After several years of prototypes and test mules howling their way around several race tracks in the world, the final production version of the Lexus LFA has officially shown itself in the metal.
The LFA's exterior design has stayed extremely faithful to the concept versions that have been on display at various motorshows in the world. A futuristic design has been favoured over a traditional Italian-esque design. The LFA is also of a front-engine rear-wheel drive layout, rather than a mid-engine and rear wheel drive. With that said, a 4.8l V10 that revs to 9000 rpm, does the job of propelling this supercoupe. The engine is good for 552 bhp @ 8700 rpm, while torque is rated at 480 nm @ 6800 rpm. The V10 then channels its grunt through a six speed manual gearbox operated by steering wheel paddle shifters, and is able to get the LFA from 0-62 mph in 3.7 sec and onto a top speed of 202 mph.
Other key aspects include a drag coefficient 0.31, and a kerb weight of around 1480 -1580 kg. Twenty inch BBS wheels wrapped around in Bridgestone tyres are standard, while carbon ceramic disc brakes have the task of slowing the LFA down, which measure 390mm at the front (with 6 piston aluminium callipers) and 306mm at the rear (four pot callipers). The all carbon-fibre LFA will go on sale with a price tag of £336,000 (368,000 Euros) at its UK launch, with a limited production run of only 500 cars.
It has only been a few hours since detailed information about the LFA has been released, but it already seems that people in the car enthusiasts community have decided what stands out the most about this car. Its engine. Have a click on the video below, and surely you will agree.
From highest paid loser to a deserving world champion.
After a soaking wet qualifying session, it must be said that the participants were relieved to have favourable weather for 2009's Brazilian Grand Prix, and what a race it was.
As always the first lap is the lap where crashes are most likely to occur as driver’s scrabble to get a high position on the grid, and 2009’s Brazilian Grand Prix was no exception. The safety car was deployed after Adrian Sutil, Jarno Trulli, and Fernando Alonso crashed out a few corners after the start. In an attempt to fight oversteer, Trulli hit the back of Sutil’s car sending the Force-India off the track, sliding across the grass and back onto the track, claiming Fernando Alonso as a victim, meanwhile Trulli’s car had already hit the wall.
Another moment of drama was in the pits involving Finnish drivers Heiki Kovolainen and Kimi Raikkonen. It was a scary moment as Kovolainen’s McLaren set off with the fuel hose still attached, spraying fuel behind him and onto Raikonen’s car which was also exiting the pits, which in turn very briefly turned Raikkonen’s car into a flashing ball of fire. Luckily no damages or injuries occurred and both drivers were able to continue with the race. The safety car returned to the pits with 66 laps to finish.
As soon as the safety car returned to the pits, we witnessed a very aggressive yet effective driving style from Jenson Button, quickly climbing up the grid and finishing in 5th place. The 5th place finish means that Button has finally become Formula One’s driver’s champion. But the 5th place only became sufficient after Ruben’s Barrichello ended up finishing in 8th place. Barrichello faced tyre problems with 8 laps left to the finish, necessitating a pit stop and hence eliminating his small chance of being this season’s champion.
Other driver’s that failed to finish were Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima. Rosberg’s retirement came after engine problems, while Nakajima made contact with Toyota’s Koboyashi which ultimately sent him off to the safety walls.
The safety car at the beginning of the race meant that McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was able to adapt to a 1 pit-stop racing strategy. The strategy meant that he was able to climb from 17th place to a podium-finishing 3rd place, 2nd place went to Robert Kubica, while 1st place went to Mark Webber who drove brilliantly and flawlessly throughout 2009’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
(Above photograph from Autocar.co.uk)