Best Motoring Laps with the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Race Car


One of the thoughts that ran through my head while watching Best Motoring supercar battle was: How would an Lexus LFA with the Nürburgring package have performed?

Turns out the answer was out there on Youtube — here’s Best Motoring‘s Naoki Hattori & Takayuki Kinoshita taking Fuji Speedway laps in one of the Nürburgring LFA racecars:

Hattori’s time around Fuji was 1’47″31, and Kinoshita’s time 1’47″18, making for an 8-second time difference between these laps and the stock LFA’s. Of course, the LFA race cars are even more stripped down than the Nürburgring package, but they’re more similar than not.

** Special Bonus ** Here’s the practise laps from the Best Motoring feature:

Comments


  • http://twitter.com/CruxFiveTen Crux

     sick!

  • 05RollaXRS

    Also, remember this race car is limited to 7500 rpm and the power has been detuned down to 480 HP. The weight is also not much different than the LFA, which is 3300 lbs.

    So why so fast? Answer is very sticky super slick race tires, a lot more aggressively tuned suspension. 

  • Anonymous

    Yeah! Aren’t the race cars weighed down by the roll cage? and only have steel brakes?

  • 05RollaXRS

    I think the Nurburgring edition with high grip tires and 570 HP (compared to 480 HP on the race car) and similar weight of 3200 lbs and more aggressive suspension than the standard LFA will be quicker around Fuji than the race car. 

  • David Hayter

    Advantage of the LFA race car:
    - lower height (1200mm vs. 1220mm)
    - bigger width (personally, I see this as an advantage for more “downforce”) (1950mm vs. 1895mm)
    - better tires; slick tires
    - most likely better weight as SP8 classes are restricted to a minimum of 1500kg = 3,306lbs (obviously the race car is going to be lighter due to a stripped out interior).
    However, LFA has been listed as 3263 but I think this may be the curb weight with no fuel. The LFA is also listed as between 3483 to 3263 (Lexus site).
    motortrend; 3300
    car and driver; 3583
    evo; 3,284
    autocar; 3,262
    Taking the average yields 3357 So let’s use that.

    Advantage of the LFA Nur production car:
    - more power, 562hp.
    - redlines to 9,000 instead of 7500
    - Perhaps a faster gear change.

    There is a saying that goes for every 100 pounds a car loses, this should equate to 10 hp gained. Generally speaking, anyway.

    Ideally, and imo, the race car would do much better on a more twisty track such as Suzuka than the usual long straights of Fuji which more horsepower plays a key factor in. However, I would take slick tires over additional horsepower 90% of the time as they are generally the key to getting faster lap times from what I have seen.

    My guess is this: The Nurburgring edition will probably shave off about 4 to 5 seconds off the original LFA time; 1’51 or 1’50.

    Whatever the case may be, let’s cross our fingers and pray that Lexus’s technology and endless testing will pull through.

  • 05RollaXRS

    Also remember, the production LFA makes almost 90 – 100 horsepower more than the race car. The race car is de-tuned to 480 HP @ 7500 rpm.  The production car achieved 560 PS @ 8700 rpm.

  • 05RollaXRS

    Trust me, the standard production LFA is capable of pulling 1’52″ – 1’53″.

    The Best Motoring yellow LFA was not properly broken in yet (867 km only) and the tires were too new and not properly broken in yet.

    LFA needs high grip tires, which Lexus did not give it while most of the other supercars and exotics have high-grip tires. Lexus chose to put high-grip RE70 tires on the Nurburgring edition instead.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    @891279b5229778fe7826f69d83b8256f:disqus : Comments like yours are the reason I love this website. Great work compiling all these facts. 

