Lexus offers racetrack training for new LFA owners

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 14, 2011

Driving the Lexus LFA requires some skills that the new owner may not already have and so, Lexus created the driver development program for future owners in the US. Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager, Lexus Division, said that this program gives customers the chance to “experience the 552 horsepower Lexus LFA supercar in its natural environment.” The program will be held at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, from March 8 to 15.

Racing professionals will conduct the driving lessons, which include racing theory, track lapping sessions, performance limit exercises and technical demonstrations. The LFA is powered by a 4.8l V8 engine, which develops 553 hp at 8,700 rpm and 480 Nm of torque at 6,800 rpm, a six-speed automated sequential gearbox.

It is capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in 3.7 seconds and it has a top speed rated at 325 km/h (202 mph). Templin said that “lapping Infineon and tips from the professional drivers” will boost the overall LFA ownership experience. The car is priced higher than $375,000. So far, Lexus has not revealed how much it will charge for the training session.

The styling holds true to the standards of L-finesse, the design philosophy behind the present Lexus models. As observed in the several air intakes as well as aerodynamic details, form follows function even in the design of the mirrors on the doors, made to direct air over the shoulders and into the rear intakes of the car. Its low-slung cabin is separated into three zones.

The mechanical zone includes the framework of the car’s construction. The human zone has two seats positioned at the car’s center. The driving zone has state-of-the-art instrumentation, which unites driver and vehicle. The hand-built cabin has driver-focused ergonomics.

Seats with fine leather upholstery and Alcantara offer the high level of support for both the back and sides that is needed in a car that has more than 200mph performance capacity. The trim repeats the sophisticated materials used in constructing the Lexus LFA with exposed matt and gloss carbon fiber areas. Trim details have a brushed metal finish while the throttle pedals and floor-hinged brake are forged-aluminum made.

With regards to the exterior finish, owners can opt for various interior colors and details that meet their preference. The compressed hooded instrument panel has a combination of LCD display panel with color Thin Film Transistor or TFT and a motor-drive detachable ring.

It includes a single circular dial with a central tachometer that has an LCD needle. When the engine speed goes beyond 9,000 rpm, the display area becomes red to prepare the drive for an up-shift. It can be programmed to turn green or yellow when the revs arrive at a user-chosen range.

The dial also accommodates a transmission mode, trip information displays, vehicle control data as well as a digital speedometer and gear indicator. On the left of the steering wheel is an information selector switch that allows the driver to toggle through a sequence of functions such as data display customization, cabin illumination adjustment and track-ready stopwatch system operation.

Once the car starts, this triggers an instrument display sequence, producing a sense of occasion, ending in the 4-digital dials showing water and oil temperatures, fuel level as well as oil pressure radiating out from the rev counter center to occupy their positions on each side of the central dial.

Active and passive safety provisions are in agreement with the excellent performance of Lexus LFA. The carbon fiber reinforced plastic structure at the center is very strong and gives outstanding impact protection. Crash boxes fitted at the front and rear are designed to collapse in a controlled manner in case of a sudden impact.

The front and rear are made from CFRP and extruded aluminum, respectively. Side impact protection consist of strong, rigid carbon fiber side components as well as door structures that include an aluminum inner panel and Glass fiber reinforced Sheet Molding Compound or G-SMC outer skin.

Lexus LFA’s incorporated Lexus's Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) system manages the smooth operation of the ABS, traction control systems and stability of the vehicle as it comes close to its performance limits, subject to crucial data such as yaw and roll rates, brake operation, individual wheel speed as well as lateral, longitudinal and vertical acceleration.

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