What began originally as an exercise in lightweight construction development at Lexus would eventually become one of the greatest and most talked about supercars of the modern era.

It turns out it was the influence of one man, who would later become the chief engineer of the new supercar’s development, Haruhiko Tanahashi, that would see the program transformed into one of the most important projects for Lexus since the original LS400 of the late 1980s.

We are, of course, talking about the new 2012 Lexus LFA, a car more than ten years in the making and one that could have turned out very different to the beauty you see above.

Originally conceived around an all-aluminum chassis, the LFA’s design was later switched to a mix of carbon fiber and aluminum. A central cockpit would be composed entirely of carbon and this would be attached to front and rear aluminum subframes using an advanced laminating process.

The end result was a chassis that was 65 percent carbon fiber and 35 percent aluminum, resulting in a front to rear weight distribution of 48:52 and an overall weight of less than 3,400 pounds.

The result speaks for itself, with the car in LFA Nurburgring Package trim completing a lap of the notorious Nurburgring-Nordschleife in just 7:14.64.

Enjoy the video below, and then click here for our 2012 Lexus LFA mega-gallery for even more LFA goodness.