Friday, 6 February 2015

Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

This ice-white assassin is, in a way, the ultimate edition of an ultimate edition. The original Lexus LFA, launched in 2010, was the result of a glacial gestation; development began way back in 2000, with the first prototype spied testing in 2003. The first official LF-A concept debuted at the Detroit Motor Show in 2005, but by 2007 they'd decided to tear the whole thing down, go back to the drawing board and replace the aluminium frame with a carbon-fibre tub. In '08, the idea of a V10 engine emerged, more concepts were played with, and the final, production-ready, hyphenless LFA popped up at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009, going on sale a few months later.
It's a staggering thing, too - you can see how it took them ten years to finish. The bespoke 4.8-litre V10 produces 560bhp at a howling 8,400rpm, and it revs so fast that it needs a full digital dash inside - traditional analogue dials just can't keep up. Indeed, Lexus claim that it can rev from idle to redline in 0.6 seconds, which is frankly some sort of witchcraft; they've found a way to ignore physics. Probably best not to ask how. The car is compact (well, considering the huge mechanicals it has to house), lithe, nimble, lightweight, and racetrack-honed for astonishing handling. The LFA genuinely is one of the best cars ever built.

...and the Nürburgring Package turns it up to eleven. In early 2010, Lexus announced this special edition as a homologation model, allowing them to run with certain modifications in the Nürburgring 24 Hours. It's got an extra 10bhp, quicker-shifting gears in the recalibrated sequential 'box, stiffer adjustable suspension, a front splitter, lightweight race wheels with sticky track rubber, carbon-fibre canards on the front bumper, and a towering fixed rear spoiler. Only fifty examples were built, with each buyer receiving training in the car at the Nürburgring (where, in the right hands, it can lap in well under 7m15s), along with an annual pass for the circuit. But with values now approaching half-a-million and climbing, you'd probably want to be a bit careful.

Spotted at Joe Macari - more photos here.

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