Lexus works on a Plug In Hybrid version of the LF-A

Well, another one bites the dust. Not exactly, but some may say that a supercar going hybrid might as well have completely lost their credibility as a lean ,mean fast-going machine, and it seems that the V10-powered LF-A is going to end up being one of them. Lexus is planning on bringing a plug-in hybrid version of the sports car as a direct response to Porsche’s 918 Spyder Hybrid supercar. In fact, the first prototypes have already been caught testing.

Compared to a standard Lexus LF-A, the mule caught testing has received bucket monofilament tail lamps, but is missing the spikes on the leading edge of the C-pillar. The side scoop and front fascia have also received some changes as they have been reworked, possibly to distinguish the hybrid from the standard LF-A. The hybrid system will also come with a complex system of batteries and sockets that will help reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption.

This is all still speculation, of course, considering we have received no official statement stating that Lexus will be creating a hybrid version of the LF-A, but we wouldn’t be surprised considering the snowball effect hybrids are having these days. Let us know what you think after the jump.

Source: Inside Line

9 comments:

No matter how useful is this concept to the environment still hybrid cars is kind of expensive. And i don’t think that everyone will be considering it plus, many of consumer refer to use electric cars.

That’s only because they produce it from the wrong substance. Seaweed would produce 10 times as much ethanol pr tons, than todays sources and takes little or no energy to produce. And the energy it does use, comes from sources that multiply themselves. Ofcourse, we could use ethanol to produce electricity, but that wouldn’t make sense, since using one source of energy to produce another source, is always less effective than using the energy directly. Unless electricity is produced solely by nuclear power, solar or water energy, it isn’t the way to go.

@SF695 the problem with ethanol is that it takes significantly more energy to produce than it provides, and by the time that it it manufactured, processed, shipped to gas stations and than put into your car, it ends up creating more cost and pollution than it is worth when compared to conventional gasoline.

If the use of electric powertrains ends up hurting performance, then I agree with you; it is depressing. But if not, then I see no reason to oppose electric vehicles, and judging by the Tesla Roadster’s capabilities, I don’t think that performance is going to be an issue.

Personally i find all this talk about electric cars depressing. And what’s the point? Electricity has to have a source. In a hybrid, it makes some sence, because the source is it’s petrol or diesel engine. In an all electric plug in car, there has to be an external source. And most electric powerplants are run by fossile fuels or coal. Ethanol is a much better alternative.

For me, Toyota and Lexus have both been big disappointments in their designs lately. That thing above is just another example. Lexus should stick to sedans. Let Toyota, who actually has some motor sports history, do the sports cars.

Can anyone really blame Toyota if the rumors are true? Halo cars are good for marketing, but they don’t make the money. I’m just guessing, but you’d think they’d put all the top engineers on a project of the LF-A’s magnitude. Sending the best back down to work on fixing/improving the models that the overwhelming majority of people see doesn’t sound like a step in the wrong direction to me. It sounds like they’re actively trying to address issues. And who knows, perhaps some of these guys went to the "Fun Cars" division? I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom.

Me, I would not be surprised if ever Lexus has launched a hybrid version of the LF-A. That would not be possible.

The car on the picture don’t have a good painting on it.

I think that this is not a plug-in LFA, but an all-electric Supra. Here’s my reasoning:

Roughly two weeks after Toyota signed an EV contract with Tesla Motors in May, Road and Track reported on a virtually undisguised Lexus LFA prototype bearing a peculiar flap on the left front fender, similar to the one seen on this page. The placement of the flap and the use of similar disguises for Chevrolet Volt prototypes leads one to suspect that it is concealing a recharging port, which in conjunction with the regular fuel filler present on the car suggests that the test mule is a plug-in hybrid. R&T predicts the market debut of the supercar to be 2012, before the Porsche 918 for 2013. Performance target is simply to beat the 918.

That is all that Road & Track reported. However, I have multiple reasons to suspect that there is more to this story than first meets the eye, and this prototype is not a hybrid LFA but an all-electric supercar to be branded as the new Supra. The first reason to support my 100% electric theory is that the exhaust on this prototype appears to be artificial; it can be seen in some of the pictures from Road and Track that there is a black cover of sorts concealing the area under the car where the exhaust channeling would otherwise be visible, and all that you can see are the artificial tips. This suggests that the car has no exhaust and thus no combustion engine, meaning that the powertrain underneath is entirely electric. In addition, the conventional fuel-filler seen appears to be fused to the body. Secondly, if you look closely at the front bumper and the rear fenders, as well as some of the body seams, it appears as if this is not an actual LFA but a downsized version of the LFA’s chassis sporting a dummy look-alike LFA bodyshell. In conjunction with Toyota’s recent agreement with Tesla and a recent Motor Trend report that Toyota is working on an electric supercar based on the LFA chassis, the electric vehicle theory behind this prototype is plenty probable. There are also two reasons to support that this is not just an electric sports car but the next-generation Supra: firstly, company president Akio Toyoda stated at a recent press conference that he wished to build a new Supra with "a powertrain suitable for the 21st century." Secondly, 2012—the vehicle’s suspected target launch—marks the 30th anniversary of the legendary sports car.

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