The First SGD$1.3Million Lexus LFA Supercar Arrives in Singapore

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay News | Latest Industry News

 

Singapore, 14th February 2011 - Borneo Motors (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Inchcape Motors announced the delivery of the first Lexus LFA Supercar that just arrived on our Singapore shores in January 2011. This is the 21st hand-assembled LFA of the limited 500 units that will be produced for worldwide.


The Lexus LFA supercar is developed and set to pursuit the supreme driving experience – One that is dynamic and engaging. Powered by a sophisticated high-revving 4.8 litre V10 engine that generates 552hp, the Lexus LFA is set to rocket from 0 to 100km in 3.7 seconds at a top speed of 325km/h. The lightning quick six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG) complemented by four driving modes: Auto, Sport, Normal and Wet, always puts the driver in full control. The Lexus LFA not only redefines the 21st Century supercar, but also reinforces a new framework for Lexus and its advanced approach to automotive development.

 

1. THE FIRST SUPERCAR DEVELOPED BY LEXUS

 

A New Flagship for the F portfolio of Lexus Performance Models

The Lexus LFA is the first supercar developed by Lexus to meet, exceed and push the company’s exacting technological, material and engineering boundaries at every step. Featuring advanced carbon fibre technology, a high revving 552hp 4.8-litre V10 engine and rear-mounted six-speed sequential transmission, the LFA combines lightweight construction and ideal chassis balance to deliver exhilarating and usable 325km/h performance. Entering the LFA not once but twice into the punishing Nurburgring 24 Hours race in 2008 and 2009, the LFA was pushed as hard as possible under the most testing of conditions. The LFA is the new flagship and halo model for the F performance marquee that emphasizes serious performance.

 

Design and Development

Painstakingly developed from a blank canvas in 2000 by a small and dedicated team of hand-picked engineers led by Haruhiko Tanahashi, chief engineer of the LFA’s development project, the supercar was to approach the LFA from a non-traditional angle. Focusing on new technologies, materials and processes, the team wanted to create a dynamic new approach point for Lexus that would calibrate the company’s approach to the design of all its models. Limited to only 500 units worldwide, the LFA is hand-assembled by “Lexus LFA Works” at the Motomachi Plant in Toyota City by skilled technicians and engineers.

 

2. PERFORMANCE REDEFINED Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) Construction

One of LFA’s defining elements was the need to keep the overall weight of the LFA to an absolute minimum. Therefore a move to pioneer the development of the LFA’s sophisticated CFRP structure in-house was done to ensure the quality of the carbon fibre used met with Lexus’ own stringent standards. At four times the strength of aluminium, the CFRP delivers major weight savings that was more than 100kg over an equivalent aluminium body, contributing to the low 1,480kg curb weight. The advanced resin technology used in the LFA’s chassis is the same employed in today’s most cutting-edge aerospace programs, favour for its unmatched weight and strength qualities. The CFRP construction not only allowed the engineers to only master carbon fibre production, but also helped in the development of groundbreaking new processes to create a new LFA that was stronger, stiffer and lighter than any metal-based alternative could be. The LFA’s extensive use of CFRP accounts for 65% of the body-in-white weight, with aluminium alloys comprising the remaining 35%. Requiring no threaded aluminium insert or direct CFRP contact unlike most joining processes, the LFA team employs a flanged aluminium collar to link the two materials and overcome the inherent weaknesses in such joints.

 

 

4.8-Litre V10 Performance Engine

At the heart of the LFA lies a specifically developed V10 engine that sets new automotive standards for compact dimensions, lightweight architecture and scintillating performance. While the LFA’s V10 is smaller than a traditional V8 engine and as light as a conventional V6 engine, it delivers undiluted supercar performance. Featuring a 72o angle between cylinder heads: the perfect angle for both primary and secondary balance in a V10 engine for smooth running characteristics, the mid-mounted powerplant has a 4,805cc, 552hp and a rev to a wailing 9,000rpm redline. The application of VVT-i variable valve timing with intelligence on both intake and exhaust combined with equal length exhaust manifolds and high-volume 12″ hole fuel injector results in 90% of this formidable torque being available between 3,700rpm and 9,000rpm red line, for searing in-gear acceleration at any engine speed and in any gear. The result is a 0-100km/h time of only 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 325km/h. With a low curb weight and an explosive 552hp, the LFA power to weight ratio stands at 372hp per tonne.

