By on July 6, 2010

In this day and age, it’s nothing short of a minor miracle that giant multinationals still build cars that are as ridiculously potent and expensive as the LF-A. Especially giant multinationals which have made good headway in recent years with a green-friendly, Prius-powered image. The LFA is rare enough that few non-car-nuts know it exist, let alone associate it with their new ES350. It costs $375k a pop and Toyota still loses money on each one built. In fact, thus far, only this video (a promotional shoot by Lexus Europe at the 2010 Goodwood Festival Of Speed) comes close to properly explaining why this car was built (starting at around the 1:10 mark). In fact, I challenge anyone to come up with a more concise argument for the continued existence of hugely expensive, hugely fast cars.

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41 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: Is This Why Ridiculously Fast Cars Exist?...”


  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Why?

    It’s the only time a guy can be “quite quick” and the hot chick likes it.

  • avatar
    twotone

    Love the expressions of sheer terror on her face. The driver was grinning like a kid in a candy store.

    I’m impressed — she did not lose her lunch and took the risk of wearing white pants. Her boyfriend is going to have a difficult time pleasing her after that ride.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    I’d like to know the explanation for why they think they can charge $375K for 550hp, and for a car likely to get owned by a 458 Italia, or even a 911 Turbo in a drag race.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      And why get either of those when a Veyron has a higher top speed than either…

      At this price, not many people are going to drag race them. Not many are going to end up on the track. Most will go for an occasional night out on the town, then back to the garage will they will sit.

    • 0 avatar

      Lkely to get owned by a CTS-V.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      The explanation on why they charge that much? BECAUSE THEY CAN!!! and they have! And they’ve sold out!

      Really… Would it matter to most of us posting on this blog whether it was 200k or 400k? Probably not. If this thing were a billion dollars, it wouldn’t make it any less of a car. Just call it like it is: Lexus made an amazing car here, even if it did take them too long to do it, and some people have a hard time with that.

      GREAT Video!

    • 0 avatar
      Areitu

      It’s not always about the performance/dollar ratio. A used Corvette with a few choice engine and suspension mods on R-Comps would give a 458 Italia and 911 Turbo a really good run.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      Fanboys.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    EN,
    To respond, the reason they are made is because there are buyers. Rich buyers who don’t care how much it costs, or really how fast it is. Only that they want it.

    If you think about it, what is the point of an S Class, LS, 7, etc etc. Especially with the high power output. 99% of buyers there don’t really need one. They want one and can afford it.

  • avatar
    jaje

    That was a very tame video of a passenger along for a drive. You need to see this one instead:

    Riccardo Patrese takes his Wife for a ride in a lowly CTR

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    At this price point, it’s about exclusivity rather than absolute performance. Plus a Ferrari as wonderful as it is is a bit of a cliche.

    99% of drivers will run out of talent before the car runs out of ability.

  • avatar

    “In fact, I challenge anyone to come up with a more concise argument for the continued existence of hugely expensive, hugely fast cars.”

    To paraphrase George Herbert Leigh Mallory: Because they can.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    It was amazingly amazing super amazingly amazingly amazing amazing time. Just amazing.

    Jesus. Soft on the eyes, hard on the mind.

    Sorry, as much as I may enjoy a few minutes looking, I suspect a few days and I’d be going amazingly crazy….

  • avatar

    congratulations, the ricers have a new icon!!!

    Seriously, there is nothing exiting about this car whatsoever…it doesn’t even look as good as a 2002 Murcielago that I could buy for $100,000 off Ebay right now.

    I look at that car and see nothing but boring. I’d rather have a CTS-V coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      You’re kidding, right? It may not be worth $375k to me, but I sure would like one.

      Once a car achieves this level of performance, I don’t really care if a Zonda or even a GT-R is faster around the Nurburgring. To anyone with eyes and ears, this car is in a different class than a GT-R or Corvette ZR1.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      Yes… ‘srogers’ gets it….

    • 0 avatar

      srogers

      No, I’m not kidding. It looks so BORING. I’d take that same money and buy a DB9 dressed up to look like a DBS.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The LF-A isn’t for me either, I’d much rather have a Mulsanne or a Brooklands for that kind of cash, but as I’m not in a position to afford any of them, that argument is purely academic.

      At the end of the day, Lexus knew they would sell every single one of the very few built before the paint was dry on the first one off the line. If you build something ostentatious enough, price it high enough, and keep it exclusive enough, you will never want for a lack of buyers. As proof, take the ‘I am Rich’ app that appeared (briefly) on the Apple app store. For only $1000 people could buy an app that did nothing be display an image of a jewel on the screen. A handful of people bought it before it was quickly pulled.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    Yup, that was a concise explanation. The lady came back very, very stimulated.

  • avatar
    Facebook User

    Agreed, its a bit pricey for the name plate but it definitely delivers the goods on a lot of other levels. I assure you if you own this car, you’ve owned the repertoire of other exotics recently or even currently. There are those that can do this and then there is the rest of the world commenting on blogs about how we would do it differently.

  • avatar
    Facebook User

    Oh yea…and lets be honest if any of us had this car, at no point would it seem more personally valuable then if we had just created that expression on a females face half as good looking as she is.

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    How many millionaires are value-conscious shoppers? If it’s hot, unique and goes faster than they’re capable of driving then they’re going to buy it.

