Lexus Will Offer New Halo Car For The Next Generation
Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, believes that every 20 or 30 years, his company needs to produce a halo car so exceptional, so advanced, and so amazing that its brilliance shines down on the rest of the lineup for a whole generation. Currently, that car is the $375,000, 200-mph, 4.8-liter V-10 tour-de-force known as the Lexus LFA, which means we won’t see another vehicle like it from Toyota until at least 2030. In the meantime, however, the Japanese automaker says it has a few tricks up its sleeve to pique the interest of performance enthusiasts worldwide.
Most of the sporting goodness will spring from Lexus’ F brand, but will be informed by the advances made during development of the LFA. “Everything we learned from the LFA is trickling down into every other product in the lineup,” said Mark Templin, vice president for Lexus International, in an interview with MotorAuthority at the NYAS last week. “The F brand itself is one of the halos,” he added, saying, “We’ve started to expand it already, and you’ll see more coming… but there are some other surprises coming, too, later.”
While vague, this statement does offer some hope that Lexus will continue to develop sporty luxury cars like the GS F and RC F in the future. And as long as they draw inspiration from the venerable LFA, I don’t think you’ll be hearing too many complaints.
Continue reading to learn more about Lexus’ future halo car.
Why it matters
It’s a shame that Lexus won’t be making a new LFA anytime soon, but it’s completely understandable. After all, according to Templin, the original plan was for “…a car that was a lot less than what it turned out to be. The request was a place for our loyal Lexus customers who drove LSs and such to move up to… maybe a $120,000 car and not a $375,000 car.”
Still, it’s a very good thing the LFA is a reality, both for customers and the company: “As we kept developing it, it kept getting better and better – from steel to aluminum and carbon fiber, and more expensive with it,” Templin said. “But in the end it was the right thing to do, because it showed people what we’re capable of, and it taught our engineers so much about creating fun-to-drive cars.”
While 15 years is quite a long time to wait for the new LFA, when it does arrive, you can bet it’ll be designed specifically to slingshot Lexus several decades into the future, at least as far as technology and engineering goes. Until then, I guess we’ll just need to be patient.
Limited to just 500 units, this composite supercar is the accumulation of extensive research, no-expense-spared materials, and one heady dose of velocity. The V-10 powerplant produces 560 horsepower at a screaming 9,000 rpm, with a peak torque of 354 pound-feet at 6,800 rpm, but 90 percent of that torque is available at 3,700 rpm. Aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and of course, copious amounts of carbon fiber are used throughout, which yields a curb weight of only 3,263 pounds. Just 3.7 seconds is needed to hit 60 mph from a standstill. “There’s still a lot of buzz about [the LFA],” said Templin, “and I think that it’ll be that way for years to come.”
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