A Lexus LFA Nürburgring takes on an Eclipse 500 jet - image: LexusEnlarge Photo
Update: Marc Arnold, the pilot for Rocky Mountain Jet who flew the Eclipse 500 against the Lexus LFA, was kind enough to give us detailed information on the race. Rather than leaving his insight as a comment, we thought it more relevant to include it in the body of the original story. Thanks go to Marc for providing his response, seen in its entirety on pages two and three.
A few days back, Lexus announced an interesting-if-not-uncommon showdown between its LFA supercar, equipped with the Nürburgring package, and an Eclipse 500 corporate jet at an airfield in Longmont, Colorado.
Since a showdown from a standing start would clearly go to the LFA, the contest allowed a flying start for the jet versus a standing start for the LFA. As the jet crossed the start / finish line, Scott Pruett would launch the LFA, travel the 4,800 feet length of the runway, turn around and repeat the process.
The jet, already traveling at 150 knots (about 173 mph), would need to bank at the end of the runway before completing the two-way run, with the honors going to the first vehicle to cross the start / finish line. The video below explains the details, and we're fairly sure Lexus will follow up with a video of the race.
Since the stunt was sponsored by Lexus, it’s really no surprise that the LFA beat the Eclipse 500 by some two seconds, which has us asking all sorts of questions. We know that Pruett was going flat out in the LFA, but we doubt that the Eclipse 500 had its throttles to the firewall and probably wasn’t banked at the limits of the airframe.
Could a more aggressive pilot (flying at a higher altitude for safety) have made up the winning two second gap? Is the Eclipse 500 capable of faster speeds and tighter banking? We can’t answer those questions, but we’d sure love to hear from readers who can.