Toyotaku Rejoice! FT-86 and Lexus LF-A are Here

lexus_lf-a_01
The media days of the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show are in full swing and you know what that means. The Toyota FT-Hachiroku Concept has been photographed and nitpicked ad infinitum. It’s a familiar drill by now: AE86 revival, lightweight RWD coupe, Subaru 2.0 boxer, metallic monkey-butt red.

But perhaps Toyota has been feeling guilty for neglecting the enthusiast market for so long. That would explain why it’s bestowing us with the simultaneous debut of the long-awaited supercar known as the Lexus LFA. No more pulled punches for the Big T, baby! The new supercar heralds the company’s take-no-prisoners charge towards the head of the automotive kingdom, a segment Toyota has not visited in 44 years.

toyota_2000gt_laguna_seca
When a gleaming Pegasus White Toyota 2000GT debuted at the 1965 Tokyo motor show, it signaled to the world that the the Japanese auto industry was not to be ignored. The lads at Aichi had been quietly building Publicas and Coronas when they suddenly decided to leapfrog the rest of the planet with a supercar priced squarely in Ferrari 275 and Porsche 911 territory.

Far-reaching, yes. But the 2000GT had the specs to back up its stratospheric asking price. It promptly shattered 16 international speed records, and probably could have done more if the four-day endurance run had not taken place in the pouring rain.

lexus_lf-a_03
And now, nearly half a century later, Toyota is at it once again. Of course, no one has published a test of the LF-A yet, but on paper it looks to be just as ambitious and insane as the 2000GT.

Lexus LF-A / Toyota 2000GT (as tested by Road & Track June, 1967)

  • Engine: 4.8L V10 / 2.0L inline 6
  • Horsepower: 553 @ 8700rpm / 150 @ 6600rpm
  • Torque, lb-ft: 354 @ 6800rpm / 130 @ 5000rpm
  • Redline: 9000rpm / 7000rpm
  • 0-62mph: 3.7 seconds / 10.0 seconds
  • Top Speed: 202mph / 128mph (5th gear, 6800rpm)
  • Percent carbon fiber in Body: 65 / Goose Egg
  • Weight: 3263lb / 2480lb
  • Price: $375,000 / $7239

As you can see, what was considered the pinnacle of technology and performance has changed a lot since 1965. Unfortunately, it wasn’t performance that hampered 2000GT sales; it was its Japanese origin. It never quite gained full acceptance into the western world’s automotive cliques and only 343 were ever built.

But in the intervening time, Japanese cars have not only become widely accepted, but also loved. Does this mean that Toyota can now finally have a seat at the table with the rest of the automotive elite? This time, it won’t be the market that determines numbers sold — Toyota is limiting the LFA to 500 production units.

In any case, color us ecstatic. With the FT-86 and LFA spanning the breadth of the automotive spectrum, Toyotaku can finally rejoice that their beloved marque is experiencing a return to form. Besides, that exhaust note is just orchestral.

Update: Build your own LFA. Passionate Pink, anyone?

permalink.
This post is filed under: toyota and
tagged: , , , , , , .

31 Responses to Toyotaku Rejoice! FT-86 and Lexus LF-A are Here

  1. Kev said:

    One big difference is the price though. In 1969, the 2000GT was maybe Y2.4mil, or maybe five times the price of a Corolla. But the LF-A will be more like twenty five times the price of a Corolla….

  2. Ben said:

    Yes, but the LFA has 10 individual throttle bodies.

    10 individual throttle bodies.

  3. kev said:

    ..that’s $40k each runner.

  4. Nigel said:

    Tears of joy. My right foot is getting twitchy.

  5. Sr-FairladyZ said:

    10 ITB’s, 9,000RPM redline, 3,200lbs, True Sports car lines, I’M IN LOVE! I feel more excitement now after watching that video then I did when first seeing the GTR. Oh My, is my old forgotten Toyota love breaking through?? I can’t wait to see this thing on Tsukuba. There should be very interesting times when challenging the GTR. The GTR has AWD but an additional 530lbs! LFA has less torque but no lag. I’m beaming!

  6. Brad D. (TSiSS350) said:

    If that sound is actually from the car…..amazing!

