The Lexus LFA seemed to be an extremely fantastic, exotic super-car for only about the first 3 seconds that I initially heard about it. Performance figures aside (for the moment), the LFA seemed to just pop up briefly in automotive news as Toyota's premiere luxury super-car. I've seen slight mentions here and there about the LFA but other than that, there has not been any buzz about the car. Until now.
You see, in today's times, the best way to truly get buzzing about a car, to truly convey the performance capabilities, to truly let your fans know that you built a one-of-a-kind car, is to snag the number one production car spot around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The Lexus LFA did just that. In a recorded time of 7:14.64 the Lexus LFA ranks amongst the top production cars in the world. Competing for first place with a 911 GT2 RS (7.18), a Corvette C6 ZR1 (7:19.63), a 2011 Nissan Skyline GTR (7:24.22), or the Ferrari Enzo (7:25.7); the LFA managed to outdo all of those cars, which range from hyper exotics to American muscle by at least 4 seconds.
Lexus made one little tweet and the online world suddenly burst with buzzes as the LFA snatched the best production car time away from these other buzz-hungry manufactures. But I haven't told you the full story yet. You see, the original 2011 Lexus LFA was introduced as Toyota's attempt at doing something beyond a Lexus IS or Toyota Supra to tell the car enthusiast world "See – we are passionate about and can make supercars too!" The original LFA wasn't designed to compete with IS models, or Supras, rather it was made to surpass the highly esteemed Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini badges.
The Japanese car originally aspires to do so with a 4.8-liter V10 producing (an oddly large engine for the Japanese in my opinion) 553 horsepower and 354 ft-lb of torque that would push the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph, but would it create enough buzz and performance figures to crush it's Italian and German counterparts? Based on the very little buzz that I've heard over the past few years, I would say -- hardly so.
However, fast forward to today and reintroduce the LFA with its "Nurburgring" package and you get a rare, 50 unit car that produces 562 horsepower and 354 ft-lb of torque, along with handling, aerodynamic, suspension, and transmission enhancements that ultimately help push this Lexus to the top of the Nurburgring charts. At a pocket change increase of only $70,000 over the already small MSRP of $375,000 for the regular Lexus LFA, one would hope that Lexus could deliver a time that would beat the GTR or ZR1, cars that roughly hit the 6-figure price tag.
But the real question still remains, is the LFA still a worthy contender to compete with Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche? I'm still not sure myself, but I certainly know that I definitely spent more than 3 seconds thinking about the LFA today and I'm sure that it's 7:14.64 Nurburgring lap time will certainly earn the Lexus brand a little bit more super-car respect.
Lexus was courteous enough to document their blistering fast lap in the Nurburgring packaged LFA in a video for all of you to enjoy