By on September 7, 2011

After checking the telemetry, and posing for a group shot, it’s official: The Lexus Nürburgring-enhanced LFA did the now common 20.6 kilometer “sport auto” lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in seven minutes, 14.64 seconds. That’s a hair better than the Donkervoort D8 RS, which completed the same course in 7:14.89 – 5 years ago. It is also the best time amongst the bona-fide production models. Better than the Nissan GT-R (7 min 24 sec), better than the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (7 minutes 19 sec), better than the Porsche 911 GT2 RS (7 minutes 18 seconds).

Still, it doesn’t take the Lexus all the way to the top of the production league. In front of it are three more “production” cars. Two Radicals (6:48 and 6:55) and one Gumpert Apollo that had rounded the Ring in 7:11.57. All not necessarily mass market cars, but the LFA isn’t either:

Of the plain vanilla LFA, only 500 are built. The record breaking LFA with the Nürburgring package is produced 50 times. However, it is street legal, even under strict German rules. The red “Überführungsnummer”  (dealer or temporary tag) from Cologne (denoted by the “K” in front) attests to that.

Be it as it may, it is a great win, and it will most likely lead to increased tinkering, especially in Zuffenhausen. Being passed by a car nobody ever heard of is one thing. But by a Lexus?

“Ja, was bilden die sich denn ein, die Japaner!”

PS: Bloggers, please don’t try to impress your readers with “bridge to gantry.” As the authority on the topic,  bridgetogantry.com, explains:

“After exiting the carpark at ‘C’ on the map above, drive under the Bridge (Antoniusbuche) at ‘B’. From here it’s 19.1km to the Gantry.”

Bridge to gantry is for tourist days. The full lap is 20.6 kilometers. And here is the video of the full 20.6 kilometers.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

33 Comments on “LFA’s Ring Result Confirmed: 7:14.64 (Video Proof Encl.)...”


  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    When chasing few seconds with such car on a 22km long track tires play huge role in the lap time. What tires were used? If they used Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tire which should be the OEM tire for Nürburgring edition LFA, then this time is even more spectacular. Because GT2 RS and ZR1 used Pilot Sport Cup tires, which are one step closer to full competition tire compared to RE070.

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    Super. It’s still pig-ugly and has nothing whatever to do with the Lexus Brand. I’m sure would-be ES350 owners are enthralled by the relentless pursuit of lap times.

    • 0 avatar
      ustan korected

      The Lexus brand is, and always has been about redefining what a luxury vehicle should be, while changing customer expectations along the way.

      Lexus has always been about technology, innovation and focusing on improving the details, no matter how small.

      The term Kaizen, or “continous improvement” is the philosophy that has helped Lexus achieve the success it has received. Lexus has long been criticized for not having any performance focused products. So they have worked on their perceived weakness and developed cars like the IS-F, LS Sport, the 2013 GS and the LFA.

      It was a question that gave birth to the Lexus brand – “Can we compete with the best car companies in the world?” Lexus 7 verse 14:64 says “Yes”

      In my opinion, the LFA is a perfect example of what the Lexus brand has always been about.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      And a Corvette has what to do with a Malibu? A GT40 with a Taurus? A GT-R with a Versa or Altima? Heck, an SLS or R8 has only a notional connection to the leased-for-two-hundred-a-month C250s and A4s that sustain their brands.

      I’ll agree that it’s not brand-coherent, but at the same time Toyota doesn’t seem hell-bent on whoring out styling elements of it’s halo sportscar on a family sedan.

      An interesting point: the first videos of this car’s being built weren’t silhouetted curves or flashes of landscape going by, but of the machine (a weaving loom, in a way) used to fab parts of the structure. In that sense it’s probably more brand-coherent than it’s given credit for.

