After the concept that was unveiled in 2005 at Detroit Auto Show and after many spy shots you have seen, the Lexus LF-A is anything but a secret. Set to be unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show and go on sale winter 2007 at a price of about $170.000, LF-A will be a competitor for the 2008 Nissan GT-R, 2008 Acura NSX, Porsche 911 and Audi R8.
The Lexus LF-A is going to be powered by a 5.0 liter V10 engine, developed from the engine in Toyota’s F1 cars, which is thought to develop over 500bhp and give 200mph-plus capability. Although the engine is front- rather than mid-mounted, the LF-A will be rear-wheel drive, and Lexus has promised "the ultimate weight balance", "extravagant comfort" and "precision operation." When the car will go on sale it will feature an eight-speed manumatic transaxle gearbox. The 0 to 60 mph sprint is going to be made in less than 4 seconds. We don’t know yet if the car will have a 2wd or a 4wd, but according to the acceleration time it probably be a 4wd.
The concept that was unveiled in 2005 featured a massive, fixed rear wing, but in the production version it will be surely scaled down. Also the production version will come with a folding hard top instead of the standard coupe form as seen in the original LF-A concept.
The LF-A will have larger, triangular headlamps that will reach higher into the fenders than the demure, quad-lamp treatment seen on the concept. Also changed is the front air dam, which is more aggressive and contains a solid panel in the center where the concept had an aperture. Speaking of apertures, it seems that Lexus has added an additional air intake on the bodyside aft of the door to feed more air to the mid-mounted engine. In back, the huge, low-mounted rear grilles seem to have swollen in a most ungainly way, but the trio of center-mounted exhaust pipes remains intact.
Inside, the LF-A is designed as a luxury high-speed capsule that blends extravagant comfort with precision operation. Although it is about five inches shorter in length than the Porsche 911 Turbo, its wheelbase is nine inches longer. At 48 inches, it is nearly identical in height to the Ferrari F430. And with a width of 73.2 inches, it splits the difference between the Mercedes Benz SL55 and the Aston Martin DB9.
The LF-A is a fundamental shift in both style and design for Lexus. The positioning and sizing of major components have been redefined and condensed. By taking an entirely different approach to proportion and packaging, designers have achieved the ultimate weight balance, so vital to high-speed handling and stability.
After the 500 hp V10 LF-A will go on sale, another hybrid version it is expected to go on sale in early 2008. It will be powered by a V8 engine combined with an electric power with batteries with a huge capacity.
Nissan announced that the next generation of Nissan’s renowned GT-R performance car will be available in North America and badged as a Nissan model, consistent with its global branding. The GT-R, which was previewed in concept form as the GT-R PROTO, has not previously been offered for sale in North America. The GT-R will debut in production form at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. It is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in Fall 2007, followed by the U.S. and Canada in Spring 2008.
It is expected that the 2007 GT-R will be powered by a turbo-version of Nissan’s ubiquitous VQ35 engine-series, or a variant of the Infiniti Q45’s VK45 engine. As the GT-R has to compete with the best sports-cars globally, power-levels are expected to reach in excess of 450 hp.
The best guess for the GT-R’s new engine would be a twin-turbocharged V6 engine eith power rumored around 450 hp. Naturally, handling will be a top priority, and has been reported that Nissan contracted Lotus to help fine-tune track performance.
Honda is focused on the development of a new model to succeed the NSX. Planned for 2008, Honda NSX should benefit from its experiment in F1 by proposing a V10 engine for the new car. 2008 NSX II will offer a 4.5 Liter V10 and a 3.6 V6 , all wheel drive with prices around $100,000.
The use of Honda’s "Super Handling AWD" system is also a possibility. SH-AWD is capable applying a greater percentage of overall torque to the rear wheels in aggressive driving situations. The SH-AWD technology is fantastic for high performance vehicles. The technology was first used on Acura ’s RL model. It worked so well, that they have decided to apply the technology to some of their more high-performance vehicles.
The mid-mounted 420 bhp V8 FSI engine, quattro permanent four-wheel drive and Audi Space Frame aluminium body form the basis for truly outstanding driving dynamics. The Audi R8 will be available to order from 28 September 2006; first deliveries will be made in the first half of 2007.
As the first Audi mid-engined sports car, the R8 combines Audi’s experience gained from numerous motorsport triumphs with groundbreaking design and the acknowledged technological expertise of the brand. This expertise has led to the slogan ’Vorsprung durch Technik’ becoming a byword for leading-edge technology both on the race track and on the road.
The characteristic proportions of the vehicle are dictated by the location of the engine behind the cockpit. This layout is a typical feature of race cars. One of the most striking examples of this design – and as such one of the legitimate antecedents of the Audi R8 – was, and still is, the Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car. The central position of the engine is above all a boon to driving dynamics, as it allows for a weight distribution, as on the R8, of 44 percent to the front and 56 percent to the rear.
The primary objective for every 911 Turbo is to challenge the limits of technical feasibility. Not only in terms of performance and dynamics, but also when it comes to ride comfort. On this latest evolution, we’ve completely redesigned a number of systems and components. The result builds on the achievements of the previous 911 Turbo – a car widely acknowledged as the ultimate in sportscar design.
As you would expect, the new 911 Turbo meets the highest expectations in terms of engine performance. The classic flat-six unit develops 353 kW (480 bhp) at 6,000 rpm from a 3.6-litre displacement. Maximum torque of 620 Nm is available between 1,950 and 5,000 rpm. To achieve that capability, we’ve combined VarioCam Plus with twin turbocharger units featuring Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) – a totally new technology on a petrol-engined car. With a standard manual gearbox, the new 911Turbo requires just 3.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph).
Equipped with the latest optional Tiptronic S transmission, the car is 0.2 seconds quicker on the standard sprint. Benchmark times to 200 km/h (124 mph) are 12.8 and 12.2 seconds, respectively. Maximum speed with either transmission is 310 km/h (193 mph).