• Lexus LFA - Performance, Price, and Photos

The LFA has cemented its place in history as a global icon and the best Lexus ever created, stands even more desirable a decade later

The Lexus LFA is the absolute pinnacle of Japanese supercars. It has now been over a decade since the LFA’s initial production started in 2010. With only 500 models the LFA is the definition of bespoke. There still has not been a Japanese Supercar to match the driver’s package found in the LFA.

Some people believe, that not even Lexus could replicate the LFA if they tried. It begged the question, how good can a car be when money isn’t a factor? Now, the LFA sits as a timeless piece of automotive history. The result of pushing the boundaries of engineering in search of driving perfection. The type of car that still pulls the heartstrings of enthusiasts globally to this day, even if you’ve never seen one. It’s simple, there is no replacement for the Lexus LFA and there never will be.

Lexus LFA Performance And Capability

Lexus LFA - Performance, Price, and Photos
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As most memorable driver’s cars go, many find their origin on the race track and the Lexus LFA Prototypes were undergoing Nürburgring testing as early as the mid-2000s, six years before production started. Lexus wanted to ensure that when they released the LFA, it would be as close to perfect as possible. Time and money were not limiting factors.

From the beginning of the LFA concept, Toyota knew it was not going to be profitable. Rather, they took this halo car as an opportunity to develop new technologies. The LFA would become the car that shaped the brand for the next decade.

Understand that Toyota has sold more Corollas in the last one minute, than LFAs in the last ten years. Yet, that data was a non-factor. The LFA put to use, every resource available within Toyota’s massive infrastructure. With their Formula One team assisting with development, you knew the LFA was bound to be special.

Lexus LFA - Performance, Price, and Photos Drivetrain
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Sitting as the absolute statement piece of the LFA is the 4.8-Liter 1LR-GUE V-10 engine. It is no question that the LFA V-10 is one of the greatest pieces of automotive engineering ever. With 553 horsepower at an insane 9,000 RPM and 354 pound-feet of torque at 6,800 RPM, it’s closer to an F1 car than a supercar. The 202 mph top speed and 3.6 second 0-to-60 MPH time were a cherry on top of the already landmark engine.

Many folks forget that this historic engine was completely co-developed with Yamaha. Their expertise in musical instruments would serve as their guide in exhaust tuning. They treated the design of the engine like a fine instrument. It needed to have incredible range. The lows needed to rumble your core and the highs make your hair stand. Toyota engineers called the exhaust note the "roar of an angel." Even if V10 made half the power, there still would be no other engine like it.

One of the few nitpicks about the LFA’s performance was the transmission. The single-clutch paddle-shift manual was direct technology out of the race car. While amazing on the track, it had shortcomings in daily use. Although downshifts were crispy and immediate, upshifts were jerky in low-load conditions. Compared to modern dual-clutch transmissions, the single-clutch is lackluster and outdated.

Lexus LF-A Specifications
Engine Capacity 4,805 cc
Engine Configuration V10
Horsepower 553 HP @ 8700 RPM
Torque 354 LB-FT @ 6800 RPM
Transmission 6-speed automated manual
0 to 60 mph 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 202 mph
Quarter mile 11.8 seconds

Exterior Design

Lexus LFA - Performance, Price, and Photos Exterior
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In every aspect of design, the Lexus LFA followed the mantra of - ’Form Follows Function’. At the time, carbon fiber was not the versatile standard of material choice it is today. Technology related to the material was still young, especially in mass production. Thus, Lexus created a machine of which only two still exist in the world, to create complex carbon shapes. This machine would help shape carbon fiber mass production as we know it today.

The LFA would be the first vehicle to receive complete carbon pieces from this machine. This innovation allowed the angular aerodynamic profile of the LFA to take shape. 65 percent of its mass is CFRP (the carbon composite they developed). The remaining 35 percent is aluminum. Even if they had to spend a hundred million dollars, to save 220 pounds on the LFA, they were. It was a no-compromise automobile in every regard.