      • 0 avatar
        Alexdi

        ustan korected:

        That’s marvelous logic. Someone says the IS doesn’t steer like a 3-series, and the solution is to build a $375K supercar? I’m going to write a whole series of articles comparing the LS to a farm tractor. Let’s hope the 2015 models can harvest soybeans.

        psarhjinian:

        The Corvette and GT-R are evolutions of cars that have been in production in milder forms for decades, and both Chevrolet and Nissan have a performance heritage. The R8 has set the styling theme for the A4 and subsequent Audis. Likewise for the SLS, which isn’t far removed from a high-spec CL-series. Even the Ford GT was a historic recreation, a celebration of Ford’s racing sucess, and part of a retro design kick continued elsewhere.

        Every car here has a strong brand association and a purpose. The couldn’t be anything but Chevrolets, Fords, Audis and so on. What makes the LFA a Lexus instead of a Toyota, or even its own brand? Production tolerances?

        I find the video you’re referencing offensive. The car exists because Toyota needed an excuse to learn carbon fiber. It costs $375K because they want to recoup their own learning curve, knowledge that Ferrari, McLaren and the others already have. Assigning it to Lexus was a post-hoc justification. There was no effort whatever to establish an ethos or a reason for existence. The whole LFA exercise seems incredibly cynical to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      lulz

  • avatar
    John R

    Love the sound of this thing.

  • avatar
    vento97

    Looks like Godzilla is no longer the top dog in the Land Of The Rising Sun…

  • avatar
    frontline

    Let me comment on the styling….I have always been very disappointed with the design of this car but I was shocked when four or five 16 year olds that were in my home said they loved it. I got a funny feeling in my stomach because, at 50, as far as new sports car design, I might not be ” getting It ” anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I’m 29 and it’s my favorite supercar out there, in terms of styling (and probably everything else, too). Not in that color, mind you…

      I’m into sci-fi aesthetics, if that helps explain it at all.

  • avatar
    eldard

    This Paris Hilton Hollywood STD Mobile still looks unexciting. Give me a GTR any day.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    If nothing else, this accomplishes the difficult trick of making a Porsche GT2 look like a good value for money.

    I’m strangely drawn to this car, even though it can barely beat a GT-R around a racetrack.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    Not only is it the fastest, but it’s sure the ugliest too. And I bet it’ll never require an unscheduled maintenance, either. Good going, Toyota. We always knew you were the total package.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    He kept it on the road most of the way around, unlike the Corvette which went farming on most of the turns. Towards the end it sounded like a misfire started to develop (from the engine sound)
    Toyota is proving they can compete with the best and win, although baby poop isn’t the best color.

  • avatar
    MrBTG

    Please, somebody, anybody, show me this 7m18s GT2RS lap of which you all speak. I have spoken to people at Porsche and unless somebody can show me differently this lap is, I believe, nothing more than a collection of best sector times stitched together on a test driver’s lap top. My Miata can do a theoretical 7m57s, but the best laptime I really have with it is only 8m05s.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    This car is simply too expensive to matter. It should’ve been a modern day NSX, not some $400K alternative to Aventador with Gallardo horsepower. Both Lamborghinis look SO MUCH better. Lexus also never even bothered to name it, LF is what they use to designate a concept car.

    At the very least, they are trying to give the F brand some sort of meaning, which is more than can be said for IPL or Acura’s “A-spec” joke. The NSX DNA never went anywhere. It is somewhat ironic that the first M3 competitor from Japan came not from Infiniti, but from the brand known for making isolation tanks for people on Social Security.

    • 0 avatar
      Brock_Landers

      I think Lexus very clearly understood what kind of supercar they want to build. The mega-displacement-6500rpm-redline-multiple-turbo mega-horspower-awd-stable-at-400kmh-aeronautical-engineering-masterpiece supercar had been already done by VW. Lexus wanted to build the best pure supercar, a supercar in a classical sense. RWD, lightweight, advanced chassis materials/technology, naturally aspirated large displacement more-than-8-cylinder advanced ultra-high rpm engine. The most immediate and direct driving experience.