  • David Hayter

    Did some snooping around and found interesting information regarding tires:
    [Tires] Using Tireracks as the basis of price based on front and rear prices
    - Lexus LFA: Bridgestone Potenza S001 (383.00 & 436.00 = $819.00)

    - Lexus Nurburgring LFA: Bridgestone Potenza RE070R RFT (keep in mind that the 2010 GTR wore these tires as well). Both vehicles (399.00 & 443.00 = $842.00)

    - Nissan GTR 2011: Bridgestone Potenza RE070R R2 RFT <– More expensive and possibly better since the GTR started to use these tires for 2011. (447.00 & 446.00 = $893.00)

    - Nissan GTR 2012: Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT (511.00 & 558.00 = $1,069.00)

    - Corvette ZR1: Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP (577.00 & 518.00 = $1,095.00)

    - Porsche 911 GT2RS: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+ / N-Spec (435.00 & 697.00 = $1,132.00)

    With this information above, it's glaringly obvious that the regular LFA's tires are the least expensive. And even with the Nurburgring edition tires, it will still be the least expensive.
    According to dsf (drive safe & fast) website: "Bridgestone has been selected as an OEM supplier for the new flagship in the Lexus F series line-up".

    So the likely chance of Lexus finding even better performance tires outside of Bridgestone is unlikely. One could question why Lexus isn't using the R2 RFT but instead RFT only. Perhaps, the regular RFT works better or maybe they just have not gotten around to testing the R2 tires yet.

    If I were the head of the Lexus performance department, I would make these my priorities:
    1.) Do what Nissan did and buy/rent your rival cars that you want to beat. (Nissan did this with Porsche and had successful end results). This should really cover 2.), 3.), and 4.) but I would like to get into more detail.

    2.) Because they are confined to just Bridgestone tires, Lexus should reconsider their tires and look for more up to date tires. Keep in mind that the Nurburgring edition is not going to be out until 2012. Surely new tires from Bridgestone will be out by then.

    3.) Make the car as low as possible with the best suspension tuning.

    4.) 10 hp isn't enough as they say it was never meant to make the car faster – it's only to compensate for the large fixed wing instead. As such, perhaps an increase in 30+ hp to 582hp should be sufficient.

  • David Hayter

    Thank you, krew. I enjoy and use your site to keep me updated with the latest Lexus information!

  • 05RollaXRS

    Actually, according to the official specs, the Lexus LFA Nurburgring edition Potenza RE70 are the none run-flat version. There is no ‘R’  at the end. 

  • David Hayter

     The tread pattern of the regular RE70 does not match the Nurburgring package’s wheels (pay close attention to the middle tread area and you will see that the Nurburgring edition has an extra slick tread). The closest thing that resembles the tires is the Bridgestone Potenza RE070R RFT.

    Also, I cannot find any of the official specs for the Nurburgring edition (the wheels) anywhere – not even the Lexus’s website. You mind posting a link?

  • Farrahsetamol

    what is the official time of the GT-R on the Fuji Speedway? Faster than the LF-A I bet (as always.)

  • 05RollaXRS

    I found it through very close up pictures of the Nurburgring edition Lexus LFA. They were the standard non-run flat Potenza RE70.

    A big reason the race car is so fast despite 480 HP and 3350 lbs is the high grip tires.

    These high grip tires would have been on the standard Lexus LFA and according to Bridgestone, they result in a 5% improved lap time over standard max performance Potenza that LFA has.

    You could imagine it would put on level playing field with other cars in terms of best grip and would have demolished the GTR around Fuji easily.

  • David Hayter

    Then I wonder why they would opt to go with the S001 tires and not the LFA Nur edition tires to begin with for the base model. Strange.
    My hope is for Bridgestone to make tires specifically for the LFA and LFA only. In terms of developing the tires – the standard and performance of the LFA should be the best and of course exclusive.

  • David Hayter

    “Official” times are a bit overrated simply because it is not conducted by an official party. This is one of the reasons why it is controversial when you have Nissan claiming that their car did a 7:24.2 or GM’s ZR1 doing it in 7:26.4 on the Nurburgring. Do I believe the laptimes as being true? Most likely, as it is conducted by the actual company with proof of videos. Can you, the public, or even the car manufacturers themselves claim that it is THE official laptimes? No, you/they can not.

    Look at it this way, if an official Nurburgring party was there to oversee the official laptimes, you can be sure they will conduct and experiment the cars beforehand to make sure everything is stock and fair.

    And to answer your question, yes, the GTR is faster than the LFA. However:
    Keiichi is usually the best driver in Best Motoring and he drove the GTR.
    The best way to figure out which of the two is the fastest is simply use the same driver.

