Rumor: Lexus LFA Plug-in Hybrid in the works

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 13, 2010

Although Lexus announced that it will build the LFA supercar in a limited edition, it appears that the Japanese manufacturer is currently working on a LFA Plug-in Hybrid.

Apparently, Toyota doesn’t want the be the last manufacturer to build an electric sports car, after Porsche announced its intentions to build the 918 Spyder and Audi green lighted the e-Tron Concept.

Unfortunately, there are no official details. Regarding the production version of the LFA carries naturally aspirated 4,805cc capacity V10 engine capable to deliver 560 hp and 480 Nm of torque at 6,800 rpm.

This means the car hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds while the maximum speed achieved is 325 km/h (202 mph). With a total weight of 1,480kg, the LFA has a power to weight ratio of 373bhp per tonne.

The specific output of 115bhp per litre is among the highest of any current supercar. The engine is mated to a six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG) that drives the rear wheels via a limited slip differential. Price of the car €368,000.

The new Lexus LFA is not just a work of art, but a work of science as well. Engineers at the premium carmaker did not only design and develop the Lexus LFA to look as elegant and dynamic as possible, but they also made sure that it features the latest in materials, technologies and engineering.

True enough, the Lexus LFA is not an ordinary car, but is a supercar that’s in a league of its own. For starters, the rear-wheel-drive Lexus LFA features as its core a high-revving 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V10 engine that develops up to 552bhp and is mated to a rear-mounted six-speed sequential automatic transmission.

This core, along with the vehicle's light carbon fiber construction, helps the new Lexus LFA to reach a top speed that exceeds 200 mph. To further make the LFA as light as possible, Lexus implemented a number of measures designed to make the supercar lighter than before.

For instance, Lexus switched from using aluminum for the LFA's construction to Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) for the chassis and bodywork. However, instead of sourcing the CFRP from a third-party supplier, Lexus elected to build the structure in-house, drawing on the heritage of Toyota Motor Corp. in textile weaving technology.

In fact, Lexus was able to develop carbon fiber looms as well as a laser system to monitor the integrity of the material. Lexus Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi described the Lexus LFA as a thoroughbred supercar engineered to deliver a supreme driving experience.

He added that for the past decade, Lexus pursued this goal and managed to create what he considers as the most driver-orientated car.

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