Muscat: Lexus has made a huge name for itself in the world of premium luxury automobiles.
And that fact can be witnessed from the rewarding satisfactions its customers experience, the world over. But how often does the name Lexus come to mind when one has to think of a supercar?
Or a hand-made supercar for that matter? Well Lexus has ventured into that area too by producing just 500 of one of the fastest supercars on the planet — the Lexus LFA. And as with all other models in its stable, Lexus worked its magic on this one too, enabling it to go beyond the expected.
Development of the Lexus LFA started as a challenge, much as with the original LS400 that launched the Lexus brand. Could Lexus engineers create a legitimate supercar that competes with the world's best? Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi and a group of passionate engineers spent more than a decade working on the answer to this very question. Through numerous shifts in direction, including an unprecedented switch from aluminium to a full carbon fibre chassis midway through development, the team persevered.
When the final production model debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2009, the entire automotive industry was put on notice with its unique materials and F1-inspired V10 engine kicking out 552 horsepower, Lexus was out to prove its commitment to performance. Limited to just 500 units, the LFA took the famous Lexus attention to detail into a new stratosphere. Each hand-built car was individually customised by its owner, from 28 exterior colour choices right down to the interior materials and stitching.
By the time production ended in December 2012, the LFA's legacy was firmly established — the supercar had brought about a seismic shift within the Lexus brand, and its influence can be seen throughout the Lexus lineup.
From the LS to the RX, every F Sport model now reflects the performance standards set by the LFA. The new third-generation 2014 IS F Sport has taken things further by utilising many of the same processes and racetracks used in the LFA's development, even adopting design cues like the supercar's digitised instrument panel. In the IS F Sport the interior and driver's cockpit are reminiscent of the LFA — sporty, ergonomic, yet elegant. Turn on the ignition and it isn't just the meter display that lights up but your excitement to be at the wheel again. The newly designed meters are simply eye-catching. The spindle grille exudes power. There is a range of exclusive new colours, for all tastes.
So even though the LFA's production is wrapped up, its next phase is here — the vehicle's influence on current production models. Even concept cars like the LF-CC and LF-LC embody the supercar's spirit. The LF-LC in particular appears to be a direct descendant, and could hint at the next generation of Lexus high-performance vehicles. In short, for Lexus and Lexus owners, the long-term impact of this vehicle is just the beginning.
Since its formation Lexus was conceived to set new standards within the automotive world, and this pursuit continues today. In a relatively short period of time, Lexus has established a unique place in the automotive world as a manufacturer of premium vehicles that distil breathtaking design, advanced technology, heart-stopping performance, environmental sensitivity and refined levels of luxury into one distinctive package.
Lexus is constantly looking to the future, driven by innovation. The process to create a Lexus vehicle is unique within the automotive industry.