Lexus LFA vs Porsche 918 Spyder Drag Race: Video
British Vmax 200 events have recently started getting better coverage from the media, mostly thanks to the range of exotic cars that usually participate in the event. Known car-spotter Shmee150 has been present with a camera at just about every edition in the last few years, filming the most interesting supercars while they go at it. He was also on deck at the latest Vmax 200 event, which was hosted at Dunsfold Park — also known as the Top Gear test track.
The car-spotter got the chance to ride shotgun in a Lexus LFA while the supercar went head-to-head with a Porsche 918 Spyder. As you can expect, the win was a walk in the park for the 918 Spyder, since there is a huge difference in numbers between the two cars. On the other hand, the Lexus LFA is actually more exclusive, with only 500 units having been built, compared with 918 units for the Porsche. On top of it, the Yamaha- tuned, 4.8-liter, V-10 engine in the LFA sounds like a Formula One V-10 from the early 2000s.
The plug-in hybrid Porsche hypercar is in another league though, since it features a high-revving V-8, derived from a Le Mans Prototype racing car engine, that works in tandem with two electric motors. Thanks to a battery that can be also recharged from the exterior, the 918 Spyder is pretty much the best of all worlds, combining dramatic performance, unbelievable fuel economy and huge driving fun into a bonkers package.
Developed mainly to assert that Lexus is an entirely different carmaker now than it used to be in the 1990s, the LFA has been out of the public eye for a couple of years, which I think is unfortunate. Even though its specs were somewhat outdated when it went on sale in 2010, while its $375,000 starting price made it a unattainable for most enthusiasts, I think the LFA is a fantastic car. Well, not necessarily the car itself but its V-10 engine, which requires precisely 0.6 seconds to rev from idle to its 9,000 rpm redline. With the fuel cutoff at 9,500 rpm and an exhaust note that can shatter champagne glasses, that 560-horsepower engine is truly special.
Currently the fastest production car to lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife (when equipped with the less-is-more Weissach Package), the Porsche 918 Spyder arrived on the market at the worst possible moment, yet its success is astounding. I say this because even though it had to battle equally astonishing hypercars like the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche managed to sell all 918 units even before it finished building them. With all-wheel drive, a screaming V-8 behind the seats and a total output of 887 horsepower, what exactly is not to like about Porsche’s halo model? Oh, and it can be also driven using just electricity around town or quiet neighborhoods.
The outcome of this "drag race" was a foregone conclusion, but still it’s fun to listen to the LFA’s soundtrack from the ride-along. And it’s a somewhat disconcerting experience to watch the Porsche literally run away from from the very fast Lexus.