Lexus LFA: Hotrod Or Failwagen?

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Lexus LFA interior [via SpeedHunters]

Lexus LFA interior [via SpeedHunters]

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The Lexus LFA has been a hot topic since its unveiling at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show last week. On the one hand, it's got some impressive engineering stats. On the other hand, the limited-edition supercar has taken heat for not being more like other high-end models: reviewers here and elsewhere have critcized the LFA for not living up to Ferraris, Porsches, or the much, much cheaper (and arguably better looking) Nissan GT-R.

Like many of you, we're divided on the matter. We appreciate Toyota's desire to expand the Lexus product line, but we question the wisdom in this economy. (Though this might be an attempt to address the fact that "Toyota is a good car but not exciting".)  We're also a little concerned by photos like the one above that have popped up on Lexus fan sites, highlighting elements like the carbon fiber featured throughout much of the LFA's body. CF may improve weight, and it may play well with the fanboys, but it feels distinctly un-Lexus. Maybe we'll change our opinions after a test drive, but for now, it seems like the LFA is trying a little too hard to fit in with the cool kids.


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Comments (12)
  1. You guys are looking at this the wrong way. Its a Japanese supercar and this is what Japanese supercars look like. If they went all wood and leather you'd say they were ripping off the English or if it had a monotone interior with aluminum accents you'd say they were ripping off the Germans. As I've said before the Japanese version of style is what we (the west) call tacky. Only this time its a half million dollar package of tacky!!!!!!
    Also in typical Japanese style there will be no follow-up or replacement model. Honda S2000 or the NSX etc.....

  2. what everyone misses is that toyota developed every part on this car in-house. the construction method they used in carbon is totally new and developed by toyota. this car is less of a statement of performance than it is a statement in engineer. consider the ferrari 599 in which most regard as it's closest competitor(excluding price). the 599 is of similar size but is 3700-3800 lbs. the LFA is under 3300 lbs. the reason this car is so expensive is because of it's construction technigues. those of which toyota will undoubtedly use in future models that will be cheaper. this car is an investment in toyota future rather than competition for current models.
    think about it. the biggest, most powerful automaker now has new construction techniques from which to build future lighter models without specialized outsourced companies. lighter vehicles are the way of the future.
    plus it's got the best sounding engine in the biz!

  3. As much as I would like to own a LF-A Roadster, everything about the package loses its appeal after the looks. The performance would be great, but what good is a supercar that people are aren't sure of? When I say Zonda you think ridiculous fast, when I say think they made a fast car? Their brand image has lost the element of entrusiasm from the general market, and perhaps they couldn't careless with the price point they have set, but at 375K how many are willing to buy a car that people aren't immediately impressed with, after all it is going to be a toy for the rich, not track day exercise weapon of choice regardless of its capabilities.
    As far as the interior, they could've used CF in more clever ways, it is unlike Toyota to use CF, because like Ive said, they had lost all the race appeal and pedigree to deem fit long ago.

  4. MyWheelsOnWalls makes a good point: aesthetics are purely subjective, and yes, the look of the LFA is definitely Japanese. I think the stumbling block I keep hitting is that it's a Lexus. I know that technically, that's a branding issue, but I can't help feeling that the LFA is like some rich kid from the 'burbs who's trying hard to fit in with the Harajuku set.
    And slim is totally on the money: yes, this tech is GREAT. Let's just hope Toyota uses it on prettier cars.

  5. why's everyone bashin this thing? Only 500 examples at a price cheaper than the carrera gt or the enzo, the latter a limited production model that retails now for over a million. Just because it's Lexus? because it looks different? So if it didn't people would be ripping it as a biter! But since it looks different and has Toyota branding that's a bad thing. All carbon and Aluminum except in the engine which contains magnesium and titanium equals expensive exotic materials. When i think Zonda i think too much money and only a chassis with someone else's engine. Mercedes AMG. This car is ALL lexus, not sourced parts so it doesn't contain anything but japanese purity. That's what japanese people want and that's what I want.

  6. Lexus' goal to build this Japanese supercar was not to beat the competitors in every category in terms of performance. I think the purpose of the LFA was to show the world that they can build an exiciting and world-class super car that rivals the world in order to shed its image of being boring. You might recall Audi poked fun at Lexus in their commercials.
    Nevertheless, 9000rpm, 100plus hp per liter, 0-60 under 4, 200plus mph, these numbers are more than impressive. While they don't justify the price tag, keep in mind the LFA is limited to 500. But to the perspective owners, it would be worth every penny. Besides, if you can afford a super car, money is never the issue, it is only an issue for normal people like me and the average joe.

  7. The LFA is well designed car ,its stunning but does not compromise on the aerodynamics .The only problem is gear box ,output which should around 580 to 600 bhp and price tag though its limited 500 units .Its engine displacement should be increased to 5.5l or toyota should make it lighter

  8. Who cares if its a lexus or not... or wether it has carbon fiber material versus aluminum. Its a nicely developed Halo car thats gonna be a blast to drive. I doubt any of you negative critics could have designed and engineered a car better...

  9. I would give this article a little more credence if the author would take two minutes to spell check. For one, it's the "LF-A," not LFA. Also, it's spelled "hot rod," not hotrod. Also, the statement after the colon in the first paragraph should be its own sentence.
    That being said, I think your opinion is a little short sighted. The car just came out! And you're already criticizing it for being released in this economy? Uh, have you not seen the new Bentley Mulsanne? That car is equally pricey, but I don't hear anyone questioning its "wisdom."
    Also, how does using carbon fiber make Lexus a poser? Isn't Japan one of the most-efficient countries at producing carbon fiber? Carbon fiber is the future of car bodies and will help in our country's desire to lower oil consumption. And that makes Lexus a poser? Shit, for a $300,000+ car, I'd want the thing made of cashmere and Persian caviar, if not carbon fiber.
    The car is beautiful. It may take a little getting used to, but that's Japanese styling for you. It's very futuristic, and that should be appreciated, not panned. Those metal screens protecting the air fans below the tail lights are just plain awesome, as are the triangle exhaust pipes.

  10. I think the youtube video lets the car speak for itself. It is a dream of a product from japan

  11. Kudos to Lexus for producing a world-class automobile that stirs the senses!!! If I had the dollars, I'd be shoving to be first in line to get a LFA. And you know, I'd be happy because it is a Lexus and ALL Lexus, not be carping about it. For some it seems to be strange for a luxury car manufacturer to be capable of producing this type of vehicle with technology that will filter down to their other brands. Well, what about Jaguar? - they have produced vehicles at the opposite ends of the spectrum. It seems that there's a bit of snobbery out there about brand image - this also happened with the last Supra which was a great car, but the Toyota nameplate just didn't seem to have the "cachet" of Porsche or Jaguar. Oh well, your bias just leaves more vehicles available for those of us who appreciate them.

  12. Hi guy's,
    I think tha only problem is gearbox and outputs which should around 580 to 600 bhp and price tag though its limited 500 units....

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