 

The combination of a high, 12:1 compression ratio, low friction internals and optimised intake and exhaust flow results in the LFA’s powerplant developing an exceptional 115hp per litre, one of the highest specific outputs amongst the current crop of supercars. The use of exotic and innovative materials including titanium and magnesium, an unwavering focus on low inertia and the exploitation of cutting-edge motorsport technologies were key to help achieve these incredible goals. Each cylinder features an independent, electronically controlled throttle body to ensure engine intake air takes the shortest and most efficient route. This allows the calculation of the appropriate fuel injection volume far more quickly than any conventional system. The result is an engine that responds incredibly quickly to even the smallest and subtlest inputs from the forged aluminium, floor mounted throttle. The LFA engine can rev from idle to its 9,000 rpm redline in just 0.6 seconds and this necessitated the need for a digital rev counter, since an analogue system could not keep pace with the engine’s ability to gain and lose revolutions. At 9,000 rpm, its pistons are moving at approximately 25 meters per second, making it one of the highest revving and most powerful engines ever unleashed in a production car.

 

 

Six-Speed Automated Sequential Gearbox

The LFA’s specifically developed all-new six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG) drives the rear wheels through a torque-sensing Limited Slip Differential, and is mounted in transaxle layout over the rear axle to achieve an optimal 48:52 weight distribution. This balance combines the controllability and straight-line stability of a front-engine rear-drive layout with the handling dynamism and cornering agility of a mid-engine rear-drive platform. The ASG transmission operated by steering wheel column-mounted paddle shifters, is engineered to execute incredibly gear shifts and can upshift in just 0.2 seconds. Also featuring four driving modes – AUTO, SPORT, NORMAL and WET – actuated by a dash-mounted Mode dial that has its own engine and brake control logic systems, the driver gets to select the mode best suited to under-tire conditions. Gearshift speeds can be adjusted in seven stages – from approximately 0.2 seconds for intense track work to 1.0 second for smooth cruising – using a Shift Speed Selection dial, logically situated just below the Mode dial. In AUTO mode, the shift speed is fixed in the second speed stage for smooth and comfortable gear changes.

 

Yamaha Tuned V10 Engine

The superb acoustics of the LFA’s V10 engine have been acoustically tuned to deliver a unique and Formula-1 inspired soundtrack – from idle note to red-line wail – for those both inside and outside the cabin. By emphasising the secondary combustion frequency of the LFA’s engine and then introducing primary, secondary and tertiary firing harmonics, the LFA’s acoustics and Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd team created a signature exhaust note unlike that of any other road car. Horizontally split intake surge tanks mimics the acoustic chambers of wind and string instruments for a rich and resonant bass and three acoustically optimised sound channels ensure the LFA’s cabin is filled with the engine’s sonorous intake and exhaust soundtracks.

 

 

Carbon Ceramic Material Brake Discs

The LFA has been equipped with one of the most advanced and powerful braking systems fitted to a production car. At the initial development stages, the LFA used conventional iron brake discs but was switched to advanced Carbon Ceramic Material (CCM) brake discs to offer a reduction to the overall weight. Each CCM disc is 5kg lighter than the previous iron discs and this significantly reduces unsprung weight to the benefit of steering precision and dynamic agility. CCM discs also deliver a longer service life and exceptional fade-free braking for confidence-inspiring performance under even the most demanding of driving conditions. To ensure constant stopping power regardless of brake temperature and vehicle speed, the brake discs are gripped by bespoke, high-friction micron pads that are manufactured exclusively for CCM brake discs, and feature a larger swept friction-generating pad-to-disc contact. Pad wear at each corner is monitored by the LFA’s Electronic Pad Wear Indicators, which monitor the state of the pads and inform the driver with an audiovisual warning should they need attention.

