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Lexus LFA Officially Unveiled in Tokyo [Video]

Following years of speculation, some extensive spy material and several leaks, Lexus has finally unveiled its very first supercar. A prototype of the two-seat LFA is now on display at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

Official details reveal some stunning figures which give meat to recent videos. The sound heard on that video is partly because of equal-length exhaust manifolds mated to an equal-length dual exhaust system and routed through a multistage titanium main muffler. The LFA is indeed powered by a naturally aspirated V10 displacing 4.8 litre (4,805cc). Thanks to its aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy and titanium alloy construction it is actually lighter than a normal V8 engine.

Maximum power is an assuring 412kW (560hp) made at a screaming 8,700rpm while peak torque is 480Nm at 6,800rpm. Ninety percent of torque is available between 3,700rpm and 9,000rpm. It all goes to the rear wheels via a 6-speed ASG transmission featuring heavy-duty synchronizer rings and a newly developed gearshift actuator. A 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds is claimed while top speed is 325km/h (202mph).

The relatively low weight of 1480kg (3,263 lbs) was achieved through measures such as carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) cabin, said to be 100kg lighter than an equivalent aluminium one. Total vehicle length is 4.51m, width is 1.90m and height is a midget-sized 1.22m. It features a double wishbone front suspension and a multilink system at the rear. Brakes are carbon ceramic material to make stops as quickly as possible. The LFA gets 265/35ZR20 (95Y) front tyres and 305/30ZR20 (99Y) types at the back.

Aerodynamic elements include a flat underbody, a rear diffuser and a speed-controlled rear wing. The interior can be custom-tailored to suit buyers' needs while showing off a very high-tech instrumentation design.

Only 500 units will be sold worldwide between the start of production in December 2010 and when it ends in December 2012. A more race-focused model will be introduced in 2011. Suggested minimum prices are US$375,000 (€250,720). Prices in Japan will be ¥37.5 million a unit.

 

Source: Lexus
Published Oct 21, 2009 7:30 am By Thami Masemola

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  • Lexus’s 21st century supercar delivers extreme, race-bred performance, with advanced technologies and absolute exclusivity

  • Powered by mid-front mounted 4.8-litre V10 engine with 9,000rpm red line

  • Rear wheels driven through bespoke, rear-mounted six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG)

  • Maximum power 552bhp, maximum torque 480Nm

  • Nought to 62mph acceleration in 3.7 seconds, top speed 202mph

  • Extensive use of advanced materials, including Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) construction and Carbon Ceramic Material (CCM) brakes

  • Production limited to 500 examples

  • UK launch price €368,000 (approximately £336,000)

INTRODUCTION

The new LFA marks an important moment in both the history of Lexus and the development of the supercar. A true “clean-sheet” design, the LFA was created by a small, passionate and dedicated team of engineers whose achievement has been to push the boundaries of technologies materials and engineering at every stage to produce a car like no other to have carried the Lexus badge.

Constructed using advanced carbon fibre technology, the rear-wheel drive LFA is powered by a bespoke, high-revving 552bhp 4.8-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine, matched to a rear-mounted six-speed sequential automatic transmission, giving 200mph-plus performance.

In the words of Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi: “The LFA is a thoroughbred supercar, a machine engineered to achieve a single goal – to deliver a supreme driving experience. Over the past decade we have pushed every boundary in pursuit of this goal and I believe we have created the most driver-orientated car we possibly could.”

CARBON FIBRE CONSTRUCTION

Keeping the car’s weight to an absolute minimum was one of the defining elements in the development of the LFA and this led to the decision to switch from using aluminium for the car’s construction to advanced Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) for the chassis and bodywork.

Moreover, Lexus decided the CFRP structure should be built in-house rather than by a third-party supplier. In doing so, it drew on Toyota Motor Corporation’s heritage in textile weaving technology to push the boundaries of its technical abilities, developing new carbon fibre looms and a laser system for monitoring the integrity of the material.

At four times the strength of aluminium, CFRP gives the LFA an exceptionally stiff and strong structure, and also delivers major weight advantages, saving around 100kg on an equivalent aluminium body. CFRP accounts for 65 per cent of the body-in-white, with aluminium alloy used for the remaining 35 per cent.

