After a decade of engineering and patience, Lexus’ halo car, the LFA, was born. 500 examples were made between 2010 and 2012 with only 150 of them reaching the shores of North America. The LFA was unlike anything that had come out before it in the Japanese market and some would even argue that statement stands true today. The LFA went through several years of unveiling concepts before the production version was shown in 2009 at the Tokyo Motor Show.
It featured a naturally aspirated V10 that redlined at 9,000rpm and punched out 553 horsepower. A special tachometer with a digital dial had to be developed to keep up with the rev’s of the V10. The engine was created in tandem with Yamaha who helped with “acoustic performance” and was used exclusively for the LFA. With resources pulled from Toyota’s Formula 1 team, they were able to design an engine that sounded more like an F1 car than the quiet, renowned Lexus that came before it. The LFA’s chief engineer, Tanahashi Haruhiko, coined the distinct exhaust note the “Angel Roar”.
As if 500 units wasn’t exclusive enough, Lexus made 50 of them with the Nürburgring package. It had a new front splitter, fixed rear wing, front canards, recalibrated transmission, a 10 horsepower boost (making a total of 563) and came with private driving lessons on the Nürburgring itself. One of the 50 examples sold at Barrett-Jackson earlier this year for $918,500.00.
At the end of the day, Lexus developed a supercar that was equal parts insanity as it was practical. Rain sensing windshield wipers and automatic headlights are not things you would expect to find in a car that, at the hands of test driver Akira Iida, set the lap record at the Nurburgring with a time of 7:14:64.