 

Multi-Link Rear Suspension

The LFA’s rides on a new, high-performance, double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension layout, developed after extensive work at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, to deliver clear and vital steering and chassis feedback to the driver, perfectly balancing on-the-limit capability, exceptional levels of grip and secure high-speed stability. Focused on lowering weight wherever possible, the suspension features forged aluminium knuckles and suspension arms to further reduce unsprung weight and maintain high-speed stability, as well as hollow anti-roll bars. To ensure exceptional chassis rigidity, the LFA features intelligently engineered bracing along the bottom of the chassis, to create a rigid and robust platform for the suspension members and to bestow the LFA with high torsional and flexural rigidity needed to effectively manage the high G-loads encountered at extreme speeds.

 

 

Active Rear Wing

The active rear wing, complete with a Gurney flap on the trailing edge, deploys in accordance with the speed and driving mode. Retracted at low speeds or when the car is stationary, it rises at speed of 80km/h and above, shifting the centre of pressure towards the rear of the car and increasing high-speed stability. The smooth and flat underbody is fitted to generate significant downforce by causing air flowing beneath the car to travel quicker than air flowing over the top. This flat undertray works together with a lightweight CFRP rear diffuser, which sweeps upwards at an optimum angle and radius, contributing to excellent high-speed handling and stability.

 

Column-Assist Electric Power Steering

The LFA is fitted with a race-tuned, constant ratio rack and pinion steering system, complete with a unique, column-assist Electric Power Steering (EPS) set-up that creates an instant connection between driver and wheels. The EPS system is engineered to translate the driver’s inputs as accurately and precisely as possible and, in return, provide him with uncorrupted and transparent feedback from the wheels.

 

3. SUPERCAR STYLE FROM EVERY CURVE AND ANGLE

 

L-Finesse Design

Sleek, athletic and muscular, the low-slung LFA coupe exudes supercar style from every curve and angle. Despite its mould-breaking styling the LFA can immediately be identified as a Lexus through adherence to the three key characteristics of the Lexus L-finesse design philosophy. Rooted deeply in both traditional and modern Japanese culture, the L-finesse design rationale expresses three fundamental elements: “Incisive Simplicity” or purity; the “Intriguing Elegance” of emotional appeal; and the “Seamless Anticipation” of the experience and care of Japanese hospitality. The low weight and high strength CFRP also gave the designers a far higher degree of design freedom allowing them to create shapes, curves and edges that would been impossible with metal. Designed not to interrupt the clean lines of the LFA’s flanks, its letter-box style door handles are secreted in the door uppers, and, in a similar move, the LFA features a double-blade, single-sweep wiper with a consistently generous wipe area. The LFA’s rear features a striking exhaust baffle with a trio of stacked exhaust outlets. Finished in heat-resistant black coating, this stainless steel baffle offsets the polished rims of the exhausts. It also features an imperceptible gap between the exhaust pipe and the baffle to enhance its technical appearance.

 

 

20″ 10-Spoke Forged Rims

The LFA rides on 20-inch forged, 10-spoke BBS aluminium wheels, shod with Bridgestone Potenza tires with a new tread pattern – 265/35 ZR20 at the front and 305/30 ZR20 profile at the rear. The tires have been developed specifically for the LFA and feature an asymmetrical tread pattern, making them ideal for maximum attack on the track irrespective of the weather conditions.

