Before this week I had never driven a supercar, but after two laps behind the wheel of the forthcoming 2012 Lexus LFA I've discovered a new source for an adrenaline fix. While I can't compare the LFA to other cars in its class, I can say that the buzz among enthusiasts at the Monticello Motor Club was quite favorable. Drivers seemed impressed and even surprised that this level of performance could come from Lexus.
The 553-horsepower LFA was incredibly easy to drive, combining strength, obedience and comfort in a package with aggression that can be dialed up or down on the fly. The six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox has intuitive paddles for ultra-quick gear shifts (0.2 seconds) while in one of four driving modes—Auto, Sport, Normal and Wet.
Whether during the neck-snapping acceleration of 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds, on heart-racing straits at up to 202 mph or silky-smooth downshifts, the engine provided a perfect soundtrack. Crafted by a team of engineers, the LFA sound was created by emphasizing the secondary combustion frequency of the engine and then introducing primary, secondary and tertiary firing harmonics.
The cockpit is snug but with glove-like comfort and it features all the amenities of a Lexus. From the modal digital speedometer we previously featured to a rear-facing camera that makes reversing safer and a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system, the LFA has all the tech points covered as well.
Lexus is currently taking orders for this $375,000, V10 beauty and the hand-built production process begins December 2010. Only 500 will be made; customers can choose from 30 exterior colors, six brake caliper colors, and 12 interior colors. I'd go for matte black with green brakes, personally.
Photographs by Josh Rubin. See more in the gallery