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2012 Lexus LFA Review

Smooth Operator

A three-quarter front view of a yellow 2012 Lexus LFA

In short: An awesome Japanese supercar.

Over 10 years in the making, this hand-built Japanese supercar showcases Lexus design and engineering at its finest — and fastest. With Lexus reportedly only producing 500 of these special vehicles (and just 171 of those reaching American shores), the LFA is guaranteed to not only be carefully crafted, but also ultra-exclusive. Designed with extreme attention to detail, the LFA looks — and drives — like no other Lexus on the road.

The interior of the 2012 Lexus LFA

The 4.8-liter V10 engine of the 2012 Lexus LFA

Featuring a purpose-built, F1-inspired race engine that generates 552 hp and rockets passengers to a top speed of 202 mph, the LFA doesn't disappoint when pushed to its limits. The handling is phenomenal, the braking is outstanding due to Lexus' carbon ceramic brakes, and the feel is exceptionally solid for a car its size and weight. Tipping the scales at only 3,274 pounds, the two-passenger coupe is surprisingly svelte thanks to its full carbon fiber chassis and aluminum body parts. And while some might expect a loud roar from the V10-powered supercar, we were pleasantly surprised by the sonorous sound of its gentle yet well-pronounced exhaust note. In the style department, the LFA didn't exactly win our hearts over with its robot-like looks, although they did grow on us. However, we would certainly be willing to forgive some of the LFA's styling miscues in light of its exceptional performance.

For a track-ready race car, the LFA is remarkably comfy as a daily driver, although owners might get frustrated by being unable to realize its full potential on a daily basis. Trips to the grocery store will be swift, and the costly coupe will certainly help to keep you on a diet if you're trying to amortize its purchase price. However, you can forget going to the country club in the LFA, as there is only room in the back for two minute Tumi suitcases. But when you can hit the open road in a car as cool as the Lexus LFA, why bother knocking around golf balls?

View more photos of the Lexus LFA.

A three-quarter rear view of a yellow 2012 Lexus LFA

Warranty/Service: four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty; six-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty; 4-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance


QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $375,000

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: mid-front engine, rear-wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe

Engine: 4.8-liter V10
Horsepower: 552 hp @ 8,700 rpm
Torque: 354 lb-ft @ 7,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automated sequential gearbox

Curb weight:
3,274 lbs
Wheelbase: 102.6 in
Length/Width/Height: 177/74.6/48 in

Brakes:
two-piece carbon ceramic disc brakes with ABS
Suspension: double wish bone front; multi-link rear; anti-roll bars

Traction: Sport Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management with traction control and stability control

0-60 mph: 3.6 seconds
Top Speed: 202 mph

Safety:
carbon fiber forward crash box; driver and passenger front airbags; driver knee airbag; shoulder belt airbag


A three-quarter front view of a 2012 Lexus LFA with the limited-edition Nürburgring Package

2012 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package
Limited to 50 of the 500 Lexus LFAs to be produced, this special edition takes its styling cues from the 24 Hours of Nürburgring prototype LFA racecar. Featuring a sport-tuned suspension, quicker gear-shift times, a fixed rear wing for improved high speed down force, and 10 more horsepower than the standard LFA, the package also comes with several special privileges, including a one-night stay at the Lindner Congress and Motorsport Hotel Nürburgring and private training with a Nürburgring chief driving instructor. However, all of those perks have their price — the Nürburgring Package carries a cost of $70,000 over the Lexus LFA's MSRP of $375,000.

 

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Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW121010 (Updated: 04/03/12 NW)

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