 

Ergonomically Defined Cabin

The cabin is logically divided into three zones. The first is the mechanical zone, the skeleton that emphatically underlines the LFA’s supercar performance. Next is the human zone, the seats to support occupants even during extreme driving. And finally the driving zone, the instrumentation interface that brings driver and machine together. The LFA’s leather-wrapped seats are orthopedically designed with a split rear backrest, pronounced side bolsters and eight-way electric adjustment to deliver both superb long-distance comfort and outstanding levels of support. Adopting a mid-front engine layout created the ideal longitudinal position for the seats – at the centre of the vehicle’s wheelbase and laterally as close to the car’s centre as possible, a position that allows the driver to feel and respond intuitively to the changes in the vehicle’s behaviour. Creating a narrow centre tunnel to house the horizontally stacked torque tube and exhaust pipes allowed the LFA’s engineers to position the seats as low and as close together in the chassis as possible, further enhancing driving control and pleasure.

 

 

Instrument Panel

The central tachometer runs to 10,000rpm and features a fast-reacting LCD needle designed to exactly replicate the V10 engine’s insatiable appetite for revs. Housed within the dial are the digital speedometer, gear indicator, transmission mode, vehicle control data, trip information displays and Tire Pressure Warning System display. Displaying this data on the colour Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD panel delivers superior visual clarity in even the brightest of conditions. The acrylic lens in the metal ring is composed of multiple layers to create an advanced, three-dimensional appearance. The overall appearance of the meter changes according to the vehicle’s mode, acting as an unmistakable reminder to the driver of the mode in which the car is operating. When the engine speed exceeds 9,000rpm, the tachometer display area turns red to prime the driver for the next upshift. The display area can also be set by the driver to change illumination – to either yellow or green – when the engine speed reaches a user-selected range.

 

Remote Touch System

The LFA features the innovative Remote Touch system, located precisely where the driver’s hand falls for optimal comfort and ease of operation. Using an advanced two-axis haptic joystick mechanism with reaction force feedback to guide the on-screen cursor, the Remote Touch system offers intuitive and quick access to the LFA’s satellite navigation, configuration and infotainment functions.

 

4. CLASS-LEADING ACTIVE AND SAFETY LEVELS

 

Active Safety

Integrating both braking and torque control, Lexus’ sophisticated Sport Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system has been fine-tuned exclusively for its LFA application to take into account a broad range of drivers. Rather than combining the independent functions of the conventional Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), TRAC and Traction Control systems, and Vehicle Stability Control program, VDIM integrates and coordinates these systems to create an engaging driver’s tool that not only enhances the LFA’s driving experience but also acts as a holistic safety net. Unlike conventional traction and stability systems, where controls are activated only when the vehicle approaches its dynamic limits, VDIM is an integral part of the V10 engine’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and is therefore able to quickly and smoothly act before the vehicle reaches these limits, resulting in excellent stability and safety levels at all times. This in turn gives the driver greater freedom and confidence to experience the LFA’s full performance.

 

Passive Safety

Featuring class-leading active and safety levels, the LFA offers key occupant protection through the incredibly strong and robust CERP structure. Stiffer, stronger and lighter than any equivalent metal structure, the carbon fibre tub provides the ultimate in impact protection, as well as a solid platform for the LFA’s advanced front and rear crash boxes.

 

 

SRS & World’s First Shoulder Airbags

Standard safety equipment includes SRS front airbags for driver and passenger as well as single-stage knee airbag for driver. The driver-side SRS front airbag deploys in two stages, controlled according to the position of the seat, the intensity of the impact and whether or not the driver is wearing a seatbelt. The LFA introduced the world’s first shoulder belt air bag to reduce secondary injuries during ultra high speed collision. The passenger occupancy system uses a sensor to detect the presence of an occupant in the passenger seat and controls the deployment of the dual-stage airbag according to the weight of the passenger and whether or not the seatbelt is latched.

Cheryl Tay

Twitter Facebook Google Plus Linked In
Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

Contact us

For invites, request of services, pitches, story ideas, feedback or any other enquiries, kindly email cheryl@cheryl-tay.com.

For submission of press releases and latest news, kindly email info@cheryl-tay.com.

Tips for sending news releases:
- Include text of the release as part of the email message
- Attach press release in MS Word/PDF format
- Include low-res pictures in the email
- Hi-res pictures downloadable via a link or available upon request