While we wait for Lexus finally to turn its long-awaited 200mph V10 LF-A supercar coupe into a production reality, Detroit showgoers had to make do with this roadster version. Still, the unveil of the ‘new’ sawn-off variant was one of the few Detroit surprises not known about beforehand, and offers an enticing glimpse of how the LF-A franchise could develop.
What’s new then?
Beyond the lack of a roof, the basic body shape is the same as the now-familiar LF-A coupe first unveiled at the 2005 Detroit show. The roadster sports a striking ‘double bubble’ shaped hardtop convertible cover tapering away from behind the two seat headrests, plus a huge spoiler.
Unlike the folding roof, the spoiler was a working mechanism on the concept, rising up electronically on four metal struts from the rear wing before tilting downwards slightly. This process is designed to happen automatically in high-speed driving situations. And there might be a few of those in a 500bhp 5.0-litre V10 whose potential is put at 200mph.
Inside, the LF-A’s interior features a few new details including silver and white horizontally ribbed seats and a red-covered lower dash and door trim treatment.
F marks the spot
Unlike the first LF-A concept, the roadster also sports an ‘F’ badge behind the front wheel to denote its inclusion in Lexus’s high-performance division, formally unveiled in Detroit 2007.
The first production ‘F’ car will be the 416bhp 5.0 V8 IS-F performance saloon available in US showrooms in early 2008. However, those wanting an LF-A supercar will have to wait until nearer 2010 for the coupe and later still for the roadster. Won’t it have a beard by then?
They say: The designers at Lexus continue to use their groundbreaking LF-A premium sports car concept as a medium for expressing ideas about what a high-performance sporting vehicle should be.
We say: Ok, but get on with it!
CAR verdict: 4/5