Unlike the few other vehicles on the market that use CFRP construction, the LFA uses the same advanced resin technology favoured by cutting-edge aerospace programmes for its unmatched weight and strength properties.

ENGINE

The heart of the LFA is a bespoke, naturally aspirated V10 engine that sets new standards for compact dimensions, lightweight architecture and scintillating performance. From the outset it was determined the engine should have a 4,805cc capacity, develop 552bhp and rev to a wailing 9,000rpm red line. A 72-degree angle between the cylinder heads is ideal for achieving balance in the engine for exceptionally smooth running, while providing individual, electronically controlled throttle bodies for each cylinder gives excellent throttle response.

Using a dry sump lubrication system allows the block to be positioned deep in the engine bay, lowering the car’s centre of gravity and moment of inertia, and enabling the engine to handle sustained, high-speed cornering.

The V10 produces 480Nm of torque at 6,800rpm, 90 per cent of which is available from 3,700rpm all the way to the 9,000rpm red line, thanks to Dual VVT-i technology, equal length exhaust manifolds and high-volume, 12-hole fuel injectors. This gives searing in-hear acceleration at all engine speeds and in any gear: nought to 62mph takes just 3.7 seconds and maximum speed is 202mph.

With a kerb weight of 1,480kg, the LFA has a power to weight ratio of 373bhp per tonne, while specific output of 115bhp per litre is among the highest of any current supercar, aided by a high, 12:1 compression ratio, low friction internals and optimised intake and exhaust flow.

In spite of its potency, the V10 is an object lesson in compact and lightweight packaging, being about the same size as a regular V8 engine and weighing about as much as conventional V6. It is also as reliable and refined as any other Lexus power plan and exceeds Euro 5 emissions standards.

The engine was developed in conoctction with Yamaha through the established collaborative partnership between Toyota Motor Corporation and the Japanese specialist engineering company.

TRANSMISSION

The formidable performance of the V10 is managed through an equally advanced transmission, a purpose-designed six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG) that drives the rear wheels via a limited slip differential. To help achieve the optimum 48:52 front-to-rear weight distribution, it is contained in a transaxle mounted over the rear axle.

The ASG is operated by paddle shifts mounted on the steering column and is engineered for exceptionally fast shifts: an upshift can be effected in just 0.2 seconds.

The system has four driving modes: Auto, Sport, Normal and Wet, activated by a selector dial on the dashboard. Each mode has a specific gearshift programme, and engine and brake control logic systems to let the driver tailor the car’s performance to suit driving conditions.

SOUND

The LFA’s acoustics, induction system and exhaust notes have been specially tuned to deliver an awesome “soundtrack” that expresses the car’s extreme performance, both outside and inside the cabin. Referred to by the acoustic team as “Octave Harmony”, it is inspired by the sound of a Formula 1 engine at full revs and is unlike that of any other road car, with different harmonic qualities created as the engine moves up towards its maximum 9,000rpm.

BRAKING

The LFA has one of the most advanced and powerful braking systems fitted to any production car, appropriate to meet the demands of its 200mph-plus performance capabilities.

The brake discs are made of Carbon Ceramic Material (CCM), which as well as being lighter than steel, gives fade-free performance in all conditions. The front discs are 390mm in diameter and 34mm thick, gripped by six-piston aluminium callipers; the rear discs measure 306mm across, are 28mm thick and are fitted with four-pot callipers. All use high-friction micron pads, manufactured exclusively for use with CCM brakes.

SUSPENSION, WHEELS AND TYRES

The track-tuned suspension is the result of intensive development work carried out by Lexus at the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit to give the best possible balance between control and comfort.

The bespoke wishbone front/multilink rear design makes extensive use of aluminium alloy for high strength and low weight, and the aluminium monotube dampers are the same as those Lexus used for its LFA race car in the Nurburgring 24-hour race.

The 20-inch forged aluminium BBS wheels are shod with asymmetric Bridgestone tyres: 265/35ZR20 at the front and 305/20ZR20 at the rear.

AERODYNAMICS

The LFA boasts class-leading aerodynamics to achieve drivetrain cooling and superb high-speed handling and stability. Extensive wind tunnel testing helped produce a wind-cheating profile with a drag coefficient of 0.31, a remarkable achievement given the degree of downforce the car creates at high speed.