  7. bert said:

    FINALLY! Proof that they are actually building the damn thing!

    As I’ve mentioned before, I take pictures of cars for auto dealerships, and if I manage to see one of these at my Lexus dealer that would be the end for me. “Where’s bert?” “I don’t know I haven’t seen him in days!”
    (Meanwhile, in the supercar in the back) “Vroooooooooom, vro, vroo,vroooooooooooooom, sreech, vrooooooooooooooooooooooooooom.”

    And the motor in that thing……………………………………………..sorry I got a little choked up ther, but I’m okay now.

  8. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    Holy haddock that LFA is gorgeous! If it had boobies it’d be my physiotherapist.(Don’t tell her I said that) I wish somebody would do a photoshoot of an LFA and a 2000GT together.My heart is bursting!

  9. bert said:

    I think JNC should get their hands on a 2000GT and an LFA and do a comparison between the two, like they did with the 240Z & 370Z and put it out in the next couple of issues! That should make Mr. Nordvick and a whole lot of other “MEN” who have been reduced to whimpering babies after seeing this (myself included!) happy!

    Make it happen Ben!

  10. Skylines&Zs said:

    Amazing car. But only 500 production and with this price tag?! why? The last generation Supra was a car the the challenged the Ferraris and the Lamborghinis w/out being too much of an “elitist” car out of reach for almost the very wealth.
    Unless of course Toyota wants to show that they can build super cars.
    btw, it is unfair to compare this car to the new GTR w/ more than 3 times the price tag!
    All Toyota needs to do is to give us another new Supra……..thats all

  11. kev said:

    Ben I volunteer to do the 2000GT vs LFA test :) I will even waive my usual fee :D

  12. Ben said:

    I think we need pictures of Mr. Nordvik’s physiotherapist. :)

  13. j.a.c.k said:

    *boi oi oi oing!*

  14. totes mcgotes said:

    im still left speachless, and find my self showing all my friends this video and say yea, that will smash anything in its way, did i mention its a toyota

  15. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    As I understand it,if the demand is there they’ll make more than 500 units.

  16. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    Ben,as for my lovely physiotherapist I’ll send you copies of our wedding photos taken in front of an LFA. Just watch the skies for flying pigs. ;-)

  17. 2000gtx said:

    wondr how nissan will counter this? awesome car!!!!

  18. bert said:

    Who cares about Mr.Nordvik’s physiotherapist, when you have a car like that!
    (I’m not gay, I’m married!)

  19. bert said:

    BTW Speedhunters put up a video of Autocar’s Jamie Corstorphine winding an LFAout on an open road!

  20. Lincoln Stax said:

    I love the configurator. Two shades of brown!

  21. vballin said:

    I love how the LFA is the spiritual successor to the 2000GT. No concessions made. Not watered down at all.

  22. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    Yep,it’s 2000GT déjà vu all over again! Handmade,state of the art,front/mid-engined two-seater so expencive to make that even with a king’s ransom price tag they don’t expect to make a profitt. I’m genuinly glad to be alive to witness the birth of this automotive legend!

  23. bert said:

    Mr. L.J., you are one deep dude!

  24. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    Why,thank you Bert! :-D

  25. Ben said:

    How many times can one watch that video? I think I’m up to 12.

  26. ClubAE86 said:

    Kanbecki…… the decade long R&D has definately proven that Toyota/Lexus is most definately Moving forward….. and doesn’t look like it will stop ever!!!!!!

  27. Dan said:

    Wow, I’m surprised to learn that development of the LFA started way back in 2000. It brings a smile to my face to think that when everyone was lamenting the death of the Supra, MR2 and Celica, and complaining about the “boring” Lexus’s being released, some engineer sitting behind his computer in Japan was thinking “if only they knew…”

  28. bert said:

    Since 2000 huh, good things come to those who WAIT!

  29. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    I think just wet myself!

  30. bert said:

    Looks to me like he’s not pushing it as hard as he could! Afraid to scratch it maybe?

  31. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    What a sound it makes! Even through tiny PC speakers it sounds like Axl Rose with with nuts caught in a bear trap!