Lexus sports cars, like all vehicles from the Lexus luxury brand, are designed, produced and marketed with the expertise of Toyota Motor Corporation. The Japanese auto manufacturer is one of the top selling vehicle brands in the world, and although Lexus is a fairly new brand in the Toyota company, the Lexus sports car lineup has made strides in helping increase the company’s global presence. The Lexus brand was introduced in 1989 specifically geared toward the United States and North American markets, and the brand quickly expanded. Lexus sports cars are now sold in more than 70 countries around the world, although availability of specific models and configurations varies by market. The Lexus brand is based in Nagoya, Japan, but it also conducts global operations from Torrance, California, in the United States, and Brussels, Belgium. Lexus vehicles are primarily produced at several Toyota Motor Company assembly facilities throughout Japan, although Lexus opened a production facility in Toronto, Ontario, in 2003, to help increase efficiency of distribution in the Western Hemisphere.
The highest performance Lexus sports cars have their own sub-brand, the F marque, which is managed by the Lexus Vehicle Performance Development Division of the company. The “F” in the name represents Fuji Speedway in Japan, where Lexus cars undergo performance testing, but it also stands for “flagship,” since F marque models are considered Lexus flagship vehicles and represent the standards for Lexus sports cars and luxury vehicles. F marque Lexus sports cars are distinguished by badging on the vehicles’ front fenders. In 2007, Lexus introduced F Sport, a line of factory accessories and factory accessorized models. F Sport vehicles are not F marque; rather, it is a specific trim line offered on certain Lexus models, providing exclusive sport performance and aesthetic accessories. These accessories include upgraded brake and suspension components, performance clutches, sport exhaust kits, and exclusive alloy wheel designs. The F Sport project was inspired by the success of Toyota’s TRD, Toyota Racing Development, accessories line, and helps increase the credibility of Lexus sports car development and design. Before the introduction of F Sport, there were TRD trim packages offered on certain Lexus models in the early 2000s.
The Lexus IS F sedan was the first F marque model to be announced, in 2001 and again in 2006, and it went on sale in 2007, after its formal introduction at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Lexus also introduced the Lexus LF-A two-seater coupe in concept form at the auto show, which caused Lexus sports cars to get a lot of attention. After significant discussion and revisions, the Lexus LF-A was revised and put into production in late 2009. This Lexus sports car enjoyed an extremely limited production run, with just 500 hand-built examples available for sale.