Airflow is precisely controlled over, under and around the car. A carbon fibre rear diffuser and flat underbody generate significant downforce, with an active rear wing, complete with a gurney flap on the leading edge, boosting the level further still.

STEERING

The race-tuned steering gives outstanding response and feedback to create a perfect dynamic link between car and driver. The constant-rate rack and pinion system uses an innovative column-assist Electric Power Steering System that does not sap engine performance.

The large-diameter column shaft is mounted directly on the central chassis structure, giving the steering layout exceptional rigidity. The carbon fibre steering wheel has a flat bottom section and houses the engine starter button and instrument information selector switch. It can be adjusted for reach and rake.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

Dictated by its front-mid engine layout, long wheelbase and short overhangs, sophisticated aerodynamics and low-slung cabin, the LFA’s lines flow from roof to sill in a seamless convex to concave line. As well as its low weight and high strength, carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) also gave the designers more freedom to create shapes, curves and edges that would have been impossible with metal.

The styling remains true, however, to the principles of L-finesse, the design rationale behind all current Lexus models. Form follows function, as witnessed n the numerous air intakes and aerodynamic details, and even in the design of the door mirrors, shaped to channel air over the car’s shoulders into the rear intakes.

INTERIOR DESIGN

The low-slung cabin is divided into three zones: the mechanical zone, which includes the skeleton of the car’s construction; the human zone, with two seats placed right at the centre of the car; and the driving zone, with high-tech instrumentation that brings driver and machine together.

The cabin is hand-built, with driver-focused ergonomics. The seats, upholstered in fine leather and Alcantara, provide the high level of back and side support needed in a car capable of 200mph-plus performance. The trim echoes the advanced materials used in the LFA’s construction, with exposed areas of both matt and gloss carbon fibre. Trim details are finished in brushed metal and the floor-hinged brake and throttle pedals are made of forged aluminium. As with the exterior finish, owners can choose different interior colours and details to suit personal taste.

INSTRUMENTATION

The compact, hooded instrument panel combines an LCD display panel with a colour Thin Film Transistor (TFT) and a motor-drive movable ring. It features a single circular dial with a central tachometer with an LCD needle. When engine speed exceeds 9,000rpm, the display area turns red to prime the driver for an up-shift. It can also be programmed to turn yellow or green when the revs reach a user-selected range. The dial also houses a digital speedometer and gear indicator, transmission mode, vehicle control data and trip information displays.

An information selector switch on the left side of the steering wheel lets the driver toggle through a series of functions, including customising the data display, adjusting cabin illumination and operating a track-ready stopwatch system.

When the car is started, an instrument display sequence is triggered, creating a sense of occasion, culminating in the four digital dials showing oil and water temperatures, fuel level and oil pressure radiating out from the centre of the rev counter to take up their positions on either side of the central dial.

SAFETY

Passive and active safety provisions are in line with the LFA’s exceptional performance. The central carbon fibre reinforced plastic central structure is extremely strong and provides excellent impact protection. Crash boxes are fitted front and rear that are designed to deform in a controlled fashion in the event of an impact. That at the front is made of CFRP; that at the rear from extruded aluminium. Side impact protection includes strong and rigid carbon fibre side members and door structures comprising an aluminium inner panel and a Glass fibre reinforced Sheet Moulding Compound (G-SMC) outer skin.

The LFA is equipped with Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) system, which co-ordinates the smooth operation of the ABS, vehicle stability and traction control systems as the vehicle approaches its performance limits, based on critical data on brake operation, yaw and roll rates, individual wheel speed and longitudinal, lateral and vertical acceleration

Passive safety features include two-stage adaptive front airbags and seatbelt airbags for driver and passenger and a driver’s knee airbag.

MANUFACTURING AND SALES

The LFA programme was launched in 2000 as a straightforward R&D project, but gained impetus with the appointment of Haruhiko Tanahashi to lead a dedicated team of engineers, committed to a bespoke Lexus development programme. The first LFA prototype was completed in 2003 and a design study made its public debut at the 2005 Detroit motor show. In 2008 and 2009 the LFA was entered in the Nurburgring 24-hour race, the intention being to push the car hard under testing conditions prior to its official launch as a production-ready model at the 2009 Tokyo motor show.

