Autoblog’s First Drive of the Lexus LFA

Lexus LFA by Autoblog

Autoblog’s first drive writeup of the Lexus LFA does a great job of putting the reader in the drivers seat:

Nestled into the stylish yet supremely comfortable seats, Toyota’s attention to detail continued to assault every fiber of my being. I can’t remember the last time I was excited about seat controls (never?), but the milled aluminum switchgear next to one’s left leg is modern automotive art. Even the seatbelt causes pause: its thick, textured outer coating stretched across the chest, simultaneously securing and satisfying. I’ve never experienced that before, and probably never will again.

Even more than the driving impression, it’s the writer’s excellent job of decoding the LFA’s place in the world, and why Lexus chose to handle their first supercar in such a controlled, limited fashion:

The age of automotive lightness is nearly upon us, and unconventional wisdom says that the automaker who brings composite production costs out of the stratosphere is going to have a huge advantage going forward. The LFA is a test bed for that development – the first massive leap for the world’s largest automaker.

While weight reduction is something all enthusiasts are clamoring for, Toyota’s first application is the hyper-expensive LFA. Far, far below that is the FT-86 Concept, which Toyota asserts is the model for lightweight sports coupes going forward.

Very interesting thinking—and one idea that makes a lot of sense. Much of the technology in the LFA is brand new, created almost entirely from scratch, for the express purpose of pushing the entire company forward. The fact there’s a working, fantastic supercar at the end of all that research and development is just a very large bonus.

Truly, the LFA is an illustration of Lexus’ future, of where the brand’s going and what it wants to become. It may take some time, but elements of this $400,000 supercar will make its way through the entire lineup, and is sure to weigh heavily in the brand’s direction.

[Source: Autoblog]