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Lexus supercar to spark up Tokyo show

Full speed ahead: Lexus has shown LF-A supercar concepts, but now it is set to unveil its production supercar at the Tokyo motor show.

Shortened Tokyo show to counter mass exodus via global debut of production supercar

27 Mar 2009

HOT on the heels of news that this year’s biennial Tokyo motor show will not play host to some of the globe’s biggest and most high-profile car-makers comes news from the US that Lexus will unveil the production version of its long-anticipated supercar there.

Mercedes-AMG recently confirmed year-long speculation that it will build a successor for the McLaren SLR in the first ‘gullwing’ Benz since the 1950s, and now it seems Toyota’s luxury division will do the same at Japan’s highest-profile auto extravaganza come October.

Lexus has produced a series of LF-A supercar concepts over a number of years, including the convertible LF-A roadster that made its Australian debut at the Melbourne motor show earlier this month. But now it seems the world’s largest car-maker will indeed throw caution to the wind by committing itself to its first full-blown supercar despite the global economic slow-down.

If respected US automotive website Edmunds.com and its source are correct, expect the production version of the 400kW-plus V10-powered super-coupe to make its long-awaited global production debut in Tokyo on October 23 – rather than at the same month’s Frankfurt motor show a month earlier.

31 center imageFrom top: Lexus LF-A Coupe Lexus LF-A Roadster Lexus LF-A Roadster interior.

In what could well be a reciprocal slap in their corporate faces at the biennial German show, the LF-A’s Tokyo unveiling will be made in the absence of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen, which - like General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Renault, Lamborghini and all Chinese and Korean makers - will not have a presence in Tokyo.

Suzuki’s first mid-size sedan, the Kizashi, is almost certain to makes its worldwide production debut at the 41st Tokyo show, which the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) this week confirmed would end four days earlier than usual, on November 4.

Organisers of the British motor show last week cancelled the next scheduled running of the UK event in 2010.

In what could become a mostly-Toyota benefit, the 2009 Tokyo show is also likely to host the premiere of the yet-to-be-named Impreza-based sports coupe co-developed with Subaru, which could revive the Celica nameplate.

JAMA considered cancelling the 2009 Tokyo show, but instead chose to downsize the exhibition space from its traditional four halls to possibly just two at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo.

Read more:

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