What Comes After the Lexus LFA?


Lexus LFA Week at TTAC

Last week, The Truth About Cars ran an exhaustive behind-the-scenes look at how the Lexus LFA is built at Motomachi plant in Toyota City, Japan — the entire series is rich in detail and worth reading, but I wanted to highlight a passage from the fifth & final chapter:

Speaking of keeping busy, I ask what will come after the LFA.

[LFA Chief Engineer Haruhiko] Tanahashi facetiously says, “the LFB.”

When confronted with the rumor that the next car will be a million dollar supercar that is made in the homeopathic quantity of 100, Tanahashi wipes it off the table: “No, not true at all.”

So will the next car be a high-end CFRP Lexus under $100,000 at maybe 5,000 units a year? Tanahashi pauses, thinks for a few seconds, reviews where he and his team are on that road to the future, then says:

“It’s not that simple.”

What will happen to the LFA Works at the end of the year? Will Tanahashi, now 59, simply go into retirement? Will the 170 associates who make the LFA go back to making Crowns, Corollas and Camrys?

Tanahashi collects his thoughts, then says:

“CFRP is a very promising material. Even after the LFA project finishes, the carbon factory will be well utilized.”

While this may put the rumor of a million dollar LFA II to rest, it also opens the door to all types of possibilities as to what comes next.

For the time being, the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) used for the LFA will remain an expensive material to produce, and will drive up the cost of any car that uses it. In my mind, that limits the possible applications to Lexus vehicles, and to one potential model in particular — wouldn’t CFRP make a great starting point for a production LF-LC?

(Once again, a commendable job by Bertel Schmitt on this series — be sure to head over to TTAC for the full read).

[Source: TTAC]

Comments


  • http://www.facebook.com/RDS.Alphard Yong Thian Ding

    I’ve an idea , why don’t let CFRP did some stuff on F model ? Not F-Sport model , I meant F model , like IS-F ! If Lexus can made LFA in full CFRP , why don’t feature fomr CFRP stuff on IS-F ?

    Besides the cost issue , all I can think will , would be damage repair issue (which also related with cost) & they haven’t thought about it … I’m thinking maybe a CFRP roof , even CRPF rood that still keep a nice sunroof/panorama roof , or maybe CFRP side mirror , or go insane with CFRP body reinforcement stuff like tower bar & such .

    PS … CFRP Lexus LS-F . XD

  • BlackDynamiteNY

    What I never understood about the LFA is it uses virtually no steel, is 65% CFRP and 35% aluminum, but it still is considerably heavier than a McLaren or 458 Italia……
    BD

  • http://twitter.com/_CyCo Winston Williams

    I think Lexus made a ‘mistake’ with the LFA. Whatever car comes next might prove this, I think they need a more accessible model, one that dealerships can stock one in the price range of comparable supercars. 

    But what can they do to justify the drop in cost? Fans will want more power, more weight savings and more or equal technology of the current LFA, same or better soundtrack. How can they do this and take a $150K or so off the price. 

    Do they do a less exotic engine? and like BD stated if when using  CFRP and 
    Al  it’s still a bit on the heavy side how will they achieve weight loss.

    What comes next Lexus? 

    Also I must note, all those other popular supercar manufacturers that sell ‘cheap’ supercars shouldn’t be viewed in such a special light cause in my opinion, if they were doing something right a typical mass producer of people movers like FIAT and VW etc wouldn’t have had to bought them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.yek Kevin Yek

    Lexus will not made anything more expensive than the LFA, at least not for another few years or even a decade. They never wanted to built the LFA at that price but they have to. They have to built a halo hypercar if not it will forever be bashed as not having any racing history or good car and Lexus will always be soft,a tier lower than bmw/merc in people’s mind. Taking panamera and FF for example, they are some of the ugliest car but they still sell like hot cake which is mostly due to their image set by their halo car, enzo, carrera gt and such.

    Toyota is uncomfortable making car that expensive but they cant risk themselves at the 100k range which will probably get beaten by GTR and zr1 and end up not reaching their goals. That is the reason they are given unlimited time/money to built a car that is worth selling at the 300k range. And now, they can at last built IS-F/GS-F/LS-F and claim having something to do with the LFA and they will sell better than they used to.
    As for the LFB, my guess is they will make something very alike to the LFA and sell is at the 458/R8 price range which will look like a better deal than the LFA(remember their partnership with BMW?) although not beating them or selling as well (dont forget they are selling the 86/frs and making profit there)and eventually reaching the 100k price point and revive the supra vs gtr battle. At the same time they will be TRD and STI version of the 86,brz to compete at the 50k price point with 370z. Eventually, sportscar will be all over toyota/lexus brand again before you know it . This are of course all my own prediction(and wishes xD). Only god knows what the future of toyota/Lexus will be like

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sebastien-Kroetsch/550680597 Sebastien Kroetsch

    The LFA seems to me like an expirement to learn how to bring back the sportiness and thrill behind Toyota/Lexus cars which had been lost for many years. I don’t believe that a simple Supra would have done it for them, especially with the GT-R being such a bargain in the supercar world.

