Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lexus LF-A - have we really waited for this?

Lexus has announced the new Lexus LF-A just recently and it has been covered extensively all over the world. This is a 375'000 Euro supercar with a high revving V10, 560 HP, 1'450 kg weight and impressive performance and road handling (we assume).
It took them 11 years to develop it and the first cars only get shipped in a year or so.
While the car looks impressive (although the design almost looks like a retro modern car) and there's certainly a lot of technology and engineering going into this car, I really wonder whether we have waited for this.
Some of my readers may remember my post on the Connaught D-Type GT V10. Yes, you see Tim Bishop, the Chief Engineer at the steering wheel on the picture here. Well, the team around Tim developed something that I would reckon is more creative at probably a small fraction of the project cost of the Lexus LF-A. There are similarities though. Both cars have a V10 in the front, though the engine in the Connaught is much more in the center of the car, basically between the driver and the co-driver. Both try to to build a lightweight car. The Connaught is 850 kg while the Lexus weighs 1'450 kg. While the performance of the Connaught may be a bit less impressive due to the smaller engine and "only" 300 HP, they achieved to actually seat four people and still have a boot. And what is most intriguing for me, the Connaught has a built-in hybrid module (kind of a KERS) while Lexus, the mother of the hybrid technology, doesn't. Last, but not least, the sticker price for the Connaught is 100'000 GBP, while the price tag for the Lexus LF-A is supposed to be more than 3 times of this.
So, this brings me back to the point, that most of today's supercars and this includes the Lexus LF-A lack creativity and are just evolutions of concepts from the 80ies and 90ies.

1 comment:

areopagitica said...

I like the blogmeister here am nonplussed by yet another car that weighs as much as a 1970 Ferrari Daytona but has less visual allure and occupies a half a foot more of its lane. Perhaps that is why the Daytonas are selling for as much as the new Lexus supercar. No it is not that I dislike the front engined Lexus, or the new Jaguar F-type. I just don't lose sleep over not having the means to fund one, and think an Eagle remade E type or replica litghtweight would be a more worthy pursuit.