The LFA will be hand-assembled at the Motomachi plant in Toyota City. Only 500 examples will be built, at a maximum rate of 20 per month to ensure the finest build quality and attention to detail. Each V10 engine will be assembled by a single engineer, and will bear his signature as testament to each LFA’s bespoke status.

The UK launch price for the LFA is €368,000 (approximately £336,000). Owners can choose from an extensive range of options to personalise their car, including 30 different paint finishes. Certain items of standard equipment can also be removed, such as the audio system, to reduce the car’s weight.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE

Engine Type

1LR-GSE

Cylinders/arrangement

V10

Valve mechanism

40-valve DOHC

Displacement (cc)

4,805

Bore x Stroke (mm)

88.0 x 79.0

Compression ratio

12.0:1

Fuel Injection Type

EFI,

Octane Rating

95 or higher

Max. Power (bhp @ rpm)

552 @ 8,700

Max Torque (Nm/rpm)

480 @ 6,800

Max. engine speed (rpm)

9,000

Exhaust emissions certification

Euro 5

PERFORMANCE

0-62mph (sec)

3.7

Max. speed (mph)

202

DIMENSIONS

Overall length (mm)

4,505

Overall width (mm)

1,895

Overall height (mm)

1,220

Wheelbase (mm)

2,605

Track (mm) front

1,580

Track (mm) rear

1,570

Overhang (mm) front

940

Overhang (mm) rear

960

Coefficient of Drag (Cd)

0.31

Fuel tank capacity (litres/gallons)

73/16.1

WEIGHTS (kg)

Kerb weight

1,480 – 1,580

Gross vehicle weight

1,700/1,750

TRANSMISSION

Gearbox type

6-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox

Front counter gear ratio

1.259

Gear ratios

1st

3.231

2nd

2.188

3rd

1.609

4th

1.233

5th

0.970

6th

0.795

Final drive ratio

3.417

Maximum permissible speed (mph)

1st

52

2nd

76

3rd

104

4th

136

5th

172

6th

-

BRAKES

 

Front – diameter x thickness (mm)

Cross-drilled ventilated discs, 399 x 34

Rear – diameter x thickness (mm)

Cross-drilled ventilated discs, 360 x 28

SUSPENSION

 

Front

Double wishbone with anti-roll bar

Rear

Multilink with anti-roll bar

STEERING

 

Steering gear type

Rack and pinion

Power steering type

Electric

Ratio

14.3

Turns lock to lock

2.35

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Battery capacity, voltage and Ampère hour

12V-48AH

Alternator output (W)

2,640

Starter output (kW)

1.7

TYRES AND WHEELS

 

Wheels

Front

20x9.5J BBS alloy

Rear

20x11.5J BBS alloy

Tyres

Front

265/35R20 95Y

Rear

305/30R20 99Y

 

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Comments (107)

