I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘Good things come to those who wait?’ It’s something that I’ve always believed in, as it’s always proven to come true in a lot of the cool things I get up to as a hunter of speed. The other weekend, on the way down to the Wekfest Japan event in Nagoya, it once again came into context.
The plan was to meet up with Takemi-san and the entire Lexon crew at their shop in Sagamihara, drop off my Legacy there, and then ride down in one of the three show cars they planned to display at the event.
Now, I have driven and ridden in my fair share of sweet cars since I started shooting and writing about them, but there has been one that I’ve yet to properly sample. The Lexus LFA. A few years back, during one of our Australian Speedhunting expeditions, we got the chance to snap away at Lexus’s own car at its HQ in Sydney. The closest I got to experiencing its performance that time was sitting in the driver’s seat and firing up the V10 so I could grab a few tachometer shots. What a tease, right?
This time however – despite still not being given a chance to drive the bloody thing – I did at least get to ride shotgun with Takemi, and blast down the smooth tarmac of the Shin-Tomei expressway on the way to Nagoya.
It was a great preview to a car that later on that day I’d be shooting a full feature on. Finally, I got to feel the LFA’s carbon chassis do its thing through the faster corners, and that screaming V10, well… scream like no other V10 road car engine has ever screamed before! Having already racked up over 30,000km, Lexon’s car gets properly used, and from the sounds of it, it hasn’t been babied at all. In fact, the suspension felt like it was a little tired and in need of a refresh.
Hours upon hours of aural delight later, we eventually arrived at our location for the day: Chūbu Centrair International Airport, located a little way down Nagoya Bay.
To be more precise, at our disposal was an empty aircraft hanger – a huge space that was all mine for a couple of hours. Well, I did have to share it with Chris from Vossen Wheels who had flown in from Florida, USA, to do a video piece on the LFA – but you get what I’m saying. Shooting on location in Japan, space is one thing I’m definitely not used to having, so this was like a dream come true. I really have thank Tochigi-san, Japan’s Vossen distributor, for setting it all up!
It was the perfect place to quietly indulge in one of Japan’s most important cars of all time, and see how Lexon has approached a couple of subtle modifications. The one-piece carbon front diffuser extends all the way underneath the engine to join up to the covered underfloor. As you can see, it follows the contour of the bumper and extends at each corner to accentuate the whole front end.
It especially looks the part when you see the car travelling at speed. Leaning out of the Lexon LS460 to grab photos like this one was one experience I won’t forget anytime soon. After I managed to grab a few shots, Takemi couldn’t resist dropping it down three or four gears, which all but made my eardrums bleed!
The front diffuser section is part of the ever-growing Lexon Exclusive line, which is offered for pretty much every Lexus model out there.
The F Sport badge is offered on a variety of Lexus models now, but let’s not forget where the ‘Fuji’ emblem originated from…Riding On VFS-2s
The first time I saw the Lexon LFA was at StanceNation Japan last year, and at that time it was fitted with RAYS wheels. However, for Wekfest Japan Takemi decided to change things up a little and introduce a matching theme across all of his demo cars.
That’s why the car was sitting on Vossen VFS-2s. The wheels are 20×9.5-inch at the front (the factory-spec size) and feature Vossen’s new mid concave face, while at the rear, wider-than-stock 20×12-inch numbers with a deep concave face bring a really aggressive look. They’re all wrapped in the OEM-spec Potenza RE050 run-flat tyres that Lexus developed with Bridgestone specifically for the LFA.
The VFS-2 design, with its concave spokes, brings a unique look to the car, and the wheels themselves are manufactured using Vossen’s new flow forming technology which brings strength and lightness to the wheel barrels. Not surprisingly, there were no shortage of curious onlookers at the Lexon booth the following day as it’s not often you see an LFA, let alone one fitted with aftermarket rims!
The silver polish finish of the wheels, much like the Pearl White body, really popped under the strong light that was coming in through the skylights, and I couldn’t help but go crazy with the camera. I mean, it’s not everyday you are presented with such a thing of beauty to shoot.
Walking around the car and looking at it from every angle, it was hard not to be amazed. Lexus really helped step up the level of quality for supercars with the LFA, and what makes things even more impressive is that its development actually began over 10 years ago. There are rumours that there was some redesign along the way which caused the delay, and one ride in the car is all that is needed to sense this. Why? Because the only thing letting it down is the single-clutch transmission that Lexus decided to go with – technology that was surpassed even before the car went into production.A V10 Like No Other
Riding in the LFA, the transmission was indeed a bit of a disappointment; neck-snapping upshifts reminding me of the brutal gear changes the E60 M5 used to unleash on your body. The downshifts however seem to be spot on every time, and the sheer speed in which the engine can go from 1,000rpm to 9,000rpm and then back again is probably the reason there is no delay. Much like the Lamborghini Gallardo and (old) Audi R8 ‘boxes, you can smooth the upshifts out by a well-timed lift off the throttle, but in this day and age of instantaneously-shifting dual-clutch transmissions, this is something nobody would want to deal with. However, the masterpiece of natural aspiration under the hood quickly makes you forget any shortcomings the driveline might have…
When compared to the 5.2L engine in the new Lamborghini Huracan, or the big capacity motor in the Viper, it might not be the most powerful V10 engine out there – but what this unit lacks in outright performance and pace it more than makes up for with character. The response, the willingness to rev and the mix of frequencies that are channeled into the cabin make sure that every spurt of acceleration is goose-bump inducing.
