Bangkok Post Interviews Lexus LFA Chief Engineer

Lexus LFA

There’s a quick interview with Lexus LFA Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi in the Bangkok Post, and part of it addresses the decision to use an automated manual gearbox in the supercar instead of a DSG:

– Have you considered a dual-clutch automatic gearbox for the LFA?

I’ve tried Volkswagen’s DSG around Nurburgring. Although it must be said [that DSG] is smooth, such a gearbox doesn’t suit the LFAs boy-ish character.

– But isn’t refinement one of the key brand values of Lexus?

Yes, but I prefer [the automated manual gearbox]. I really don’t care whether it doesn’t suit the brand.

– What were the benchmark cars for the LFA during development?

None. There were no benchmarks. Just the LFA on its own.

Strong answers from Tanahashi-san, who shows just the kind of personality needed to develop a supercar from scratch. I never thought of the LFA as “boyish” before, but considering how much I think looks like a spaceship, the description really does fit.

[Source: Bangkok Post]


  1. RDS

    I would agree with him , although DSG can make a shifting bump like Automated Manual Gearbox , it's still very DSG~ish , which is specially for girl . Lexus LFA is kind of hard core modern HyperCar , the current gearbox is very very good for it . But , please don't put Manual on it to slow it down .
  2. The LFA is perfect. Leave it how it is. I wonder what havin more power will do for it tho. It make less power then most or some of the cars it rival and its just as fast as them... wonder what more power will do..
  3. The LFA is perfection in every way.I just wish they could apply the same philosophy of design,engineering and heritage to something more affordable.Imagine a Celica,Supra or an MR2 built with the same dedication and passion!
  4. "Yes, but I prefer [the automated manual gearbox]. I really don’t care whether it doesn’t suit the brand." Seems like a cop out to me. So he's sacrificing the superior performance of a dual-clutch transmission so the car can be more boyish with the automated manual? If that's the case then why not go boyish all the way with a real manual transmission? Automated manual just seems more ish than boy to me. And more boy than man(ual). :-D
  5. what superior performance dual-clutch has... yes its faster shift in principle, but in real life, gear that is waiting is allmost everytime a wrong one. then after it thinks a bit what gear to choose, then blows that right gear in with force, time has elapse comparing automated single clutch or even "normal" auto'box and possibility of serious damage risen, as we see already in entry-lever pover germans
  6. Lexusluver wrote:Automated manual just seems more ish than boy to me. And more boy than man(ual). :-D
    Haha, clever! 8-)
  7. @toyotagroup4ever: I would have to agree with you on this. Yes lots of DCT/DSG/PDK on the market right now especially on high performance vehicles such as Ferrari's California/F458, Porsche's 911 line up... but I think in a pure performance stand point Automated Manual gearbox will be superior over the "wet" clutch design in an extended run in highspeed/trackdays. Yes it might be a little bit less refine to drive around town. especially in stop and go traffic. But for a pure exotic stand point isn't there should be something that feels like you are actually in one? Instead of all these latest gadgets that makes an exotic drives like a normal sedan?