The styling cues developed with the LFA shape Lexus’ design language to date. An obvious example is the Lexus LC 500, which is the closest thing to an LFA that most of us will ever get to. With its roots in the LFA, it comes as no surprise that the LC 500 is one of the best-looking cars on the market.

Lexus LFA - Performance, Price, and Photos Exterior
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Dimensions
Length 177.4 in
Width 74.6 in 
Height 48.0 in
Wheelbase  102.6 in
Track Width 62.2 in (front) / 61.8 in (rear)
Cargo Space  N/A

Interior Quality And Technology

Lexus LFA - Performance, Price, and Photos
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The most understated aspect of the LFA is the interior. Yet, cabins were completely designed to the buyer’s exact specifications. Interior colors, leather options, and trim were customizable to the heart’s content.

One of the most famous aspects of the LFA’s interior is the instrument cluster. The engine would rev too fast to get an accurate reading from an analog tachometer. Thus, a unique digital display with a single large central tach took its place. This central tach design still finds its way onto F-Sport Lexus models to date. At its time, it was one of the first digital clusters available. Simple, but clean was the Lexus motto then and still is.

The Lexus’ Remote Touch infotainment system is lacking compared to its modern counterparts. No surprise there. Even then, the 12-speaker Mark Levinson sound system is still quality. Yet, we doubt you’ll be using it much. There are dual ducts that bring sound in straight from the intake manifold. We guarantee there will be nobody else around with access to your soundtrack.

Lexus LFA Price And Availability

2012 Lexus LFA Price
2012 Lexus LFA Base Model $375,000 (est)
2012 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package $445,000 (est)

When first launched, the Lexus LFA retailed at $375,000 MSRP. With only 500 models available, it was going to be a collector’s car from the get-go. The most exclusive version was the Nürburgring Edition, which started at $445,000 MSRP. With only 64 made, most of us will never see one of these limited models.

Even as late as 2020, a single original LFA had remained unsold. In 2019, there were four LFAs that were still brand new, waiting for a buyer. Lexus was lucky to sell even a handful a year and U.S. sales dropped to single digits by 2015.

This was in part due to how Lexus sold the LFA. U.S. buyers first had to "buy" the car through a two-year lease. This tactic attempted to prevent flippers or reselling the car for profit. They later allowed customers to buy the car outright after backlash on their stance. Even then, buyers had to sign a contract that would return the car to the dealer if sold within the first two years.

Lexus LFA - Performance, Price, and Photos
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Now over a decade later, it is not uncommon to see used LFAs going for over twice the MSRP. Since 2017, the average sale price of a used Lexus LFA is $746,211. Nürburgring Package models have an average sale price of over a million dollars.

Currently, only two used LFAs are available for sale, a base model for $666,582 and a Nürburgring Package for $1,250,799.

Enthusiasts complained about the LFAs exorbitant MSRP when it was first released. Imagine how it feels now? Current LFA owners state that reliability issues with the car are negligible. At the end of the day, it is a Toyota. The only consideration is its rarity. Servicing a Lexus LFA isn’t as easy as it looks and not any Toyota dealership will be able to service your LFA. Yet, there isn’t a single compromise we wouldn’t be willing to make to have one.

To sum it up, the Lexus LFA is the definition of a Japanese supercar. It is a timeless machine that creates a driving experience unlike any other. There are countless faster and more luxurious cars in the modern supercar market. Not one will give you the experience this Lexus can. If you’re fortunate enough to own one, drive it at every chance you can and never let it go.

Daud Gonzalez
Daud Gonzalez
Daud Gonzalez is a lifelong car enthusiast and automotive writer with a specialty in modified and race-ready rides. He spends most of his time modifying his cars and ruining them in the process. He is currently the owner of a track-ready 2011 BMW 335i, a mild off-roading 1981 Toyota Hilux, and a 2008 Lexus RX400H for daily driving. Most of his free time is dedicated to making sure his vehicles survive to see the next day. You are likely to catch him at one of Southern California's race tracks on the weekends.  Read full bio
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