The noise that emits from the triple rear pipes is quite special too – especially for anyone following the LFA.
Looking at the LFA it was a bit sad to think that so few were built. But that design language, it’s so Toyota/Lexus, and you just can’t help but wonder what else will come from them in the future. The upcoming RCF, a hot version of the GS maybe, and the FT-1 concept are all tantalising propositions.
Hopefully Toyota’s interest in building exciting cars like these will help wake up the other Japanese manufacturers who are lagging behind.
Three simple letters that mean so much.
To me, these little rear side spoiler additions are the only disappointing aspect of the exterior. They seem like such an afterthought and don’t even appear to be made out of carbon fiber. What a travesty!
They look even more out of place when the big carbon fiber main wing lifts up in the air. A switch in the cabin raises that, but for some reason it’s located behind the passenger side seat. Uh?
But I’m really just nitpicking, because there is very little to fault here. It’s not what the car can or cannot do – it’s the sheer achievement of it all. It’s not often a mass producer of cars steps up to the challenge of building a supercar, let alone manages to create something on-par with the best out there. Except that was a few years ago, and since then the ante has really been upped. Will Lexus respond?
We can only hope so!
The LFA’s interior really set the design language and dynamics for the entire current Lexus generation. The stepped dashboard, the swooping transmission tunnel, the moving digital instrumentation – all topped off with Lexus’s top notch build standards and quality materials.
I still can’t believe the new IS features a very similar dash set up to the LFA. Lexus definitely doesn’t screw around! As I mentioned in the first feature I ran on the LFA three years ago, the digital tachometer actually came out of necessity when Lexus discovered that no analogue dial would actually keep up with the ridiculously fast pace the engine can build and drop revs.
The orange leather interior trim that was chosen is certainly on the wilder side of the options list, but I felt it was a great choice against the simple exterior tone.
I’m very happy that I can now say I’ve at least sat shotgun in an LFA, but truth be told I’m not done quite yet. I’m not tired of waiting. I will continue to be patient – right up until that day when a chance to drive this all-carbon supercar will present itself. Until then, I’ll just give a big thumbs up to Takemi and the Lexon guys for showing me what the LFA is all about.
Dino Dalle Carbonare
stunning. maybe after driving the car would you appreciate the side spoiler?? seeing mods on an lfa is cool, i wish there was more people that modded this car instead of wrapping the exterior with other colors. the subtle changes are cool.
I saw a G35 on the same wheels today and thought to my self I should take a picture, but decided to keep moving. Now I kind of wish I did lol. Great post! Dino you have the best adventures!
The wheels are too busy, and run flats? Ugh, too heavy. Agree about the little side spoilers. The main spoiler that rises up should extend full length side to side. But these are just minor complaints of one of the best cars ever made.
I would love to see the spoiler switch , never saw it before .
RDS For a moment I thought the spoiler was automatic.
The LFA actually reminds a lot of a McLaren in its absolute, unwaveringly clinical attention to detail. I love it. I'd probably take an LFA over a number of other faster, more "prestigious" competitors. And the noise, oh lord the noise!
Speaking of which, any chance of a video?
I will admit I'm not sold on the wheels, though.
First shot 3rd chapter, you sir have taken my favorite sh shot this week. I like that the lines in the concrete and the line in the car sort of make a triangle, and the line of the hood sort of matches the angle of the supports above the garage doors, also that one line going through the center of the wheel.
Gotta say the wheels look pretty nice on an LFA. Maybe because its not stanced out. Please never stance out an LFA I will catch a flight to whatever part of the world you live just so we can lock eyes while I shake my head at you in shame. Would be pure anarchy
(someone may see it)
nice shots men. i like orange interier. If was my ride, id stick with the RAYS wheels tho 8)
Hotcakes You are not sold on the wheels but you would take an LFA over a number of other more prestigious competitors? What are you talking about man? I bet you could not even afford the lug nuts. Let's be realistic here.
this.guy.said You are funny. I would like to seen an LFA hammered to the ground. If the owners likes it, so be it. I bet you cannot even afford the money to catch a flight to Japan or whatever.
this.guy.said You are funny. I would like to see an LFA hammered to the ground. If
the owner likes it, so be it. I bet you cannot even afford the money to
catch a flight to Japan or whatever... (EDIT)
@Dino Dalle Carbonare: Your writing style is very annoying, have you worked on that? You write like a well informed 11 year old who doesn't quite get all the details, but boy they certainly can talk the talk. Those "concave spokes" you describe are in fact not concave, they are convex, the wheel design is concave, there is a difference.