    What you’d do with your money is your own business, but for most of us any exotic car is a pipe dream so get over it.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    That guy probably should have driven off the track and straight to an hourly motel…

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Ego. The GT-R left egg all over the face of Toyota and this is their response. If it wasn’t for last year’s annus horribilis nobody would care.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Also: “Damn, she’s gorgeous!”

  • avatar
    KIM1963

    I have to agree with Rusted .

    The millionaires out there have more money then sense and love toys like this to add to their stable of classic, rare, and exotic cars whether their capable of driving them or not .

    As long as they keep buying them they will be built . The next one with a higher price tag and more capabilities of reacher faster speeds .

    This is a beautiful car but the closest we’ll get to seeing it is some yrs down the road rolling through a Barrett-Jackson car auction off to its next millionaire .

  • avatar
    niky

    The problem with the GT-R (or Corvette, or Viper, or…) versus LF-A argument is thus:

    A Seiko Kinetic is not a cheap watch. It’s not an expensive watch, either. it’s pendulum-powered, but uses that pendulum to charge a capacitor that powers a quartz movement that’s a million times more accurate than any mechanical movement, no matter how many “jewels” that mechanical movement has.

    I’m wearing one.

    Yet, small specialty shops sell tourbillions to millionaires that cost at least ten times as much… and sometimes in the range of hundreds of thousands or even a million dollars. That price isn’t just for the jewels and gold-plating. That price reflects the craftsmanship and engineering that goes into manufacturing an exquisite complication that, no matter how clever, will get outdone by a $500 quartz movement… or even $5 quartz movement.

    I won’t even pretend that wearing my watch is an event. I bought it because it looks cool and does its job better than almost anything else I could buy. Looking at a rare and expensive tourbillion, though… or even wearing one… is an event.

    That’s your typical exotic. Not anywhere near as quick as, say, a Caterham on a racetrack, but made with exotic materials like carbon-fiber and titanium, hand-built (or built by the world’s most expensive loom) and built to a level of finish that’s out of this world.

    They’re cars that make no sense at all… and yet, once you’ve experienced them, make all the sense in the world.

    Me? I’m still wearing my Seiko. But I’ll admit, horology magazines make my mouth water.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    That F1 inspired V10 exhaust wail is worth every penny they ask for this car.

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Wasn’t the LF-A first planned nearly 10 years ago? It’s certainly gone past many ‘can the project’ reviews, so to imply it’s a whimsical product or a knee-jerk reaction because someone else has got a fast car, is a bit short-sighted (to say the least).

    Why do it? Fascination, brand halo but most of all, it’s about learning new technologies. Being able to do clever stuff with carbon fibre will become strategically important to next gen. EV/ hybrid design. If you can make a car lighter, inexpensively, you’ll have real competitive advantage. Any of you seen what Big-T did with those custom looms to weave the CF on this vehicle. It’s a thing of beauty.

    Another reason to do a halo technology car? Inspire the regular Joe’s who work on the everyday stuff. Make them believe they are connected to something great and awesome.

    Would the CTS-V (insert car of your choice here) beat the LF-A in a drag race? Who cares? Going fast in straight lines is utterly dull and requires the minimum of driving skills. I’ve heard that this car is a brilliant drive around a track. It really has been tested to the limits at the Nurburgring 24h. Which is not the same as bolting a luxury sofa on top of a V8 with wheels.

    Would I buy one (in the fantasy world where I’d have enough dosh to do so?). No. I imagine the fuel economy is rather poor ;-)

    BTW – if you want good looking ladies to dress/undress in leather outfits, squeal, cling on tight and be ever so grateful that you spared their lives, then learn to ride a superbike!!

  • avatar
    Adam Omelianchuk

    Most car companies like to boast a supercar so they can show off what they can do. To meet the “industry standards” of supercar performance Toyota/Lexus developed the LF-A to rival Italian super names like Ferrari and Lamborghini. By all accounts, it is a winner. But matched up against a Corvette ZR1 or Nissan GTR, it is a bust as far as a business model goes.

  • avatar
    niky

    Since when has the exotic market ever been a viable business model?

    Except for Ferrari, no exotic maker has lasted very long on the market. And Ferrari bolsters its bottom line with sales of lower-priced super-sports cars and super-GTs (and millions of Ferrari caps) to keep the fires burning over at Maranello.

    Lamborghini has gone bust a dozen times. So has TVR. So has Lotus (and they make affordable sportscars). The McLaren F1, iconic exotic that it is, never sold its total allotment… neither did the XJ220.

    Few exotic makers have staying power. And if they do, that’s by making money selling sub-exotics. Pagani is possibly one of the few exceptions, but their carbon-fiber business supports the other end of the concern… and they’re not building their own engines, anyway.

    When a major manufacturer makes a supercar… i.e.: the LF-A or the Veyron… they’re not building them for profit. They’re building them for vanity. Profit be damned.

  • avatar
    carve

    That driver is fast- especially when it comes to changing into and out of his jump suit. He can do it while driving between the pit and the track!

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Absolutely Gorgeous looking car! CTSv looks like a brick with wheels by comparison!

  • avatar
    jacksonbart

    I am surprised they where not wearing helmets and in her case a fire retardant suit, those polyester no wrinkle slacks would go up in an instant. Was this the same model that a test driver was killed in recently?

    “No more yanky my wanky.. The Donger needs food”.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Why do ridiculously fast cars exist?

    If you have to ask the question, you’ll never understand the answer.


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