AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Rumors are brewing that the Lexus LF-A Roadster Concept we saw debut back in 2008 may head to production, debuting in 2014. Reports are coming in that once the first batch of 500 LFAs are completed, there will be a one-year break before the LFA Roadster becomes available, possibly in mid-2014.
It would appear that the production LFA Roadster will have the same 4.8L V10 powerplant that the LFA currently has, pushing 560-hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. The original concept from 2008 did feature a speed adaptive rear wing. It will be interesting to see if the LFA sales pick up enough for Lexus to warrant a convertible variant and whether or not there are enough consumers to be interested in purchasing one.
GALLERY: Lexus LF-A Roadster
[Source: GT Spirit]
***UPDATE*** A video showing the production version LFA has been released, showing the car lapping the Nürburgring. A selection of photos has also leaked. See both below ***UPDATE***
Lexus first showed the LF-A concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, back in 2007 and has been incredibly slow about bringing the car to market. The lengthy process appears to have just gotten a little longer as Lexus has promised the world premiere of a two seat supercar at the Tokyo Auto Show in just a few weeks time. The only problem is, the automaker is still referring to it as a concept.
In an incredibly brief press release, Lexus said that, “This concept vehicle epitomizes the purest form of driving exhilaration and performance.”
The car is rumored to have a 5.0-liter V10 making as much as 500hp, with a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and paddle shift transmission. Lexus has said the car will have a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
We expect this latest version of the LF-A to be extremely close to the production model and to learn more about the car’s performance capabilities.
GALLERY: Official Lexus LFA Photos
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Battered and bruised, Lexus had on display one of the two LF-A race cars that competed at this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race. We’re left to assume this isn’t the model that caught fire during the grueling endurance car race.
The showing of the car is surprising considering Lexus didn’t exactly hang with the best. Still, it did manage an impressive 7:13 lap time in the ‘almost stock’ class, meaning we should expect the production model to deliver impressive performance.
When it does finally make its way to the street, the LF-A will be powered by a 550hp V10, capable of a top speed of 218 mph. The production model is expected to debut at the Tokyo Auto Show this Fall.
The LF-A marks a new direction for Lexus, moving outside its luxury comfort zone and into the territory of exotics. Importantly, one of the two LF-A racers at the Nürburgring was piloted by Toyota’s newly appointed CEO Akio Toyoda.
GALLERY: Lexus LF-A Race Car
New output slated to be 550hp with a 218mph top speed
When Lexus initially brought out the LF-A concept it boasted about the car’s engine power and top speed. With a 500hp V10 capable of 199mph the genuine exotic sounded unreal back then.
Since the concept car was displayed at the North American International Auto Show back in 2007, it has had an uncertain future. But now the car is scheduled to meet the streets and will debut at the Tokyo Auto Show this Fall.
Performance expectations have also changed since ’07 and so Lexus has done some tweaking to not only the engine but also the aerodynamics to add a little extra.
When the car is officially revealed it is expected to make 550hp and hit a top speed of 218mph!
According to a report in AutoExpress the LF-A will also look considerably different from either the concept car or the Nürburgring racers, with new headlights and a new grille. The U.K. auto pub is also reporting that only 500 units will be made, including an even higher performance version with a wider aero kit which will give the car a look more like the Nürburgring racer.
As for how the car will perform on the track, the 7:13 second lap time during the Nürburgring 24 Hour race should give an indication of what this car is capable of.
500hp racers set to take on Nürburgring 24 Hour race this weekend
Ahead of the world famous Nürburgring 24 Hour race this weekend, Lexus has released a set of photos of not one, but two LF-A models that will compete for the title.
Last year Lexus brought an LF-A test mule out to the race but announced that it wasn’t technically competing, which is a good thing considering the car didn’t make it far.
This year the automaker is back and have increased their odds with not one but two LF-A models, both running in the Division 2 SP8 class for close to production models. Lexus has also employed the expertise of Gazoo Racing, which runs Lexus cars in the Super GT series in Japan. One of the cars will be co-piloted by Toyota’s new CEO Akio Toyoda.
The LF-A features a 4.8-liter V8 with around 500 hp and uses a paddle-shift sequential gearbox.
The production version of the car is expected to debut at the Tokyo Auto Show this Fall.
Lexus may be looking for an outright win at the Nürburgring 24 but this year it may be even harder than in the past. Not only will there be the usual fleet of BMWs and Porsches, but Audi has announced plans to run four R8s.
The Nürburgring 24 Hour race starts this Saturday (May 23rd) and runs until Sunday.
GALLERY: Lexus LF-A N24 Racer
After an embarrassingly dismal experience at last year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race, Lexus is once again set to take on one of the world’s most challenging endurance races with it’s LF-A sports car.
The car will run in the Division 2 SP8 class, meaning that the race car will be close to the production car – which is expected to be officially introduced at the Tokyo Auto Show in the fall..
What we know about the car is that it is powered by a 500hp 4.8-liter V10 engine, with a rear-mounted transaxle that is actuated by a paddle-shift sequential manual gearbox.
For the race the LF-A race car will be equipped with a roll cage, fuel-cell, rear spoiler and additional aerodynamics. Otherwise the “engine, powertrain and frame specifications differ little from those of the base vehicle.”
Lexus intends to use the race to further develop and test the vehicle before it sees production and has hired on the experts at Gazoo Racing (which run Lexus teams in Japan’s Super GT series) to assist in the Nürburgring 24 Hour effort.
The Nürburgring 24 Hour race runs from May 23 to 24th.
Will Lexus have better luck this year?
Official release after the jump:
With everyone pulling out of the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show, Toyota has chosen wisely to ensure all eyes are on its Lexus luxury brand when it drops the curtain on a production model of the breathtakingly beautiful LA-F supercar… finally!
First teased at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit alongside the IS-F concept, which saw production shortly thereafter, the LF-A has had an uncertain future for almost as long as it has had a future. Rumors that the project was being canceled increased significantly after the vehicles poor performance (due to a crash) at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race last year.
We can vividly recall Bob Carter, Lexus Group VP and GM saying that , “I’m sure you are wondering what the next “F” marque car will be. Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long, or look too far (pointing at the LF-A concept), for that announcement.
The production model is expected to keep the concept car’s 600hp V10 engine and promises to be more than just a straight-line luxury performer with past rumors of a 7:24 Nürburgring lap time still fresh in the minds of, well, everyone.
Toyota will also use the Tokyo Auto Show to reveal its rumored joint project with Subaru, which (also rumored) would see the return of the Celica name. The new vehicle would be a rear-wheel drive coupe and be based on the Imprezza platform with a Toyota-design head for the Suby’s boxer engine.
We’ll be sure to bring all the updates from the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show in October.
GALLERY: Lexus LF-A Concept
[Source: Edmunds InsideLine]