Production of the Lexus LFA may have ceased over a decade ago, but its stature has only risen in the years since. That’s because Lexus’s racing-derived supercar is a true rarity. It’s not just that only 500 examples were built in the two years it was in production (2010–2012) but because it is a singular model in the Japanese luxury marque’s 33-year history. There was nothing like it before it rolled off the line, and there’s been nothing like it since.
Whether it’s the model’s rarity, its naturally aspirated V-10 or those elegant, understated lines, the LFA remains an object of increasing fascination for both collectors and enthusiasts.
The LFA was first dreamt up by Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Lexus’s parent company, Toyota, during the early aughts. The exec desperately wanted to build a car that would rival the best sports cars coming out of Italy and Germany and put an onus on two things: performance and drivability. Three prototypes were unveiled during the near-decade that the car was in development—the LFA was part of the Lexus Future (LF) line of concepts, with the A in its name standing for “Apex”—but by the time it was ready for production, Akio’s vision had been realized.
The coupé is powered by a front-mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 4.8-liter DOHC V-10 derived from Tokyo Racing’s race car mill and developed in conjunction with Yamaha. The powerhouse is mated to a rear-mounted Aisin six-speed automated manual gearbox that sends 553 horses and 354 ft lbs of twist to the rear axle (the Nürburgring Package variant has a specially tuned engine that delivers 562 hp). No less impressively, the 10-cylinder engine could rev up 9,000 rpm in just a half second. Because of this, the car had to be equipped with a digital tachometer to display engine speed, since an analog version couldn’t keep up.
Thanks to all that power, the LFA can zip from zero-to-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, hit the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds and has a top speed of 203 mph. Traveling at that kind of speed is a thrill, a sensation only heightened by the sound of the LFA’s racing-inspired mill. As one Toyota engineer reportedly put it, the supercar’s engine emits the “roar of an angel.”
From the outset, the LFA was designed to be a high-performance beast. Sports and supercars need to look cool, of course, but Kengo Matsumoto and the rest of the team at Lexus Design were more focused on function than style. If an element essential to the vehicle’s aesthetic had to be sacrificed to improve aerodynamic performance, then so be it. It’s because of this that the LFA is one of the more understated supercars of the last decade.
The LFA’s interior has a sporty feel that makes clear you are sitting in a high-performance vehicle. Adding to this dynamic is the fact that Lexus channeled two octaves of engine noise into the cabin. You won’t just feel the engine’s roar when you accelerate, you’ll hear it loud and clear.

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