2011 Lexus LFA Preview

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We've been spying the 2011 Lexus LFA, off and on, for over a year. We've seen it testing all over Europe. It's even contested the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in race car form--twice. But today the car was revealed during a brief test drive in Miami just before its official unveiling, which takes place this week at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

The car has been in development for the past nine years, during which time a total of three different concepts have been revealed. Output will come from a 4.8-liter 72-degree V-10 engine and peaks at 552-horsepower at a lofty 8,700 rpm and 354-pound-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm. Best of all, the car’s sonorous V-10 will happily spin all the way to a 9,000 rpm redline.

To achieve this level of performance, engineers have beefed up the engine with titanium valves and connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons, a dry sump lubrication system and a titanium exhaust manifold. Each car is to be hand-built at a dedicated "LF-A Works" facility in Japan.

Intensive weight-saving techniques have also been employed, including the use of lightweight carbon-fiber for 65% of the car’s body.

Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox and a Torsen limited slip differential. Performance should be scintillating, expect 0 to 60 mph times of around 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 201.94 mph.

The end result is an almost perfect 48/52 front-to-rear weight distribution and a final kerb weight of 3,263 pounds, equivalent to a power-to-weight ratio of 5.8 pounds/horsepower.

Other details include six-piston brake calipers with carbon-ceramic discs, titanium mufflers, and 20-inch BBS wheels shod with ZR20 Bridgestone tires--all fitted as standard.

Limited production is the name of the game, with only 500 units planned unless demand proves high enough to support more, though it carries a manufacturer's recommended price of about $375,000. Worse still, only 350 of them will be made in left-hand-drive for worldwide consumption. Though this may seem low, remember that a roadster and hybrid variant are also in the works. Production will start in December of 2010, with delivery taking place over the next two years.

 
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