Lexus LFA chief engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi talks about the supercar, launched today at the Tokyo motor show.
Why is Lexus making a supercar?To demonstrate the capability of Lexus (and Toyota), and because it was the right time to make a new challenge. Also to act as a halo model for the F versions of Lexus’s regular production cars.
Why has it taken so long?We wanted to produce the car earlier [to coincide with Toyota’s elusive first F1 win], and it was completed to an acceptable standard, but then we wanted more from the project. That’s why we switched to a carbonfibre chassis for improved rigidity and handling.
What are the LFA’s competitors and what makes it different?The LFA sits between cars like the Ferrari 430 Scuderia/Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 and bigger supercars like the Murciélago SV and Pagani Zonda, but with a more protective side to its character. If you go beyond the edge there is the knowledge that the car is on your side.
Who is going to buy it?A buyer who is not as extrovert or showy as the traditional supercar customer, and someone who is interested in technology.