 eddie eddie
10 Years in the making but now 10 years behind. Buy a Lambo.
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October 31, 2009 5:13 pm
 Albe Albe
This looks tough as hell, i'll take one in black.
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October 27, 2009 8:27 am
 tzaikun tzaikun
I agree with meizterwerk, another very important aspect of the vehicle, that may not be important to others, is that since it is from Lexus, it will be much more reliable than other supercars. As much as I've been waiting for the release of the LF-A, I don't agree with the price tag.
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October 25, 2009 1:36 am
 q8lambo q8lambo
i don't know why 90% of the people here don't get it , this car is expensive not just because of it's quality but because there will only be 500 LF-A worldwide
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October 23, 2009 3:49 pm
 meizterwerk meizterwerk
i have to agree that it was overpriced but in terms of reliability, i think no supercar can break the lfa. bottom line, its awesome.
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October 23, 2009 1:19 pm
 GermanCarsRule GermanCarsRule
just one word: ugly and expensive.
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October 23, 2009 12:34 pm
 mpower333 mpower333
Is that price a joke? Do they actually expect to sell these? Or is this just for show?
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October 23, 2009 9:19 am
 m3mode m3mode
BMW has the fastest hybrid out on the maket, and trust me lexus is not the futur, Superhybrids are the futur with all the globle warming these days wheir all wasting money and time cars that dont need to be made for bragging rights we need to change are habbits and thats what most car makers are aiming for.
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October 23, 2009 8:47 am
 olaide olaide
this lexus is a great car better than most of the supercars out there those ones who are hating keep being jealous cos u cant do better.
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October 23, 2009 6:41 am
 Speedster Speedster
Beauty (side profile)and aggression (front and rear) in equal measure. You can all argue till Armaggedon about the price and lack of prestige heritage, but this is Toyota's global statement of intent in much the same way Audi's purchase of Lambo 9 years ago was. And see what perception people now have of Audi cars from being snubbed as a 'glorified VW'!
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October 22, 2009 7:06 pm
 BlueBiturbo BlueBiturbo
For that much money .. I'd rather but a Lambo Murci LP-640... or a Gallardo LP-560 and put Heffner Turbos
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October 22, 2009 5:29 pm
 radmeister radmeister
I'm sorry but for 375k you can buy a mercedes SL65 Black and throw in a brabus tuning kit, hell you can get a used SLR with under 2000miles for 375k. This is a bit ridiculous. Or a Gemballa GT2 Evo 750, or a CGT. This a little bit crazy, lexus wants to make their audience younger i mean how many young people have 375k lying around and would spend it on a lexus. This car should have been priced around 135k. Also does anyone notice how similar the engine is to the 5L BMW V10 in the M5?
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October 22, 2009 7:07 am
 ides87 ides87
Having payed fairly close attention to the development of this car over the last four years or so, I have to say i am pleasantly surprised by the final prototype. I was convinced that it would be horribly bland and uninteresting, and that despite whatever new tech it had under the hood, it would not catch anyone's attention. Obviously the number of comments on this wall have laid those fears to rest. I still feel that the car looks a bit dated (even the original concept looked that way to me) and some of the vents/scoops/details feel like purely cosmetic decoration (as opposed to design) that only goes skin deep on a general body configuration that is fairly standard-issue. That being said, compared to the spy shots of test mules we've been seeing this final prototype looks very polished. Fit and finish look great and the overall theme of the car is much stronger than I thought it would be. It also sounds FANTASTIC! Love that 9000rpm redline! I make no comment on the price, since for myself, a poor design student, it is as unattainable as any other supercar you care to name. A solid first effort by Lexus.
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October 22, 2009 7:01 am
 Ferrariguy Ferrariguy
Hahahaha at "Schumacherfan91," clearly you need to stay quiet. You know NOTHING about cars and motorsports racing.
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October 22, 2009 4:51 am
 jerry05cod4 jerry05cod4
people stop hating on this car... the car's design is great and it has a brilliant engine... im sure when it performs better the the europeans you'll just have to shut up. This car's performance is not about going in a straight line but rather being the best overall machine, its track based performance
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October 22, 2009 4:12 am
 Shark Shark
Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren need not worry! $400k u.s. for 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, how slow is the 1/4 mile? /Top speed of only 204 mph? I am sure there won't be anyone lining up to buy this when they can get so much more for less. So what they are building 500copies for, they definitely will not be selling all of them. Then the bargain cars like the GT-R and ZR1 put this to shame performance wise and you can buy yourself a house for the money you will save!
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October 22, 2009 3:36 am
 dnipete dnipete
Wow,counting how many the comments are for this car its may already be a success for Lexus at least for this site. Getting attention! Good job Lexus! Love that car!
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October 22, 2009 3:08 am
 MadeInGermany MadeInGermany
Amazing! never thought a japanese car can top that specs!! This car destroys the scuderia, gallardo LP560 and the audi r8 v10 is nowhere near the LFA performance. hope BMW will come up with a better supercar.
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October 22, 2009 2:54 am
 abugatti abugatti
maybe you guys are too old if this car looks ugly, or you are just too euro-super car fan. to me, this car shows the future generations of new super car era. this is the best car design i've ever seen!!
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October 22, 2009 12:42 am
 Schumacherfan91 Schumacherfan91
Toyota planned to release the LFA after Toyota had won their first GP in F1. Apparently they realized they couldn't win and released it anyway. BMW won in 2007, two years after entering F1 as a costructor, Toyota has been in it since 2002 and has no wins to show for it despite spending more than Ferrari! I'm sorry but Japanese cars have not done well historically in motorsport, so what does this car represent?? Give me a GT2 with the same acceleration and 30 less hp and a higher top speed. And 200K extra in the bank.
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October 21, 2009 11:36 pm
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