fabrication changes, (chassis material changed from aluminum to carbon fiber) Akio Toyoda confirmed the LFA's production. At that point the car was rumored to be powered by a V10. That October saw the introduction of the final production model of the LFA at the Tokyo Motor Show. It was powered by a V10.

The Lexus LFA is unlike any other Lexus on the road. The LFA makes its sibling, the IS F, look like a tame grocery getter. After years of potential time to ponder, Toyota opted to install a 552 HP V10 with 354 lb-ft of torque in their new supercar. The engine has more lightweight titanium in it than you can shake a stick at, and those lighter, stronger internals let this car rev up to a 9,000 RPM redline. The car is outfitted with a dry sump oil system, like many other supercars these days, and allows it to sit lower, and thus, lower the car's center of gravity. Toyota claims the LFA will get from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed just shy of 202 MPH. A 6-speed sequential gearbox will take car of the shifting needs while a Torsen limited slip differential takes care of the traction needs. The LFA has a curb weight of 3,263 lbs, and a healthy weight distribution at 48/52.

Like many other supercars, the LFA sports large scoops and outlets for cool air to enter and hot air to escape. The sides of the front bumper have huge scoops to let air in to cool the large 15.4" carbon ceramic disk brakes. There are large scoops on the outside of the car right at the c-pillar and below them as well, which almost follow the contour of the doors. The LFA looks like a revamped Mark IV Toyota Supra, but with an exotic, I saw a plastic surgeon 4 times, quality to it. The car spent a considerable amount of time in the wind tunnel, as its drag coefficient is a low 0.31. For added downforce, a rear spoiler exits the decklid after the LFA reaches 50 MPH. An amazing 65% of this car is made from carbon fiber. Lexus spent countless man hours learning to create new and stronger weaves for their carbon fiber, as they did not outsource this integral part of their beloved. Only 20 vehicles a month will be built so special attention to detail can be made.

Lexus, also being the luxury car designer they are, have not forgotten about safety. The LFA comes outfitted with crash boxes at the front and rear of the car, to absorb unwanted inertia. The front box is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, the rear, aluminum. The LFA is also featured with Lexus' Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management, which has a constant eye on your abs system, vehicle stability and traction control systems as you push the car toward its limits. The LFA is also outfitted with seatbelt airbags for both driver and passenger and a knee airbag for the driver. Safety has not been compromised for outright speed or power.

The Lexus LFA is part of Lexus' flagship team of vehicles (hence the "F") and wants to play with the big boys from the likes of Germany and Italy. You will pay a pretty penny, however, to play with this car. The LFA starts off at $375,000, and although Toyota had recently stated all 500 of its LFA's to be were allotted, they have since recanted and declared there are a few more for sale. I guess at a base price of $375,000 , they can afford to make a few more. However, here in the U.S., where we will see 150 of the 500 total cars, each car is only to be sold on a 2 year lease plan, preventing any individual seller from reselling the car for profit. Production will commence in December of 2010 and end in December of 2012.

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