NicholasMaher These spokes don't seem to be curved outwards. Maybe my eyes are untrained, but I am not sure I follow you...
NicholasMaher nto everyone an this world he've english First language, or even second language. His deal is foto, he done foto good, every time, his not a writer. Show respect young toad
@TROLLhunters Hotcakes dont have to be gorden ramsay to know a food sucks
@TROLLhunters : Really? They are . . . look at them. I don't know if I'd call it training, it's knowledge, it's not subjective. Cut a tennis ball exactly in half, the inside is concave, the outside is convex.
@turbo BEAMS ae86 : Gibberish.
@TROLLhunters this.guy.said You are funny. I would like to see an LFA hammered to the ground. If the owner likes it, so be it. I bet you cannot even afford the money to catch a flight to Japan or whatever... (EDIT)
You are funny. I would like to see an LFA hammered to the ground. If the owner likes it, so be it. I bet you cannot even afford the money to catch a flight to Japan or whatever... (EDIT)
You are funny. I would like to see an LFA hammered to the ground. If the owner likes it, so be it. I bet you cannot even afford the money to catch a flight to Japan or whatever... (EDIT)You are funny. I would like to see an LFA hammered to the ground. If the owner likes it, so be it. I bet you cannot even afford the money to catch a flight to Japan or whatever... (EDIT)
Im sorry what.
NicholasMaher Might wanna get on the phone to Vossen immediately then and tell them they are describing their own wheels with the wrong terminology. Also would love to hear what you find annoying about this piece, criticism is best served in a constructive manner or else it just turns out to be, well, annoying
@turbo BEAMS ae86 Thanks dude!
this.guy.said Haha thanks glad you like it:)
@TROLLhunters this.guy.said What are you on about?
kphillips9936 RDS It is at speed but you can manually lift it too
speedhunters_dino this.guy.said If it works properly youll see.
Please keep that thing washed! haha
NicholasMaher go take pics of something better and write about it so we can trash talk your article since you clearly are far more superior at at this. you are a buzzkill and i hope you enjoy looking at free digital media.
Actually, the spokes are BOWED outwards within a CONCAVE face. Dino's writing is something I look forward to; he's one of the few people that have opened up a lot more automotive culture to idiots like me.
speedhunters_dino NicholasMaher Vossen says "three concave design profiles" describing the wheel itself, which is correct, the wheels are concave. The spokes are not, which can be determined simply by looking at a spoke as an individual element, imagine the cross-section of just a spoke, it is not concave, the face of the spoke is flat, the sides of the spoke flare back to a larger cross-section of the spoke. Look at the wheel close-up, no part of each spoke is concave.
The writing style, while not all bad, sounds like an 12 year old fan boy which is annoying, an inability to accurately describe technical details, and the same well worn criticism of the of the transmission is hardly informative. You know how many words a picture is worth, maybe these images didn't need any words.
How can you drive this and not post a video?! The sounds is one of, if not the best thing about this car!
Slappy Pistons NicholasMaher : Yeah, NO, they are not bowed they are straight and even if they were bowed that doesn't make the spokes concave. The wheel is concave, not the spokes. You could have spokes that are concave, the surface of each spoke would look like this ( rather than flat like this |.
d_rav NicholasMaher : Gibberish.
@beany I didn't drive it lol
NicholasMaher hey I get your drift about the writing style on this piece but have to disagree on the wheels issue you bring up, the FACE of the wheel is concave and that's been a current trend of the last decade, much like the 17x9.5 5zigen FN01Rc's I had on my 2nd gen rx7, people used to balk they weren't totally concave since they tucked back into the wheel center at the barrel but come on that's nitpicking and you should be more tolerant of that stuff in a big piece like this. Cool car, great pics, I'm sick of Vossen everything here but hey money makes the world go 'round.
I do not like the wheels. I like the car. I would rather one over an Aventador, F12 et cetera et cetera. What's hard to understand about that?
Given you post like a 12 year old, I'm going to say you don't actually own an M3. "You couldn't even afford the lug nuts?". You're clearly 12, you can't even afford a Coke without pocket money.
Man, you really don't understand. The Lexus LFA is absolutely perfect! Don't you ever underestimate its single clutch transmission, as I for example care more about the feeling a car gives you then how fast it can go.
