Lexus LFA workshop tapped to hand-build Toyota Mirai fuel cell car

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 29, 2014

LFA Works, the secretive workshop in charge of building the Lexus LFA until its production ended around two years ago, is alive and kicking once again. Operations at the Japanese workshop is now up and running after it was selected by Toyota Motor Corp. to build by hand one high-profile vehicle – the new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell sedan.

Located at Toyota’s Motomachi assembly site in Toyota City, LFA Works was picked by the carmaker for the job partly because of its craftsmanship and attention to detail. Likewise, the Toyota Mirai is better built by hand than in the carmaker’s plants, simply because it features a dedicated platform and hydrogen-powered drivetrain plus a huge fuel tank.

The fuel-cell car’s drivetrain and other components are produced at nearby Honsha site in Toyota City. Since Mirai output is very limited -- just 700 units in the first year -- Toyota has warned of delivery delays.

Masamoto Maekawa, executive vice president for domestic sales, disclosed that the carmaker already received 200 orders for the Mirai, and those who booked their orders today will get their units next summer.

As to why, Maekawa said each Mirai is “carefully built with utmost care,” which means the production volume might be limited. He said that during the initial stages of production, delivery time might be delayed.

He noted that the 200 orders for the Mirai are mostly government and corporate fleets. Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai, remarked that Toyota is building each of the units to order partly because the carmaker wants to match output to demand and avoid overproduction.

LFA Works built a limited run of 500 Lexus LFA V10 sports cars from 2010 to 2012. The workshop also built a limited run of 200 Lexus F Sport Roadbikes.

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