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Lexus unveils the LFA supercar

August 24, 2010

One of the world’s most coveted luxury automobile brands, the Japanese car-maker Lexus (a subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Company), has decided to throw its hat into the galactic mix of exotic supercars. And what a hat it is. The LFA was first unveiled at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show as a prototype vehicle that now, after more than ten years in development spearheaded by one of Toyota’s most famous engineers Haruhiko Tanahashi, is set to go into production later this year. Only a tantalizingly exclusive 500 custom-built models will be sold worldwide at the staggering sum of $375 000 which, amusingly, includes driving lessons. The LFA has been purposefully designed for all-out performance: a nimble V10 engine (lighter than a V6, size of a V8, but more muscular than a V12) can rev up to a hair-raising 9000 RPM, accelerating from 0-60mph in 3.7s and a top speed of 202 mph all backed up by an extremely lightweight carbon fiber chassis. Working with acoustic engineers from Yamaha, Lexus tuned the motor’s symphonic medley to create a sumptuous driving experience (a TV commercial demonstrates this rather evocatively). Rave reviews have poured in from anyone fortunate enough to have experienced the LFA’s exhilarating ride (see the BBC Top Gear and read the New York times review). For Lexus, the LFA represents a strategic step to elevate its brand by flaunting the company’s technical acumen which will inevitably bolster the company’s entire product line. Such is the magnetic force of a divine concoction like the LFA. Most sports-car enthusiasts will never be able afford such an exquisitely engineered machine but that is precisely the point (even with the exorbitant price tag Lexus will actually lose money on the LFA overall). Lexus has been demoing the LFA to potential customers around the United States (mostly males in the 50s) with offers of test drives at the famed German formula one circuit Nurburgring. The company has been vetting prospective buyers individually to ensure that future owners actually drive this supercar (as opposed to keeping it under wraps in their vaunted collections) to bolster the company’s image among the gawking public at large. Wrapped up in this engineering tour de force is a fantastic marketing ploy.

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From → technology

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