Lexus LF-A Concept Preview – 2007 Detroit Auto Show: Originally shown in different form two years ago, the latest iteration of the Lexus LF-A Concept is much closer to production reality. To enthusiasts, this is a very good thing. It’s no secret to people who love to drive that Lexus has been flogging a sports car development mule around Germany’s famed Nürburgring race course, and the newest LF-A Concept provides an even clearer glimpse into the future of Japanese performance.
Mounted in what Lexus says is a mid-front location, a V10 engine making more than 500 horsepower theoretically propels the LF-A Concept to a top speed of 200 mph. Other details are sketchy, but Lexus does confirm rear-mounted radiators, which explains the air intakes forward of the rear wheels and just aft of the front doors, and a rear-mounted transmission. Stashing this stuff in the back helps the LF-A achieves what Lexus says is “excellent” weight distribution. If the brakes on the new Lexus IS-F are any indication, expect stout Brembos and, to make the production version of the LF-A truly world-class, an optional upgrade to ceramics.
Design is an evolution of the current Lexus L-finesse design vocabulary, and Lexus says this iteration of the LF-A refines the former supercar concept’s exotic lines with greater use of curved surfaces and added detailing. Exaggerated forms in front recall the current IS sedan as well as a Honda S2000. In back, trapezoidal taillights highlight large vents, and exhaust exits through three circular outlets in the lower diffuser panel. Thin-spoke wheels allow a good view of the brakes. Also, the new “F” logo adorning all new Lexus performance cars is affixed to each fender.
Conceptual three-piece sport seats, wrapped in white upholstery, provide ample support for two people. They face a simple, elemental two-tone dashboard separated by a bulging center control panel chock full of Lexus technology. Primary controls related to the task of driving are located at the driver’s fingertips to ensure steady two-handed grip on the meaty three-spoke steering wheel, and the LF-A Concept has a single large gauge incorporating the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, secondary meters, trip computer, and compass.
Lexus released a prepared statement that said: “The goals for the new LF-A are no different than they were for the original concept: To build a supercar with world-class performance that is uniquely Lexus. This latest concept is much closer to a vehicle that we would bring to market, and one in which we will be gauging consumer interest.”