All LFAs are stunning, but some are more special than others.
In the history of batshit crazy supercars, there's a legitimate claim for the LFA to be crowned the craziest of them all. The supercar, produced from 2010 to 2012, has a V10 engine developed with Yamaha that makes more than 450 hp and revs out to a screaming 9,500 rpm. And 90 percent of its 354 lb-ft of torque are available at just 3,500 rpm. That engine can easily be mistaken for an F1 powerplant, and its resonance frequency can shatter a champagne glass.
The LFA was built around an in-house designed and manufactured carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer monocoque chassis, and all the carbon fiber was produced on a custom-built loom. It can do 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.6 seconds and topped out it will hit 202 mph. The LFA can brake from 70 mph to a stop in 156 ft. The stock cars quickest time around the famous Nurburgring is 7 minutes and 38 seconds, though it dropped that time by 24 seconds wearing its Nurburgring Package with Bridgestone Potenza RE070 street tires. The next fastest car on the overall production list is the Porsche 918 Spyder, and the car below is the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.
The LFA is a staggeringly fast car, even now. It's faster around the Nurburgring than the Ferrari Enzo, the McLaren MP4-12C, the Pagani Zonda F Clubsport, the Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4, and the Porsche Carrera GT. But the craziest thing about the LFA is that it was ever created by Lexus. The Lexus LFA's limited 500-unit run was hand-built by a dedicated production team of engineers and specialists.
Lexus then dropped the mic and went back to building luxury cars, making it publicly known that it didn't intend to follow the LFA up with another generation. With only 500 built, it's an incredibly rare and special car. Amazingly, some examples were even more special.
Of the 500 Lexus LFA models built, only 64 were built with the Nurburgring Package. The engine comes with an extra ten hp, raising its total output to 563 hp, and the transmission is recalibrated to shift gears faster. It also features stiffer and more adjustable suspension and increased aero from new or redesigned body parts.
It was available in just four exterior colors: Glossy Black, Matte Black, Race Yellow, and Whitest White. Its 7-minute, 14.64-second Nurburgring time was set with Akira Lida at the wheel, making it the fifth-fastest time for a production car in 2011. The last one we saw sold at auction went for $912,500 via Hagerty.
Now that the LFA is finally being understood, and with Lexus resolutely not following it up with a second-generation, it's likely going to become a million-dollar collector car. If the first LFA from the production line were to go to auction, that would probably do it. It's unlikely though, as the LFA number one is owned as part of the Louwman Collection housed at the Louwman Museum in Denmark. Dodge importer Pieter Louwman founded the collection in 1934. His son, Evert, is the current Dutch importer of Lexus and the LFA is part of a collection of well over 200 cars. It also includes the oldest surviving Toyota, the Aston Martin DB5 used in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, and Elvis Presley's Cadillac Fleetwood. Many collectors consider it the greatest car collection in the world.
The first LFA prototypes hit the road in June 2003, and the very first test driver was Akio Toyoda, President, and CEO of Toyota. The LFA below is from 2011, was used as a press demonstrator, and was the first one to get a speeding ticket. At the wheel was Claus Ettensberger, Founder & President of CEC, an aftermarket wheel manufacturer and tuner based in California. We don't know why he had access to the LFA, but Ettensberger took it for a spin and promptly returned with a speeding ticket for doing 91 mph on a road limited to 35 mph. However, his friend bragged that he was actually doing 103 mph. We're not condoning this in any way. No matter what you think of speed limits, low ones are generally there for a reason.
The LFA is a loud, brash car and was available with a list of suitably loud and brash paint colors to go with it. Pearl Brown is not a color you would expect on an LFA, let alone with the questionable choice of an orange interior. That makes this LFA unique, and it's been passed through a couple of owners on its way to becoming a million-dollar car. It's chassis number 0093 and was recently on sale for the low, low price $680,000. It had 1,073 miles on the clock. Hopefully, the current owner has been racking up more as it's a car designed to be driven and not left in a temperature controlled garage to look at.
Paris Hilton owning an LFA seems like a waste of a fantastic car, but she owned two. The first was a yellow one bought for her by her boyfriend. When they split up, she loved the car, but didn't want the same one from her relationships. She traded it in for a Pearl White example with a white and blue leather interior in 2013. It was last seen online selling for $495,900 and with 3,930 miles on the clock. Her next car was a McLaren 650S Spider, which shows she's not a car person. Hilton money should let you have both.
The first sculptural model of the LF-A concept was shown in 2005, but in April of 2009, Lexus showed off an acrylic glass sculpture called Crystallized Wind. It was displayed at the Milan Design Week exhibition at the Museo Della Permanente art gallery in Italy. The transparent material used gave a look into the LFA and a view of its internal components, including detail of the interior and engine. Alongside Crystalized wind, Lexus displayed accessories for the car made out of the same material.
Special doesn't necessarily mean tasteful, as this chrome-wrapped LFA that showed up for sale by Auto Levy GmbH & Co in 2013 demonstrates. Its price tag of over $1.2 million was a little early though, despite all that chrome. It's still showing as being for sale on the Auto Levy website with 540 miles on the clock, but low-mileage ones are still available for a lot less.
This looks like someone was trying to turn a quick profit in the hope somebody with a lot of money and no taste would snap it up. However, that didn't happen, and the company knows that it'll be worth the money it wants sooner or later. Hopefully, the first thing the next owner will do is take off the awful wrap.
While many have cried sacrilege that Yoichi Imamura would yank out the LFA's Yamaha V10 to replace with a NASCAR-spec V8 and turn it into a drift car, that's just not the case. The car was written off by flood damage, and Imamura rescued and repurposed it for the 2015 D1 Grand Prix championship. With the 1,000-hp Toyota TRD NASCAR engine under the hood and a wider stance it looks and sounds incredible. Imamura didn't take home the title in 2015, which is a shame as it would have been his fifth.
Lexus created a concept convertible LFA, but that was it. At least, that was all until an episode of Jay Leno's Garage showed Lexus had built a Spyder. It has no roof at all, so it isn't a true convertible. It's a pure, roofless LFA and the only one that exists. If it wasn't for the video, we could only imagine what it might sound like having the Yamaha V10 howling away with nothing between the exhausts and driver's ears. The video also has an interesting look inside the production of the LFA and just how meticulous the process was.