NicholasMaher ...and the way you speak is like a revolted teenager, be more gentle and the message will pass. speedhunters_dino
Amin_nfs its not perfect, it dont even have a cup holder...
you look so fat, man...
I love that last picture! An awesome closing image!
speedhunters_dino I am a writing professor. You are fine Dino. If you ever want writing lessons, pick me up in an LFA and we'll talk on Angels Crest.
Omnigear Well it is I guess the only bad thing about it.
meal stub Thank you sir
Amin_nfs It's not about the speed of the shift, it's about the feeling of it. That counts for a lot too.
Slappy Pistons NicholasMaher
@TROLLhunters Hotcakes We can all dream, right? No harm in that
Thanks for the new desktop Dino! ^_^
@jamesinger: Well that's settled it then, Professorial approval. Do mean Angeles Crest possibly? The typo must have slipped past your editor.
NicholasMaher haha fuck all you haters. I misspelled Angeles Crest so my argument is void. Here is what I will say, get off your computer keyboard warriors, do something, and then feel free to talk shit. I know, going outside is scary. You can do it!! ...and yes Nicholas, you are as useless as reading these comments. I have to remember, NEVER READ THE COMMENTS!! Thank you for wasting everyone's time.
Thanks for the information. i really appreciate such <a href="http://www.peoplelikecars.com/">automotive news</a>. Great article to read.
Double clutch transmission was eschewed in favor of a single clutch unit by Lexus after experimentation with both. They claim the twin clutch box detracted too much from the driving experience
NicholasMaher Basically what he is saying is Dino is an Italian living in Japan writing in English, which also means, Dino taking a shit is more interesting than the most interesting thing you have done in life. ...I would bet a beer on it. Keep on trolling in the free world though.
I think that the harshness from the single clutch transmission could be an aspect that some people would actually like... Some people buy high end performance cars and complain if that very performance is felt 'too much", and I find that pretty shocking.
Once again, fantastic car, and glad to see that aftermarket wheels haven't ruined it's purity. You don't have any footage of the sound from the photoshoot do you?
speedhunters_dino But still you were driving next to it etc.!
@jamesinger : In psychological terms it's called projecting when you assign your own faults to other people, assuming their behavior is as yours actually is. In plain terms it's called lying when you claim to be something you are not, in slang terms I suppose it would be called "talking shit". You had no argument initially so how could it be void?
NicholasMaher there is a type-o in your own original response too genius. Go back to your cave and STFU. My argument is that Dino has been writing for this online publication for quite a while reporting interesting cultural elements of Japanese car culture and beyond. This is more than you have ever contributed to anything seeing as though all you do is "talk shit." People like you are a waste of breath and bandwidth. I regret ever making a comment on an online forum because of people like you, who resemble a 12 year old on an AOL forum using your mom's screen name in 1995.
@jamesinger : Excellent reply, so well thought out. Ad hominem attacks are ultimately self-defeating. They are equivalent to admitting that you have lost the argument. Maybe you should have tried "Your momma wears army boots", a classic and not heard often these days.
NicholasMaher are we arguing, or are you just trolling? It seems everyone else on SH is fine ignoring your vapid banter, so I will follow that lead. Carry on.
@jamesinger : Such language, and from "a writing professor" no less. You must be a ESL "writing professor" because "keepin' it real" is clearly your native tongue. Where is it that you teach, the University of Hard Knocks?
speedhunters_dino you've really been stepping up your photo game recently. At first I thought you'd used artificial light in the garage, but it was all natural light? That's one of the nicest locations I've seen recently, in terms of the setting and light available. Wonderful work.
NicholasMaher You must be the life of the party.. A regular Buzz Killington.
@ "and that screaming V10, well… scream like no other V10 road car engine has ever screamed before!" : I beg to differ. It sounds _very_ similar to this other "V10 road car engine" I've heard...
Dino, always been a fan of your work. These are some of your best photos to date. Thanks!
The LFA is one of the promisses I've made myself. Period.
jah1mon Thanks man!
@jamesinger NicholasMaher LOL whaat?
Ah, but you are forgetting that the spokes could be concave horizontally or vertically and without putting a straight edge against them we will never know that they are or are not minutely concave, flat or convex...
And finally without the spokes the wheel is neither concave, convex or a wheel.
Three pipes like the F40
kphillips9936 RDS I remember reading from somewhere it's automatic with manual override , but I can never found the switch before .
NicholasMaher No, YEAH, no, yeah, NO, but like it's Vossen so actually the spokes will be more like this ¦ sooner or later #geometry #physics #ohsnapvossen
Dino, I'm late but this was a great write-up with some amazing pics. Hope to catch up with you this October!
What a great write up!
La luce nella parte indoor di questo servizio è qualcosa di magistrale, quasi onirico.
Sweet Jesus that's a beauty, those wheels are a perfect fit for it!