  • 05RollaXRS

    David Hayter: The simple answer regarding LFA not having officially from Lexus was better dry/wet driving balance for every day driving. Lexus did not want to sacrifice all weather drivability for the sake of high-grip dry tires.

    The GTR high-grip tires are far less drivable in the wet due to the super-slick outer shoulders, but somewhat AWD compensates for that. However, they are extremely sticky in the dry.

  • 05RollaXRS

    Tsuchiya recently drove the LFA as part of the “Winding Road’ show in Japan and he was gushing with praises for the LFA. The translation is available on the internet.

    The official times are nothing but a tool for bench racers to compare their egoes on the internet. None of these official times Nissan claims were ever replicated in real life by professional race car drivers.

    AutoBild Germany did a Nurburgring supercomparo of 7 supercars (458, LFA, LP570-4, SLS, GTR, Turbo S, Weismann) and LFA was only slightly slower than the 458 Italia. LFA actually was quicker by 6 seconds than the GTR around Nurburgring.

  • David Hayter

    If anyone is curious and is not up to date on the current comparison of these cars:

    [Nordschleife]
    GT2RS: 7:18.00
    GTR: 7:24.22
    ZR1: 7:26.40
    458: 7:28.00
    LFA: 7:38.00

    [Hockenheim  Short]
    GT2RS: 1:08.40
    ZR1: 1:09.70
    GTR: 1:10.00
    458: 1:10.50
    LFA: 1:11.00

    [SportAuto wet handling test]
    458: 1:33.60
    GTR: 1:35.00
    LFA: 1:35.50
    ZR1: 1:35.80
    GT2RS: 1:38.70

    [Fuji Speedway]
    GT2RS: 1:50.54
    GTR: 1:52.94
    ZR1: 1:53.96
    LFA: 1:55.10
    (458 did not participate).

  • 05RollaXRS

    Well, they are apples to oranges comparisons. Very unfair to LFA.

    Lexus LFA also holds record on Goodwood track (4 seconds faster than 2nd GTR), Circuit De nevers (2 seconds faster than the 2nd GTR).

    LFA’s lap time is NOT its official time. If you want to put 7:38, you should put what the other cars did in similar tests. Not their official times.
     
    Lexus chief engineer said officially in Lexus Europe Twitter chat that LFA’s consistently lap times during tests are 7:21 – 7:22.

    Here is an official comparo

    AutoBild Germany Supercomparo (September, 2010). Full long version Nurburgring track tests (not the typical 20.6 km short track).

    LFA vs GTR vs LP570-4 vs SLS AMG vs Turbo S vs ZR-1 vs Weismann GT5

    Lexus LFA: 7:38
    LP570-4: 7:40
    ZR-1: 7:42
    GTR: 7:43
    SLS AMG: 7:44
    Turbo S: 7:44
    Weismann GT5: 7:48

  • 05RollaXRS

    Remember the independently tested lap times by Autobild was only 7:43 for GTR.

    That was with a professional 24-hour endurance racer on Nurburgring driving it.

  • 05RollaXRS

    Why would you put all the official lap times for the other cars (that never were replicated ever in rea life) and then put LFA’s track test time from a magazine publication?

    That is completely screwed up.

  • 05RollaXRS

    Look here for LFA record laps.
     
    The fastest car ever to have lapped the 2.5 KM Circuit De Nevers in France. Independently tested by Motorsports Magazine.
     
    The 2nd one is also independently tested by a Dutch race car driver around 3.8 KM Goodwood race track where also Lexus LFA set the world record of the fastest lap ever.
     
     
     http://www.fastestlaps.com/tracks/circuit_de_nevers_magny-cours_club.html
     
     
    http://www.fastestlaps.com/tracks/goodwood.html
     

  • David Hayter

    I
    got my laptimes from the fastestlaps website. Just do a comparo and you
    will see where I got them. I actually compared each of the cars against
    the LFA prior to posting my previous message. And how are they
    apples to oranges? LFA was made to hang with the super cars such as the
    GTR, ZR1, etc…unless you are suggesting that the GTR and the ZR1 are
    superior which they are not. Also, I never stated they were official lap times. Read my reply to Farrahsetamol concerning official laptimes. I posted these times based on the fastest times they were recorded. If
    you are ready to dismiss the 7:24.22 done by the GTR and then state
    that the autobild has done a test on the GTR which did a 7:43 laptime
    but then go back and say that the LFA’s time was between 7:21-7:22, then
    that is just sour grapes to me.
    You need to realize that autobild does not have the day or time like
    Nissan or GM to perform countless of testing every day to get the
    fastest time. They probably tested the cars over a span of just 1 or few
    days unlike Nissan. Also, professional driver or not, Nissan’s own
    driver is more familiarize with the GTR than the hired professional
    driver.

