When the name "Toyota" is heard, these days most thoughts jump straight to Prius or Camry, but that hasn't always been the case. There once was a time when all-wheel drive Celicas, midengined MR2s, and twin-turbocharged Supras could be found at your local Toyota dealer and gracing adolescents' walls in poster form. Toyota used to be fun. Perhaps it still can be.
Witness the dramatic return of the Toyota Supra, only this time it's not a Supra. Heck, it's not even a Toyota. It is the Lexus LF-A.
While the LF-A may not share a name with its spiritual predecessor, it does share a vision. The slick profile and front-engined, rear-driven configuration definitely pay homage to the previous ultimate Toyota. However, instead of a twin-turbocharged V-6, the LF-A is packing a 4.8-liter V-10 twists its crank to the tune of 560 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Lightweight titanium valves and connecting rods along with forged aluminum pistons, help the LF-A's engine achieve its lofty 9,000rpm redline. Power is transmitted to a Torsen limited slip differential that splits torque between the back pair of 20-inch wheels.
Runs from 0-62 mph will happen in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 201.94 mph. A 48/52 weight distribution and meaty tires at all four corners mean that this big boy should be able to dance like Warren Sapp.
The original Supra was no bantamweight and neither is the LF-A; it tips the scales at 3,263 pounds. All things considered, that's still pretty light for its size, thanks to gratuitous usage of carbon fiber in its body's construction. The power to weight ratio places the LF-A right on the tail of Audi R8 V10 and the Lamborghini Gallardo, and within shouting distance of the Ferrari 599. To say the least, watching the LF-A versus Nissan GT-R shootouts that are bound to pop up over the next year should be interesting.
Being Car Tech, we can't overlook what's happening inside the LF-A's cabin. Tucked deeply into the center console is a large LCD screen that we assume is connected to something similar to Lexus' current Enform interface. We also gather that it is not a touch screen because of the presence of Lexus' Remote Touch joystick with haptic feedback. While we're speculating, it would be nice if Lexus threw in some sort of customizable performance computer a la Nissan GT-R.
The instrument cluster is very cool looking, placing emphasis on the huge centrally-mounted tachometer with integrated digital speedometer. An LED shift light ring is hidden in the tach's bezel and illuminates red at redline and amber at a user adjustable shift point.
So let's run through the checklist. Exotic engine? Check. Greater than 200 mph top speed? Check. Impractical two-seat configuration? Check. Extremely limited production? Only 500 units being produced, so check. Exorbitant price tag? At a little under $400k, we can safely say double check.
What do you think readers? Do we have a bona fide supercar on our hands? Let us know in the comments.