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 now we can hear the car for the first time and we bet the shrill of its high-revving V-10 will leave you captivated.
Not only does the LFA deliver thoroughbred supercar performance, the sound it makes is every bit as thrilling. The acoustic performance of the V-10 engine and exhaust system has been fine-tuned to create a unmistakeable ‘soundtrack’ that rises from a rumbling note at idle to a thunderous wail as the 9,000 rpm red line approaches.
Lexus engineers studied the noise made by a F1 race car at maximum revs, and then applied detailed design features to create an exhaust note specific for the LFA.
The main silencer is made of titanium and has a valve-actuated, dual-stage structure that channels the exhaust flow according to engine speed. Up to 3,000 rpm, the exhaust valve stays closed, routing the flow through multiple chambers, creating an unobtrusive note. Above 3,000 rpm the valve opens, allowing the exhaust to bypass these chambers and flow into a single resonance chamber, before exiting through the stacked trio of tailpipes.
The V-10’s induction system was also modified to complement the engine’s acoustic qualities. The uniquely formed horizontally split resin surge tank mimics the acoustic chamber of wind and string instruments: up to 4,000 rpm it emits the engine’s primary firing frequency of 300 Hz; this changes to 400 to 500 Hz as the engine revs climb to 6,000 rpm; and a peak is reached at 600 Hz as the engine wails towards its 9,000 rpm red line.
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