Today is a black day for Toyota! A Lexus LF-a Nurburgring Edition test drive ended up in tragedy. The supercar crashed a few kilometers from the Nurburgring test track, killing the driver. While previous rumors did not reveal the identity of the driver, they did report that it was a 67 year-old man. Now a German magazine reports that the driver was indeed Hiromu Naruse, Toyota’s chief test driver.
The other car involved in the accident was a BMW 3-Series sedan. Both the driver and the passengers are in serious condition at the hospital.
The first details of the accident stated that Naruse was taking the turn at a high rate of speed and crossed into the opposing lane, but the police are still investigating.
As a fatal premonition, Naruse said on May 26: "When we raced the LFA in Nardo, Italy, I thought I might not return to Japan alive. The purpose of this ‘test’ was to evaluate the car’s durability at 200 mph for a long period. The race was in the dark with no lights on the track, plus there were birds flying at me – and imagine if a tire burst! We created the final LFA through these kinds of test experiences."
Our thoughts are with the friends and families of the people involved in this terrible tragedy.
The Lexus "Pursuit of Perfection" ad that was released about a week ago was probably one of the coolest car commercials we’ve seen in quite a while. Naturally, an ad as awesome as that needs to have some sort of behind-the-scenes footage to explain just how the whole commercial was made from scratch.
Fret no more, folks. Lexus has finally given us what we’ve been clamoring for. In this three-and-half-minute video, we get an inside look at how the whole spot came to be, including interviews with a number of people that were directly involved in the making of the commercial. Among them include, Angella Johnson, a technical advisor and physicist from USC’s Physics Division and race car driver Scott Pruett, both of whom explained how the Lexus LF-A was able to break those crystal glasses, even if it seems that they didn’t cover all the bases with their explanations.
Nonetheless, it does give us a somewhat clearer picture as to how the commercial was created and, at the very least, should be able to quell some questions as to how those glasses shattered.
A few days ago we reported that the Lexus LF-A supercar was sold out, however, according to Inside Line, the US market still has a few units that are available for lease. Considering the U.S. only received 150 units, we have to wonder how many "a few" is.
The LF-A is available on a 24-month non-transferable lease, with an option to purchase at lease end. In a previous statement Toyota said: "customer response has exceeded the number of available cars it is possible that not all customers who expressed interest will have an opportunity to order." But in a recent interview with Inside Line, the company said "As a result of additional allocation being dedicated to the U.S. market, some production spots still remain for the LF-A supercar’s 500-unit global build. Prospective buyers may register their inquiries directly with any Lexus dealer or call (866) LFA-4794 or (866) 532-4794."
This coincides with Lexus’ original plan that came out last year to lease some of the LF-As. Of course, at that point Lexus’ fear was more towards not being able to sell the supercar due to its hefty price tag and the failing economy. Their intuitions proved to be about 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Now, so many people want the luxury supercar that Lexus doesn’t seem to have enough. We have a feeling the Lexus LF-A will only be leased once and then purchased by the prospective owner without a second thought.
Back in January we reported that all the Lexus LF-A units allocated for the Japanese market were already sold out and today we bring more of the same news for the people of the world. Automotive News reports that Lexus has received payments for all the 500 units, worldwide. However, Lexus did not reveal details of the orders by region, but they say that a third of the orders from Europe were placed in Germany. No surprise here considering the Nurburgring race track is so very near, right?
So, why are customers so impressed with the LF-A? According to details offered by the company, the future LF-A owner was looking for "a different car that exudes performance and prestige without being flashy or overwrought. Europeans also appreciate the doting customer service offered by Lexus, a refreshing contrast to the haughty elitism of rival brands." Even more, the Lexus LF-A is so unique in the eyes of the prospective buyers that one man, who just so happens to be a prospective buyer and a mechanical engineer, compared owning this supercar to owning a rare, ultra-expensive mechanical wristwatch. We can’t say we think it’s the same thing, but maybe he has some serious wristwatches on hand.
We guess the "perfect pitch" commercial released by Lexus wasn’t needed to sell out the supercar after all. Too bad; it’s a pretty cool commercial that will surely make people wish Lexus was making a few more of the babies.
Refresher: The $375,000 sports cars is powered by a a 4.8-liter V10 engine that generates 552 hp at 8,700 rpm and 354 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 6,800 rpm. The engine is mated to a unique six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG) with paddle shifters.
Lexus presented a new commercial for their brand new LF-A supercar. The commercial shows a dyno of the Lexus in about as clean of an environment as can be had. The test is done in a room that is completely white. It’s reminiscent of a laboratory. So, what happens when Lexus tunes the 552 HP V10 engine of the LFA with the precision of a musical instrument? Check out the video and find out!
As a reminder, the Lexus LF-A is powered by a 4.8 liter V10 that delivers a maximum output of 560 HP at 9,000 RPM and a peak torque of 354 lb-ft at 6,800 RPM, with 90% of the total torque being available between the 3,700 RPM mark and the super car’s 9,000 RPM red line. As a result of such a road torque curve, the LF-A can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.7 seconds and won’t stop until it reaches a top speed of 202 MPH.