      VAG still relies on turbos and awd with their supercars. That’s the easy way :)

  • avatar
    spinjack

    Looks like a Scion.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I love how every article about the LFA devolves into people moaning about branding and cost. This is an engineering exercise for Toyota/Lexus available in only limited numbers. Setting the price to move volume was never a goal of the project. Frankly, unless you can afford the car in the first place, commenting on cost is a waste of text, IMO. People dropping $375k on a limited production car probably already have a private collection of cars that exceed the cost of this one. They aren’t doing cost/mi calculations and getting insurance quotes from their agents like the rest of us.

    Anyway, back on topic, the LFA seems to punch well above its weight. Very impressive times considering the tires and the amount of luxury on board. A shame they didn’t have this one painted white. Not a fan of the orange.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      This car wouldn’t get near the amount of bashing if it wasn’t made by Toyota. Somehow, Toyota drums up irrational hate and bias from so called “enthusiasts” because everything Toyota does sucks and they don’t deserve their success. If it was a Euro or American brand, or even Honda and Nissan, it would be praised. But no, when Toyota does it, it’s a horrible exercise and why are they even bothering? Jealousy and intimidation are fascinating emotions, eh?

  • avatar
    NotFast

    A racecar that’s built in small numbers at a high cost beats cars costing 1/3 to 1/4 of its price? Stop the presses!

    • 0 avatar
      Brock_Landers

      LFA is the most farthest vehicle from a racecar if you compare it to other sub 7.20 cars. For example GT2 RS is much closer to a racecar than LFA.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      What, you mean like how the Gumpert Apollo beats the LF-A?

      I agree with your general point: these numbers are largely meaningless, other than to say that you (where “you” is the automaker) “have arrived”.

      Personally (speaking as someone who would buy an Elantra, or an Elantra, or even an Elantra) I’d consider the real test of an automaker’s prowess is whether or not they can build millions of cars that can survive day-in-day-out commuter grind in the hands of a cash-strapped normal person who lets the maintenance slide. Building a cost-no-object supercar that spends it’s life babied in a garage is no real challenge at all. There’s greybeards in England and/or Russian mobsters who can do that.

  • avatar

    Didn’t Jack write about Panamera that numbers alone do not make a luxury car? I see we do not have a return of an ironic pair of “way overboosted” and “time was left on the table” this time. However, what about numbers alone not making a supercar?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Hmmmm…

    One LFA or four ZR1 Corvettes or 4-1/2 GT-Rs, or a ZR1, a GT-R AND a Porsche 911 GT2 RS

    For north of $375,000 it damn well better be fast – I’ll take a garage full of super toys instead thank you very much.

  • avatar
    mattfarah

    Everyone here keeps bitching about the price of the car, but does anyone here have the coin or the desire to actually buy one? I know two LF-A owners in Los Angeles and another one in New York, and I can tell you that all three of them are totally thrilled with their cars. One owner has nearly 10,000 miles on his LF-A and likes it so much he offered it up to us to use on The Car Show when a press car wasn’t available. So it seems that the people with the money and desire to buy these cars are considering them money well spent.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      +1

      10k miles in a supercar this recently released is pretty impressive. Must be relatively easy to live with day to day.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I was thinking along those lines as well. If the LFA is as trouble free as a “regular” Lexus, instead of as trouble prone as a “regular” supercar, this thing is indeed a huge branding success for Lexus; similar to what the NSX was for Honda back when.

        A somewhat less extravagant LFB, for, say, 911 money would be a good next step.

        The overriding force in high ticket cars, is that more and more profits are coming from people with almost unlimited budgets; derived not from frugality or cleverness, but rather from membership in a preselected in-crowd, like bankers, Russian pipeliners and Arab sheiks. Hence being able to upsell existing customers into exotica, is becoming relatively more important than winning another sale to a retired doctor, who spends 5 years shopping the internet for the best price and deal for his “achievable dream car.”

        As anyone in sales will tell you, a rich client is all well; and a sucker as well; but a rich sucker, now that’s where the real money is made.

  • avatar
    westsdierider74

    How it an LFA even considered a production car? There hasn’t even been 500 made yet


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States