    Your quote on they were never replicated in real life point. Actually,
    they were replicated in real life. Look at the videos and my reason why
    the drivers who are more familiarize with the cars PLUS more days to
    beat their goal records will have sufficient advantages over Autobild’s
    test.

  • David Hayter

    Strange. Sorry but for whatever reason, my sentences were broken up. 

  • 05RollaXRS

    Sorry, you lost all credibility in my eyes a long time ago when you skewed the data.

    AutoBild took 1.5 weeks to preparation testing for the supercomparo. All cars were subject to equal amounts of testing by race car driver Sascha Bert. Same driver drove all cars for equal amounts of time. It just does not happen to be any more fair than that.

    The guy is a 24-hours endurance race car driver who drove all the cars.

    Yeah, more like AutoBild did not have the “shaved tires” and the “tune” for the supercomparo that Nissan did for the official lap times just so that e-thugs like you could go all over the internet brag about these so-called “official lap times”.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    I’m enjoying the back-and-forth between you and David, but I don’t think we need to start questioning anyone’s credibility. I doubt the intention was to discredit the LFA, but rather these were the posted laptimes on fastestlaps.com — I doublechecked this myself and found it to be the case.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! I really enjoyed my cup of coffee while reading the comments!

  • David Hayter

    -> will indicate your quotes.

    -> “Sorry, you lost all credibility in my eyes a long time ago when you skewed the data.”

    Quite the contrary. I have already stated that I used the fastestlap site to gather my data. You even used the site however or apparently, you did not even bother to do a comparison test with the LFA against its competitors. Next time, do a comparison test and not just look up a track which the LFA has the best time.

    Furthermore, I’m not going to play the blame game here as it is childish. If you cannot accept the GTR or the ZR1′s laptime of 7:24 and 7:26, respectively, then do not bother bringing up Haruhiko Tanahashi’s claim of the LFA lapping the ring at 7:21-7:22. In my opinion, the most important proof is the video because as they say, they do not lie. Another would be a magazine testing and statements from the manufacture’s HQ. From what you have seen I hope is that Nissan’s HQ has both shown a video (scenes even before they showed the time attack) and given a statement regarding the recording breaking goal. I have yet to see a production LFA time attacking the ring. Do I believe the LFA can beat the GTR, ZR1, and ACR’s lap time? Absolutely.

    “-> AutoBild
    took 1.5 weeks to preparation testing for the supercomparo. All cars
    were subject to equal amounts of testing by race car driver Sascha Bert.
    Same driver drove all cars for equal amounts of time. It just does not
    happen to be any more fair than that.”

    Again, further evidence pinpoints that you need to conduct your research more thoroughly as Nissan GTR’s test driver is also a professional driver.

    -> “The guy is a 24-hours endurance race car driver who drove all the cars.”
    Ignoratio elenchi.

    -> “Yeah,
    more like AutoBild did not have the “shaved tires” and the “tune” for
    the supercomparo that Nissan did for the official lap times just so that
    e-thugs like you could go all over the internet brag about these
    so-called “official lap times”.”

    Your sorites fallacy bothers me along with your need for an ad hominem remark as it expresses the poster’s level of maturity and lack of information. You are better than that.

  • David Hayter

    One thing to note, when I said “I have yet to see a production LFA time attacking the ring”, I meant to say:
    “I have yet to see a production LFA time attacking the ring with a proof of video inside the cockpit along with a timer, etc… you know the drill”. 

  • Lexus Ben

    Why is Hattori’s lap with a 7500rpm rev limiter?   Should have been able to do much faster time if they let him have full rev?????