Lexus LF-A: the lowdown
Earlier in the year we predicted Lexus would unveil its supercar, the LF-A, in production guise at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. It didn't, preferring to show its silver concept car (inset above) for the umpteenth time. But even as officials in Japan unconvincingly denied all knowledge of the real car, our network of spy photographers have caught prototypes testing again - and they're looking more and more ready for production. We've spoken to sources in Tokyo to uncover the most up to date information about the LF-A and its screaming V10 engine.
A V10, you say?
The LF-A was first shown as a concept car in 2005 and was supposed to be launched when the Toyota F1 team started winning races. That winning streak has never materialised and if Toyota waits for victories, the LF-A will surely be wearing a beard by the time it rolls into showrooms... As the engine rules in F1 have changed, so has the powerplant under development for the LF-A. It now has a V10 petrol engine of just under 5.0 litres capacity, said to develop a muscly 500bhp for 200mph performance. And a hybrid petrol-electric version is also in the pipeline, using a similar V8 hybrid system as in the LS600h. Toyota could use a similar system for its mooted production version of the FT-HS concept car; it too was a hybrid supercar, a Supra reborn for the eco age.
What else do we know about the roadgoing LF-A?
The production car will be a mite longer than the concept car at 4460mm and wider too at 1895mm, but it'll be the same 1220mm height to keep that dramatic silhouette. This scoop photo proves that Lexus is paying a lot of attention to the aero package, and it's working on a pop-up spoiler to keep the LF-A stable at all speeds, as well as a huge diffuser clearly visible at the rear. When will we see the LF-A in showrooms? The latest news is that it's still a couple of years away from reality, so expect it to arrive in 2009 when it will become the first Lexus to carry a six-figure price tag in the UK. As the technical showcase for Lexus, it is set to cost more than £100,000.