Quick Interviews with Lexus LFA Chief Engineer Tanahashi & IS F Chief Engineer Yaguchi

Lexus LFA & IS F CCS-R

While in Japan for the Tokyo Motor Show, I had a chance to meet Lexus LFA chief engineer Tanahashi Haruhiko & IS F chief engineer at the Fuji Speedway — time was limited with so many journalists in attendance, but I did get a chance to ask each of them a couple questions.

Here are both conversations, conducted through a Japanese translator.

A Conversation with LFA Chief Engineer Tanahashi Haruhiko

Lexus LFA Interview with Tanahashi Haruhiko

Kevin Watts: When you started the LFA project, did you know that it was begin a transformation of the Lexus brand?

Tanahashi-san: Well, I didn’t know for sure, but I had the strong belief that through the LFA, I could strengthen the Lexus brand.

What legacy does the LFA leave, and what does it mean to Lexus?

Well, I think that answer will be given by history, don’t you think? It’s not really something I should answer.

How does it feel for the LFA to be complete, to no longer be sold?

Of course, I’m a little bit sad — I miss it. That’s 50%, the other 50% is that I have this sense of accomplishment.

What’s next for the chief engineer of the LFA?

Continuously, going forward, I will be engaged in LFA.

A Conversation with IS F Chief Engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi

Lexus IS F CCS-R

Kevin Watts: What has driven you to continually improve the IS F over its lifecycle?

Yaguchi-san: Mostly because I like the IS F, but I also love watching the customers enjoy driving this car.

You started the IS F as a skunkworks project, working on the car in your own time. All these years later, it’s now one of the flagship performance models for Lexus — how does that feel?

Now that we have the F SPORT models, and we have more and more cars that customers enjoy driving, and that’s a good thing.

Have to ask, will there be a next generation IS F?

Just a little more patience, we’ll have something to talk about in the near future.

Special thanks to both Tanahashi-san & Yaguchi-san for taking the time for my questions, and to Lexus USA for inviting me to attend this special event at Fuji Speedway.