Lexus LFA Plug-in Hybrid Mule Spotted in Death Valley


The strange looking Lexus LFA prototype that was spotted earlier this year has made another appearance, this time in California’s Death Valley for some hot weather testing:

Lexus LFA Plugin Hybrid Left Side

Lexus LFA Plugin Hybrid Right Side

The velcro patches on both front fenders could mean that this vehicle is a plug-in hybrid, as this is usually the location of the battery charger plug.

Naturally, this would lead to the assumption that Lexus is developing a electric powered variant of the LFA, but another idea, and one I’ve mentioned before, is that we may be looking at a test-mule for the next-generation SC — after all, would there be a better way to mask development than to hide it under the shell of an LFA?

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]

Comments


  • Eljay

    I think I’d give my vote to it being the next SC as the most plausible explanation. I would like to see a sportier edge to the next SC.

  • Tilps

    even streering wheel is normal :D

  • http://LexusNews Mike DeLorca

    I agree that the next SC is a much needed and anticipated arrival of fresh new sport. I am always eager to see new models and being such a Lexus loyalist—-I think Lexus needs all models selling at full capacity since the Germans are feverously trying to catch up to the US #1 Luxury sales position. Lexus—-please act quickly and whole heartedly to expand the line up with outstanding new and fresh sportier models—-I can not wait to see the influence of Mr. Toyoda in future models…..GO LEXUS—–YOU WILL ALWAYS WIN AND BE THE BEST. Also anxious to see how Lexus updates the LS to compete more with the Germans. I think that new inovation and features is up their sleeves—-if Lexus and Toyota can reinvent the automobile as Mr. Toyoda has mentioned it will bring so far ahead of the crowd in many ways—-they have the power, size and money with which to do it.
    We are standing behind them all the way.

  • 05RollaXRS

    Lexus did a phenomenal job with the LFA. On its first try, it trumped the 458 Italia (TopGear greatest supercar showdown). That is just astonishing. I cannot wait what Lexus might have planned if they continue to forge ahead in this direction.

  • jesseps

    Please be the next SC!

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    @05RollaXRS: Have you read the article? Did you get the magazine or see it online?

  • WorldofLuxury

    krew wrote:@05RollaXRS: Have you read the article? Did you get the magazine or see it online?

    YEAH! GIVE GIVE GIVE! :D Please and Thank you!

  • Tilps

    From /www.germancarforum.com :

    just got a glimpse of the new TopGear magazine edition with “greatest 5 supercars of 2010″ and their head to head comparison. They call “2010 as the best ever year for supercars”:

    Ferrari 458 Italia
    Lexus LFA
    SLS AMG
    GT3 RS
    570-4 Superleggera

    It has very detailed comparisons of the cars. The SLS AMG ran a 1:21.6 in complete dry while GT3 RS ran 1:21 in the dry. The LFA in “soaking wet” according to Hammond ran 1:22.3 and Stig had to “gingerly modulate the throttle” in the corners. The 458 Italia was 1:19.8 in complete dry.

    The biggest surprise was the winner. It happened to be the Lexus LFA, which was Stig’s most favorite car on the race track. He goes in extensive details as to why he likes the LFA the most. Handling, power, braking, grip. He talks about everything.

    Some general comments:

    “Its a Stig type of car”

    “But it’s also the number one crowd-stopper and though not all the people we speak to like it, everyone wants to know what it is

    Stig commenting on picking LFA as the winner:

    “Amazing track weapon, super-stiff chassis makes it extremely sensitive to inputs…V10 engine has power everywhere and delivery to make the most of that…brakes powerful but don’t interfere…lots of grip in slow and fast corners..food balance into…through, out of corners. What’s Lexus? Does it also make fridges?”

  • FreeSpirit

    @Tilps:

    +1
    @Mike DeLorca:

    the same as what i think right now

    my guessing it ‘ll take the 4-doors coupe as the XJ also for both GS & IS

  • Lexus Ben

    Honestly whether this is a test mule for the up and coming SC replacement. I strongly recommend the Plug in Hybrid concept. HOwever, my only concerns were that since I’ve noticed all hybrid models will Utilizes CVT transmission. Would this affect the sportiness in the Future SC or should I call it FL-SC? Cause I’ve noticed that CVT does seems to take away some of the driving feel especially when being pushed hard

  • WorldofLuxury

    @Lexus Ben: Not to mention that artificial gearing in CVTs are just gonna kill it! – if not during the warranty, then after the warranty expires!

  • Mister Two

    @WorldofLuxury: Don’t mistake Toyota hybrids’ e-CVT with conventional CVTs. e-CVT has no wear-and-tear parts and has been proven to be extremely reliable, although I do agree that simulated gears feel nowhere as sporty as real gears.

  • Eljay

    I’d love to see an SC-F with the IS-F’s engine and gearbox.!:-D

  • WorldofLuxury

    @Mister Two: lol I’ve been trying to understand what people meant by the E-CVT not being a true CVT. Or is it a CVT with a unique design?! :-P

  • RollaXRS

    One of the thing that makes LFA so great and so appreciated is how much soul, character, attitude and emotions it oozes out. Aside from the exceptional chassis, the engine is the center point of everything.

    However, any of the “Lexus performance hybrid” has failed to make even a little dent in the performance market as a viable option for performance buffs. Therefore, unless Lexus does it the way Porsche did with the 918 Spyder, having a plug in hybrid will be a failure with an expensive performance car will basically go unnoticed and down the tube.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    RollaXRS wrote:However, any of the “Lexus performance hybrid” has failed to make even a little dent in the performance market as a viable option for performance buffs. Therefore, unless Lexus does it the way Porsche did with the 918 Spyder, having a plug in hybrid will be a failure with an expensive performance car will basically go unnoticed and down the tube.

    Personally, I don’t think for one second that the LFA will be released as a plug-in hybrid, however I do think something like the Tesla Roadster would fit extremely well in the Lexus lineup.