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AIMS: Lexus lobs LFA, LF-Gh

First Oz-spec LFA supercar hits Melbourne as Lexus previews next GS

28 Jun 2011

LEXUS will use this week’s Melbourne motor show opening to take the wraps off the first of nine Australian-specification LFA coupes confirmed to arrive here, and could also announce an increase in the local allocation.

Whatever the number, the brand’s first bona fide supercar has attracted more Australian customers than the number of cars the nation will receive - despite its $700,000 pricetag - from a global production run of 500 cars.

The blue LFA is build number 60 and will be retained by Lexus Australia for promotional purposes, but the first customer LFA is expected here within weeks before the rest arrive of the next 18 months.

Lexus’ 412kW 4.8-litre V10-powered super-coupe will be joined in Melbourne by the Australian debut of the aggressive LF-Gh concept, which previews next year’s redesigned GS large sedan and first emerged at the New York show in April.

Toyota’s luxury division did not exactly cover itself with glory at the 39th annual Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race on the weekend, when the #87 Gazoo Racing LFA of Takayuki Kinoshita, Juichi Wakisaka and 2011 Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer fell to 46th place before an engine fire took the entry out of the race for more than 10 hours.

31 center imageLeft: Lexus LF-Gh concept.

The lead LFA eventually finished 151st overall and eighth in the SP8 class after 83 laps of Germany’s ‘Green Hell’ road circuit, but the #88 LFA of Akira Iida, Hiroaki Ishiura and Kazuya Oshima fared much better.

The second LFA climbed to 20th overall before a pit lane collision and two hours of subsequent repairs saw the car finish 42nd overall and third in the SP8 class after 133 laps.

The disappointing results are not indicative of the LFA’s pace, however, with Lexus revealing a grainy in-car video of team manager Iida lapping the Nordschleife in 7:22.85, placing it among the ten quickest production cars ever at the ‘Ring, including Porsche’s 911 GT2 and Nissan’s GT-R.

Lexus showed the video alongside a display version of an LFA Nurburgring Edition during the race, apparently as part of a warm-up for a more serious tilt at the production car lap record later this year.

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