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Now in SA: Lexus LFA supercar

2011-05-13 12:34

LEKKER SUPERCAR: South Africa's roads have a new supercar to accommodate as the first Lexus LFA arrives in the country.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer LEXUS
Model LFA
Engine 4.8-litre V10
Power 412kW @ 8700rpm
Torque 480Nm @ 7000rpm
Transmission 6-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox
Zero To Hundred 3.7s
Top Speed 325kph
Fuel Tank 73
Weight 1 480 – 1 580 (kerb weight)
Steering rack and pinion with electric power steering
Airbags front and seatbelt airbags for driver and passenger, driver knee airbag
Tyres 265/35R20 95Y (front) and 305/30R20 99Y (rear)
Front Suspension Double wishbone with anti-roll bar
Rear Suspension Multilink with anti-roll bar
 
After years of gloriously titillating the band of local diehard petrol heads, Lexus has finally welcomed the first LFA supercar into the country.

The new general manager of Lexus SA, Brian Hastie, presented the first car delivered in South Africa to the assembled media during a swish shindig at the automaker’s Midrand dealer in Gauteng. (By the way, Wheels24 had an exclusive opportunity to drive the LFA at the Goodwood circuit in 2010. Click to read our driving impression and check out the video.)

The car, chassis number 64, belongs to a Gauteng businessman and is one of only three destined for South Africa. The remaining two, one for Cape Town and the other for Durban, will be released by August 2012. And the local price for the gentleman lucky to be able to get his hands on one of this car’s carbon-fibre keys? A cool five (or so) million rands…

Only 500 of these pedigree Lexus supercars will be built, ensuring a level of appreciation that will extend well beyond the LFA’s production years.

FORCED INDUCTION WHAT?


The pukkah Japanese supercar has all the makings of automotive greatness. Its 4.8-litre V10 pumps out 412kW of naturally-aspirated bliss at a chilling 8700rpm. A healthy dose of torque (480Nm at 7000rpm) helps to get things moving along as well. This engine red-lines at 9000rpm.

A bespoke six-speed sequential gearbox (with four driving modes) drives the rear wheels, although a limited-slip differential is on hand to ensure affairs remain largely on course.

So it’s no surprise that Lexus quotes a 0-100kph time of 3.7 seconds and a top end of 325km/h, which is mostly academic, considering South Africa’s speed limits. Providing stopping power is the work of carbon-ceramic brake discs that, although being light, are also fade-free for those all-important track days.

But you’ll need to get over the luxurious cabin that's lined in leather and assembled by hand, and the equally indulgent carbon-fibre employed just about everywhere else - from the chassis and bodywork to some components - to appreciate one of the LFA’s best treats.  

THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAIL: The LFA is not just fast, it's easy on the eye too, with elaborate detailing and enough carbon-fibre to make your eyes water.

One of the car’s main attraction’s is the toe-curling delight of listening to the noise blast from the LFA’s elaborately stacked tri-tailpipes.

FORMULA 1'S INFLUENCE

It was a prerequisite that Lexus’ supercar have a signature soundtrack and, during the time of the car’s initial development, Toyota was still a key figure on the Formula 1 grid. Using the expertise and technical know-how developed in years of F1, engineers were able to develop an exhaust sound inspired by that of a charging F1 car that will blow most peoples’ socks off.

And that’s just in “normal” mode…

Thoroughly track-bred, the LFA’s suspension is the culmination of hours of development work and testing conducted at the imposing Nurburging Nordschleife circuit. Aluminium alloy’s properties of low weight and high strength were used for the bespoke front wishbone and multilink rear suspension design.

The LFA comes equipped with Lexus’s 'Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management' system that manages the ABS and vehicle stability and traction control systems while monitoring brake operation, yaw and roll rates, individual wheel speed and acceleration across three planes.

Each LFA will be hand-assembled at a maximum rate of 20 per month so, if you happen to see chassis number 64, on Gauteng’s roads, feel free to hoot and wave to show your appreciation!


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