The race enthusiasts of Japan had an uncommon opportunity to view the Lexus LF-A in action this weekend, when the extremely mysterious V10 sport coupe was displayed at Toyota's Motorsports Festival at Fuji Speedway. This was the black "development" LF-A mule that participated in the Nurburgring 24 Hours this summer.
At the wheel of the car was Akio Toyoda, executive vice president of Toyota and one of the major causes behind the LF-A program.
Before a crowd of about 30,000, Akio did two rounds in the LF-A, which made a enormous sound and was not short on speed. Nearly two years following the concept variant's introduction in Detroit, Toyota is mum about when or if the LF-A will make it to the production lines.
Reliable sources suppose, however, that the production LF-A has already been decided, and this long awaited 480-horsepower, 200-mph super coupe will make an appearance at some strategic point in 2009, with a restricted run of sales to begin afterward, possibly in 2010 or 2011.
The current rumor going around in Tokyo has been that Toyota is considering a 500-unit run with a listed price that would correspond to about $261,000-$313,000. Knowing the present economic climate, those numbers, and truly even entire future of LF-A, could yet be changed.
Right from the start, the LF-A has been pressed by Akio Toyoda, descendant of the Toyoda family that founded the Toyota Motor Corporation, arch motorsport enthusiast and the person commonly expected to be the subsequent president and CEO of Toyota. Apart from his support, the LF-A, which has constantly existed beyond Toyota's typical production processes, would almost certainly have been scrapped. [source insideline]