+Lexus LF-A Nurb Package
When chief engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi requested a study into the viability of a real sports car, the image he had in mind bore no resemblance to the magnificent LFA that eventually went into production. After all, Lexus was a brand leader in quality passenger cars, not a manufacturer of exotic, low-volume supercars.
Four months after being given the go-ahead for the study, Tanahashi recorded in his diary that the first product meeting on June 26, 2000 proposed a V6 open-top sports car. An competitive evaluation drive at the testing facility in Shibetsu was planned for the following month. What happened at the test drive set in motion a sequence of events that would ultimately determine the design of the LFA.
Following the initial evaluation, a decision was made to produce a full-size sports car, and Tanahashi setting up a meeting with potential engine supplier, Yamaha, to discuss possible options. Tanahashi discussed both V6 and V8 engines with his counterparts at Yamaha and studied the options with the intention of presenting them at the next product planning meeting. In September 2000, he met with Toyota’s Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato, who made it clear that a V8 would not be adequate to power the dream car. Only a V10 that could rival Formula One technology would be seen as appropriate for a Lexus supercar!
The V10 design held several advantages over other equivalent displacement layouts: V8 wouldn’t be able to rev as high whilst the reciprocating mass and increased friction of a V12 would eat away at performance.
The 4.8-liter engine in the LFA was designed to produce 412 kW (560 PS) at 8,700 rpm, with a maximum torque of 480 Nm (354 lb.ft) at 6,800 rpm, 90 percent of which would be available from 3,700 rpm. The engine had to rev to 9,000 rpm, with the fuel cutoff set at 9,500 rpm. Forged aluminum pistons, forged titanium connecting rods, and solid titanium valves were chosen for durability and reliability.