When it comes to Monaco, there are only a certain number of cars that you can say fit in with the high-brow and elite stature of the city-state. No offense to these fellows, but Honda Civics and Mitsubishi Lancers aren’t exactly the type of cars residents of Monaco prefer to drive.
One car that definitely has a place in Monaco is the Lexus LF-A and it was present in full bloom at the 2010 Top Marques Monaco event. The folks over at GT-Spirit were even able to take the car out for a quick spin and even took the time to shoot this video of the supercar as it was being unloaded out of its trailer. Thanks to the enclosed space of the trailer, the sound of the LF-A’s monster V10 engine gets even louder.
If that revving engine doesn’t give you the chill bumps, we certainly don’t know what will.
For the longest time, the Nissan GT-R has held the mantle of ’Asia’s baddest sports car’ only to have a few pretenders come knocking and challenging it for its throne. Whereas most have failed in doing so, one car has arrived that is poised to take the title off of the GT-R. That, of course, is the Lexus LF-A. It’s Godzilla versus Mothra all over again in an all-Japan free for all!
Fortunately, Motor Trend managed to pit these two Japanese titans against each other in a friendly little quarter-mile sprint to the finish line. Despite the large disparity in price tags - the LF-A sells for $400,000 while the GT-R comes at about 1/5th of the price at around $85,000 - the race should be a little more competitive than what the pricing suggests, especially since both cars come with their own decidedly unique advantages.
Check out how the race unfolds and since we’re not keen on giving away spoilers, we’ll settle for a little teaser instead:
If you’re already shelling out $375,000 for a Lexus LF-A, what’s another $75,000, right?
That’s what it’s going to cost when you decide to fore-go your "standard" LF-A for a tricked out Nurburgring Edition of the Lexus sports car. For the extra 75 grand, you’re going to get a performance upgrade that gives your LF-A a 4.8-liter V10 engine that produces around 562 horsepower - 10 horsepower more than the regular type - and a modified transmission that cuts back on the supercar’s gear-shift time to 0.15 seconds - down from 0.20 seconds from the traditional package. Additional upgrades for the Nurburgring Edition include a tuned-up suspension system, black mesh-type alloy wheels with dedicated high-grip tires for better handling, a larger front spoiler, a fixed rear wing for improved high-speed down force, four exterior colors to choose from – whitest white, orange, black and matte black, which will then be complemented by three interior colors – red, black and violet.
And that’s not all.
Lexus is also throwing in a number of other perks, including, a private parking, co-pilot ride, and a one night stay at the Lindner Congress and Motorsport Hotel Nürburgring where buyers will also receive a private training with a Nürburgring chief driving instructor, a Nürburgring branded jacket, and finally, a one-year annual pass valid for driving on the Green Hell.
We already know that the 2011 Lexus LF-A will come in only 500 units. What we didn’t know – at least until Lexus announced it a few days ago – was that 50 of these LF-As are going to be that of the special-run Nurburgring Edition.
Built to commemorate the supercar’s third go-round in the Nurburgring 24 Hours race this coming May, the Lexus LF-A Nurburgring Edition were built with a slew of special upgrades, including a bigger front spoiler, a fixed wing on the back, fin-type of side spoilers, and stickier compound tires. In addition to that, these special edition LFAs will also get a moderate boost in power to over 560 horsepower. It’s not a lot compared to the standard model, but it’s still significant enough to warrant a mention, especially given that the supercar already comes with a 4.8-liter V10 engine.
And if that’s not enough for any of you, the LF-A Nurbugring Edition will also come with a 1-year pass on the race track, plus individual instructions on Nurburgring itself.
Whatever else this special-edition LF-A has with it, we do know that while the orange paint job really doesn’t do the car any aesthetic favors, it doesn’t take away from the car’s exclusivity, which, with only 50 units, is already as exclusive a car as you can find anywhere in the world.
The 2009 24 Hours of Nurburgring was a forgettable one for the Lexus L-FA prototype – it burned to the ground – so it wasn’t all that hard to assume that the car is headed back to Nurburgring for some unfinished business.
Unlike last year, this year’s 24 Hours of Nurburgring competition will see Lexus bringing a standard production of the LF-A, which is the first time the V10-powered supercar will participate in a racing competition of any kind.
Two LF-As will be on hand for the four-day event and Lexus, together with Gazoo Racing, is leaving no stones unturned as far as preparations are concerned. The team will be comprised of Hiromu Naruse, Toyota’s pre-eminent test driver, who will lead a team that’s made up of four Japanese drivers and three German counterparts including six-time winner of the Super Taikyu Endurance Series, Takayuki Kinoshita; Akira Ida, overall winner of the Tokachi 24 Hours in 1995 and 2007; Armin Hahne, winner of the Spa 24 Hours in 1982 and 1983, and Jochen Krumbach, who came in second overall in the 2008 Nürburgring 24 Hours.