    In my opinion CFRP will definitely be used in F models to come and TRD special vehicles down the road. Obviously they can’t just collect dust on that expensive loom.

    Like it was mentionned before, a LFA II or LFB would only make sense in a few years from now or at least in enough time for current owners to get bored with theirs ;)

  • http://twitter.com/FreeSpirit16680 Мохамед Ибрагимов

    i don’t know
    All above thoughts are so logic actually and i agree on it

    but my though is different
    as i guess before 2014 come we may have the LFA-II

    my though it will come also with  V10 Engine but may be 5.6L for example and 600+hp

    which leaves a space to the next generation SC or the LC what they will called it to have a decent range from 400 – 550 hp

    that’s plus also LEXUS will change something to make 2 performance line for every car
    specially the 5 cores

    IS
    GS
    LS
    SC/LC
    LFA

    my guessing we will see F-marque & TMG-marque

    the TMG will be the direct injected turbo charged F

    as we will see in the next LS

    LS
    LS-F sport (just F body tweaks)
    LS-F (may be around 550)
    & the year ago spotted LS-TMG (650)

    *remember the GS will soon have it’s own Coupe , and the next IS will get also it’s first true Coupe

    on the other hand TOYOTA i mean
    it will try to get so much from specially the 6 & 3 series so we may not only see the revival of SUPRA but we can also see revival of CELICA , MR or even the SOARER (the badges SC) with total body and mechanical work than the new (SC/LC)

  • AstonMartin

    A dream combination would be if Lexus/Toyota purchased Lotus Cars.  With their combined racing heritage, advanced engineering technology from Lotus, CFRP technology from Toyota and the new joint venture with BMW – the results would be amazing.  Lexus could produce a series sports cars that were world class and Lotus could once again rise as its had a number of setbacks under present ownership – including the six concept vehicles that the public will likely never see produced at this point. At minimal, the LfLC will be made at the Motomachi plant utilizing a number of the advanced technologies present there. 

  • MD

     That is because most people don’t realize Lexus LFA also has considerably more weight of luxury items in it. For example, the 458 Italia does not come with electric 12-way adjustable seats like the LFA does. The 458 Italia has the manual handle adjustable seats like any econobox does. Samething goes for the backup camera etc.

    Still compared to 458 Italia, LFA weighs mostly 80 – 100 lbs more (3450 lbs for 458 Italia and 3460 – 3548 lbs for the LFA)

    Lexus had stated, if many of the luxury items are deleted when the buyer builds his LFA, 200 lbs of weight could be shaved off, but not one buyer decided to delete any amenity.

    Then, remember LFA is a front midship layout so they had to add a lot of things to place things in the back such as the radiators and also a torque tube that encases the prop shaft. All of these are not there on rear engine cars.

  • MD

     LFA is already marginally more than the mass produced 458 Italia. It is just that clever marketing in which they put base price as the stripped down model. If you check dupontregistry.com, you will see 458 Italias sell for no less than $300,000 – $350,000 while the few people trying to flip their LFAs are asking for $384,000. Even price as tested in all magazine tests show atleast $290,000 – $300,000 price.

    Considering there are only 500 LFAs ever, it is a bargain.

  • MD

     It is feather light compared to other front engined cars since front engined cars with midship layout put a lot of things like the radiators in the back and torque tube etc., that all adds weight.

    Plus remember, both 458 Italia and Mclaren MP4 are not even in the same league when it comes to luxury amenities like the LFA has.

  • 05RollaXRS

    Here is the first very in-depth look video of the LFA Nurburgring Edition.

    This guy did a phenomenal job. Please give him a thumbs up and rate the video up. He deserves it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChE1YUeKRV0&feature=player_embedded

  • http://www.facebook.com/RDS.Alphard Yong Thian Ding

    I’m not sure about radiator of 458 Italia & MP4-12C , but as my knowledge , MR vehicle are much like LFA , they have radiator located opposite end of the engine .

  • http://www.facebook.com/RDS.Alphard Yong Thian Ding

    I’ve to agree which ever you see Ferrari , Porsche , McLaren & such in a cheap “price” , those price is actually a base-price …

  • WHY???!!!

    And Ferrari tack on 10k for some painted calipers for the brakes…

  • http://www.facebook.com/RDS.Alphard Yong Thian Ding

    Give your Ferrari to me , I can respray the whole car in $1k . XD