Pops’ Rants: The Lexus LFA Is Overrated and Why the Challenger Angel Ain’t Gonna Happen
Boom!by Pops, on
The Dodge Challenger Demon is a fine piece of machinery, and I can definitely understand all the hype around it. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have a much-needed manual transmission. What I don’t get is this new hype around the fact that Chrysler trademarked the Angel name and that most car enthusiasts already see it as some sort of anti-Demon version of the Challenger. Come on man, what’s this, finger-painting class? I’ve been in the business long enough to know that the Chrysler Angel could very well mean squat. Nothing, nada, zero, just a name on a piece of paper at a trademark agency.
But this isn’t the only thing that grinds my gears this week. Everyone seems to have gone berserk over the fact that some 12 units of the Lexus LFA, which was discontinued in 2012, are still available at dealerships in the U.S. Hey, that’s pretty spectacular, because we’re talking about a supercar that hasn’t been built for five years, not to mention that production was limited to only 500 examples, but I still don’t understand why this LFA thing is such a big deal. But more on this below.
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To keep blabbing on and on that Chrysler trademarked the Angel in order to offer an exorcised version of the Demon is ridiculous
I’d like to start this by saying that I’m not against predictions and speculative reviews of future cars. It’s fun. And it becomes that much more entertaining when you let your imagination fly loose. I’m a sucker for a good April’s Fools joke about hybrid Challengers and all-electric Chargers, but to keep blabbing on and on that Chrysler trademarked the Angel in order to offer an exorcised version of the Demon is ridiculous.
And it’s not just the fact that the media can’t see the Angel as a totally unrelated vehicle to the Demon. Some also seem to ignore that Dodge is trying to raise above using its rich muscle car era heritage. The Demon nameplate has a lot of history behind it. It’s not as famous as the Challenger, but it’s a muscle car that Dodge used to sell. The Angel, on the other hand, is, well... nothing. And it sounds ridiculous too. Just say Dodge Challenger Angel or Chrysler Angel out loud. Get it?! Jeep Grand Cherokee Angel? Yuck!
I can definitely see a concept car bearing the Angel name
But hey, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this name won’t be used at some point. Unless it’s some sort of trim level for an existing or future product, I think it’s more likely that Chrysler will used it for a concept car. And if you look at the brand’s current lineup, you’ll notice that Chrysler is in dire need of brand-new models. This sometimes translates into concept cars. And I can definitely see a concept car bearing the Angel name. Because a lot of concept cars have silly names.
"Chrysler Angel, the autonomous, green, all-electric van that drives you to church every Sunday." There you go, marketing and all. You’re welcome!
The LFA was supposed to change everyone's opinion about Lexus being a brand for senior drivers, but that didn't happen
Man, I can’t believe the big fuss everyone is making about Lexus still having 12 LFAs in its U.S. inventory. Yes, it’s a big deal to discover that not all of them were sold five years after production stopped, but I can’t help but wonder where are the forum boys that usually document these limited-edition cars. Okay, so you cannot track 500 of them, but only 178 LFAs were allocated to North America. And 12 cars is almost 10 percent. So how did this happen?
It turns out that the story has a bit of a twist to it. While at first Lexus intended to take purchase orders only from customers to avoid speculation at dealerships, sales began to decrease in 2010 and the firm allowed LFA holders to order a second car, as well as opened orders to dealerships too. Executives were also allowed to purchase LFAs for themselves, which explains why some examples are still in showrooms or with Lexus employees. This also explains why LFAs are rather difficult to spot on the road.
All told, this isn’t much of a halo car. Because halo cars need to be seen outside of the usual hype generation. Sure, it has a V-10, it’s noisy, and it’s fast, but it’s more of a flop than anything else. The LFA was supposed to change everyone’s opinion about Lexus being a brand for senior drivers, but that didn’t happen. The LFA was too rare and way too expensive to get the visibility it needed. It might as well have been a virtual concept for a racing game.
And yeah, I know all you guys love the LFA and will take everything I said personal. The comments section is right below, give it your best shot.
Read our full review on the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
Read our full review on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Read our full review on the Lexus LFA.