The best car I have ever tested! Lexus LFA review!IN ENGLISH
Lexus LFA is a masterpiece conceived by insane engineers. It manifests a line between a car / automotive engineering and the creation of a work of art that runs through the zone in which you can consciously say that you cease to simply drive a car, and you begin to experience emotions.
You will not understand what Lexus LFA is, until you become aware of the thought that car is not merely a car it is an artistic creation. It is comparable to the work of a sculptor, artist, illustrator, construction worker. It is a three-dimensional masterpiece, which one can be immersed and become part of. Personally, I am not interested in cars themselves. Frankly speaking, I don’t give a damn how many Ferrari models there are, and what records do BMW engines have. I am a devoted fan of history and people, who have created legends; and Lexus LFA is a car that has already become legendary.
How can a masterpiece be defined? In the case of Lexus LFA, it is something, which ennobles you, the user to join the elite. On the one hand, it is a functional product which is owned by millions – a car, but at the same time, it is a sculpture of virtuoso artist, worth 800.000$, and which only a selected few can afford to possess. I drove the Lexus LFA; one of 500 (explicitly no.3) provided by the manufacturer. It is exhilarating to be a part of something that is in the range of only a few hundred people on the entire planet. Imagine, only 500 people in the world can regularly crumble a roll on the way to work. It turns you on.
History. Lexus LFA in relation to its own history is a contemporary equivalent of Honda NSX. Let’s begin with a fact that Lexus initially offered (at least until LFA came into existence) exclusively cars which could compete with the luxury of European limos. Suddenly one crazy Jap Haruhiko Tanahashi comes up with the idea to create a Lexus brand car, which will redefine supercars. Apparently, during the meeting during which the LFA project was presented by inventor himself, who was fearful for a bombshell to break out on the side of the conservative company board. But, it all worked out differently and the exact opposite happened. The CEO approached Tanahashi and patted him on the shoulder, simply gave him the green light, and ordered him to create the LFA.
Sculpturing. As similar to the case of Honda, LFA had been in creation for long years. For almost a decade successive projects were designed, and tests were run. At one point, Lexus even moved to Nurburgring track, where the LFA was unceasingly scrutinised, and amendments and adjustments were introduced. Finally in 2009 the manufacture of LFA takes off. New manufacture commences to build Lexus LFA, tailored to LFA’s needs. There was a hall exclusively designed in what was one of the largest Toyota manufactures, at Motomachi in Toyota City, Japan. From among thousands of employees, merely a 175 craftsmen artists were selected, whose aim was to assemble the most remarkable and jaw – dropping Lexus ever created. What is more, in addition, instantly it was decided that only 500 LFAs will be manufactured, and after that, the producing plant will be dismantled. If that was not enough? Nay, what is more! Lexus’s cost was estimated at a tremendous 375.000$, and even by then it was obvious that the whole project was not going to pay off. Despite all that, the LFA project was realised just for the sake of creating something uncanny…
No limits. LFA is amazing from the bumper to the spoiler. 65% of LFA consists of carbon. This was used by the inventor to keep the total weight of the car to the minimum. The same assumption was adopted by the creators of NSX, who used aluminium. However, for LFA designers, aluminium was not light enough and when there are no restraints to your budget you can afford almost anything. As a consequence, Lexus weighs only 1400 kg; it is 100 kg less than if it had been made using aluminium. In LFA you won’t find engines supporting the hood, but instead, the car is equipped with a half a meter stick made of… carbon.
Design. Nobody likes impostors! Folks who copy somebody else’s work, and then try to convince everybody that that’s the unique input for humanity and progress. LFA is the perfect example of the proof that not everything has already been invented in the matter of design. It’s spacious. Different. A bit low and smooth. Sometimes incomprehensible and intriguing. But surely, no chances no coincidences no unintentional solutions – everything is deliberate. Even the mirrors play a crucial role, and are profiled in a specific way so that they meticulously direct the air to the rear air dams, and which subsequently powers the cooling system. Yes, fans to cool the engine are placed beneath the rear bumper, and the engine is in the front of the car; simply because they could.
