October 05, 2012
Lexus: a manufacturer of executive saloons. Comfortable, quiet, serious, and not that fast, right? Er…not quite. According to Haruhiko Tanahashi, the LF-A’s chief engineer:
We've all been driven by the passion to create a world-class Lexus supercar that will challenge the finest sports cars ever built.
That’s some claim, but the LF-A is every bit a supercar, with wild external styling, high-end sports trim and an insane commitment to high-speed thrills that you never expected from a Lexus.
Let’s start with those spectacular pipes. They don’t just look cool: Lexus worked with the musical instrument division at Yamaha to acoustically tune the engine attached to them. Tanahashi describes the sound as “the roar of an angel”. The screaming V10 rips up and down the revs like lightning and redlines at an ear-splitting 9,000 RPM, which doesn’t sound especially angelic, but is fortunately just loud enough to be heard over your own maniacal laughter.
The sculpted shell is made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, because aluminium wasn’t light enough and carbon alone won’t sustain the inspired curves of this dramatic supercar. We love everything from the slick contours of the front to the sharp angular rear.
The TFT tach is reputedly the only display that could keep up with the engine, and switches display depending on which driving mode you select. Hit Sport, and it makes your stats bigger and pushes the redline to the top of the screen. That is so cool.
The LF-A is very light, thanks to all that carbon fiber and a V10 that’s smaller than a V8 and lighter than a V6. Every one is hand built and signed by the engineer at Lexus responsible for it, which makes you feel very special. Not as special as the explosive performance, though. 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph put the car firmly in supercar territory, and the superbly planted handling makes it equally comfortable on the racetrack.
In Most Wanted, there’s practically no downside. The LF-A is as happy decimating your friends’ SpeedLists as it is taking them down online or taking in the unofficial sights of Fairhaven.
Rip through the streets of Fairhaven leaving cops, your friends and what’s left of the city trailing in your wake.
So overall: an ultra-exclusive Lexus that’ll satisfy your inner hooligan, outpace a supercar and look cool as hell doing it.