Potency. Only 4 people in the entire planet could put together LFA’s engines. The Japanese wouldn’t be themselves if they left to chance the thing that powers the most spectacular project in years. In the beginning they wanted to employ a V8 unit, which Lexus had all worked out, but it appeared to be too heavy, and did not sound good enough. Yamaha was asked for help – the company backed Toyota for extreme projects. The outcome of this cooperation was the evolution of a supreme and most astonishing engines ever produced; naturally-aspirated V10, with 560hp, 480 Nm, which weight and size were comparable to 3.5 litre V6 unit. Crazy perfectionists at Toyota figured out that the ideal “V” angle isn’t 90 degrees, but rather more 72; and that exclusively this figure is capable of sustaining an ideal balance of the unit ignited. The performance of the engine is also uncanny – technically it functions as though pulled out of motorcycle frame. It has already become legendary, that designers had to use digital display because traditional ones could not keep up with the pace of the engines. Incredible RT (reaction time) – you push the accelerator gently, and in 0, 6 seconds the tachometer indicates extremes values up to 9000/9500rpm.
Music. But what is perhaps the most exciting thing about LFA is the impeccable sound – the same technology as embedded in F1 bolides. I am not sure if impeccable is descriptive enough – maybe insane; abstract would serve better. Yamaha’s Sound Section, that oversees music instrument construction, was asked for assistance. What they managed to achieve together was the voice out of hell, which heard once will stay with you for the rest of your life. What is more, special acoustic tunnels lead from engine chamber to the cabin, which are designed to intensify the experience of the ride.
Harmony. 48/52 was deemed to be the ideal balance. An engine fitted in the front, connected with a single clutch and semi-automatic transmission (SAT), is to balance the vehicle. The driver is situated exactly in the midst of an amazingly precise system, and due to that he becomes a part of the state-of-the-art masterpiece, which from now on can be sensed with all modalities.
Nurburgring. This track is well known to every guy out there. The track is demanding, and has a distinctive beauty to it. Lexus in 2008 and 2009 made a decision that only in the most extreme conditions can they ultimately test the LFA. A decision was reached to enter a 24 hour race in Nurburgring. The attempts turned out successfully, because LFA racing team after two years achieved top results in its class. It was decided that another 50 Lexus Nurburgring Package would be produced, and which were to be different from the original, amongst other things – power that is larger by 10hp, bigger rear spoiler, and harder suspension. There is one more story connected to Nurburgring. In 2010 as a result of a head-on collision between LFA Package and BWM 3 series in the vicinity of the track, Hiromu Naruse died. He was a gifted and accomplished professional test driver, racing team coach and a Japanese with the greatest amount of hours in Green Hell.
Why. The LFA has flaws. The gearbox in the AT mode is a bit sluggish, which is characteristic of single clutch solutions, but instead in the lever mode it’s insanely fast and gratifying. After some time you can become sick and tired of what at first seemed to be the biggest advantage- the sound. The LFA disposes of a high torque, RWD (rear wheel drive) and low weight, so you folks know best what will happen a slippery road. Up to 100 km/h in 4 sec. It costs 800.000$. I still consider that it far better than any other contemporary car you can get for this price. LFA is something unique. It’s 500 pieces of artistic masterpieces, that show how far man is willing to go if he wants to blow the motorization fan’s minds and bring the world to his knees. Of course other cars are faster, more powerful, and prettier but it is not why God gave us a choice between 50 cent and The Doors so that we would have to listen to Candy shop our entire lives.
Emotions. Driving LFA means experiencing and feeling. It is experiencing everything that seduces in the motor industry -which means unpredictability, g – force, and implausible and profound sound; interacting with a vehicle, but in fact a masterpiece powered by engineers restless in their yearning to impress the world. There are now coincidences in this car. Even screws finishing off the interior are branded with Lexus trademark. Personally, I would be delighted with buttons to adjust the seats, which are equally abstract as remaining interior. Everything in the LFA was designed exclusively for its needs, which means no half measures, no restraints. The ride itself and driving (as such) is an extraordinary experience. While driving you can hear the F1 hum. It’s really stiff inside and you can feel how stiff the entire vehicle moves along with your body, and apart from the F1 engine you can hear stones bouncing of the wheel house shells as in a racing car. What moved and captivated me as well, were paddle shifters, which have this characteristic, maybe a bit metallic sound when changing the gear. Insane! LFA was celebrated with its own, full -size sculpture dubbed Crystallised Wind designed by Sou Fujiimoto made of see – through acrylic. The sculpture was presented during the Milan Design Week in 2009. Can one car possess a more fabulous and splendid story? It all boils down to one splendid vehicle – the best I have had the possibility to taste.
text: Slawomir Poros Jr;
photo: Kacper Lewandowski
adapted by: Wojciech Pokoj
car: Kimbex Dream Cars http://www.kimbex.pl