Lexus Supercar to Cost $200,000+

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
Edmunds' Inside Line quotes Lexus's corporate product planning manager as saying the price of the new Lexus LS-F price will "begin with a 2." We're guessing the V10 supercar won't be $29,995. In honor of this news, I've hit up the thesaurus: brainsick, off, daft, absurd and whack. See also: dismal failure, stillborn. Newsflash to Lexus. You're not Ferrari. This won't be a performance halo car (reference Acura's NSX and the amazing effects it had on making people think the RL was sporty). Also, people buying summer Sunday cars for $200k aren't motivated by factors like "reliability," especially when this hand built carbon fiber monster will likely not maintain the brand's hallmark reputation for non-breakage and low maintenance. And, because I especially don't care for this LF-A supercar, here's a list of cars that cost half as much with better looks (extrapolating), heritage or fun: Porsche 911 Turbo ($135k), Nissan GT-R ($70k + ?), Corvette Z06 ($77k), Corvette ZR1 (estimated $100k), Ford GT (slightly used, $150k), Ferrari F430 ($175k), Aston Martin DB9 ($175k), and BMW M6 ($100k).
Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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  • Hokuto Hokuto on May 22, 2008

    I don't see where you're coming from robert, SUVs have done more damage to the lexus brand than a kick-ass supercar could ever hope to.

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on May 22, 2008
    hokuto: I don’t see where you’re coming from robert, SUVs have done more damage to the lexus brand than a kick-ass supercar could ever hope to. What's wrong with a luxury SUV? Despite those hideous honey comb rear lights, the RX fits the luxury remit. A small car can also be luxurious (well-specced A3). A station wagon can be luxurious (Mercedes). A GT can be luxurious (Quattroporte). In fact, the only genre of automobile that can't offer luxury as it's prime characteristic is a sports car. Nobody jumps in a Porsche Turbo, Ferrari F430 or Audi R8 and say, gee, what a luxurious car! Even if it is. For a sports car maker, SUVs are brand dilution. For a luxury car maker, supercars are, well, stupid.
  • Hokuto Hokuto on May 22, 2008

    What's wrong with a luxury SUV? "Luxury SUV" is an oxymoron, sports *UTILITY* vehicle. Owning a lexus _used_ to imply a certain level of intelligence and taste -until the SUVs and front wheel drives came along. Nowadays they're just for anybodies with too much money, from people who can't tell the difference between front and rear wheel drive to people who think buying an suv is a good idea.

  • Johnson Johnson on May 22, 2008

    First off, the price-tag is nothing more than a rumour. I won't judge until I see the production car on sale. Justin Berkowitz: And, because I especially don't care for this LF-A supercar, Since you made that obviously clear, why go out of your way to make this news post slanted against the LF-A? The comparisons you made towards other vehicles are irrelevant at best, and meaningless at worst. The only competitors you mentioned that would actually compete with the LF-A would be the DB9 and F430. Robert Farago: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Halo cars are a terrible idea. They dilute the brand and divert resources, which are always precious, no matter how wealthy the company. Toyota’s statement to the world is the Prius. Scratch that, the Corolla. Lexus’ statement to the world should be, at best, a large luxury car to rival Rolls Royce. But again, why bother? I've argued this before, and I'll argue it again. Halo cars are a GREAT idea when done correctly. Halo cars are a bad idea; go try telling that to BMW. After all, BMW's M cars are such terrible ideas and they've diluted BMW's image, right? Why bother? Why bother to do anything then? Why did Toyota even bother to make the Lexus brand in the first place? Toyota bothers because they can and because they want to. Toyota's long-standing goal is to be a FULL-line automaker and offer products to virtually ALL market segments of the automobile industry. Toyota as a company, and Toyota/Lexus as brands are seen as being dull or bland. Most people out there are just not excited about Toyota. Yes, the Prius was a big statement from Toyota, but it doesn't mean they can't make another statement. The Prius doesn't really interest enthusiasts nor has it made Toyota to be percieved as a more exciting company. The LF-A as a statement will do several things. It will silence many of the critics who say Toyota's participation in F1 has been a waste of time and money. It will also silence many of the criticism that says Toyota as a company is dull and offers nothing exciting. The IS-F is already starting to change perception of the Lexus brand, particularly in Europe. Thirdly, the LF-A will be a technological tour-de-force that cement Toyota's reputation for technological excellence. With the LF-A, people and enthusiasts who previously never considered Toyota products or were interested in them will start to take notice. The LF-A will help bring in NEW customers to the Toyota and Lexus brand. When people see the LF-A they will think that if Toyota can build something like THAT, what else do they offer? The Toyota brand will soon have more sport offerings, as will the Lexus brand. The LF-A is also directly linked to the F-brand from Lexus. When people see advertisements, or see the LF-A on the streets it will be impossible to ignore, if only because of the roaring V10 engine. Robert Farago: Branding. Lexus is not about supercars. Or sports sedans. It’s about luxury cars. Well-built, quiet, comfortable, prestigious, luxury cars. And remember: brands exist in the customers’ heads, not the suits’. According to who? Lexus itself? Please show me directly where senior Toyota or Lexus officials talk about the Lexus brand being about only "luxury cars". Fact is, since the beginning of the Lexus brand, the Lexus brand has ALWAYS been about the "pursuit of perfection". Bugatti is a luxury brand, and yet they offer the Veyron. Are you telling me Bugatti has been harmed with the Veyron? The Lexus brand image of the "pursuit of perfection" can easily accomodate an exotic supercar. Rboert Farago: Again, what’s wrong with making appliances? To whom does Toyota need to prove that they’re capable of building a supercar? Who asked them to do this? Anyone? Bueller? To the competition, to enthusiasts, and to European buyers. Justin Berkowitz: I have to agree with Robert here. Unless Lexus wants to redo its image, this is a mistake. And if they want to redo their image, why? Why not? Lexus wants to attract new buyers who were never interested in the brand before. Toyota with Lexus wants to attract BOTH enthusiasts, as well as affluent luxury buyers. Robert Farago: Again, brands exist in the customers’ minds; all these brands already have a history. Or, if you prefer, a reputation. You can run, but you can’t hide from your brand. And in this case, why would you want to? So you're saying brand percpetion and reputation remains static and never changes? Toyota in the 1950s was known for unreliable, dubious automobiles. Toyota in the 1930s was known for sewing machines, not automobiles. Honda in the 1960s was known for motorcycles, not automobiles. Fact is, things change (for better or for worse). It's silly and naive to think otherwise. Brand perception can change in the customer's minds. Yes, brands have history and so what? Doesn't mean the brands MUST stick to their historic roots. Some brands have unfavourable historic roots (BMW supplying engines for Hitler's regime, Toyota making sewing machines). A perfect recent example is hybrids. In the past 10 years, Toyota almost single-handedly has made hybrids commercially viable, as well as making hybrids into a full-fledged market segment. Toyota tremendously changed people's perception, so now that when most people think "hybrid", they think either Toyota or Prius. The Prius was, and is an environmental halo car. Has it hurt or diluted Toyota's reputation and perception? Of course not, it's only strengthened and supplemented both. The LF-A will be an exotic performance halo car, and I simply do not see it doing harm to Toyota's reputation or perception. Justin Berkowitz: What does this LF-A say to potential shoppers - buy our RX350 because it is related to a high performance sports car? So what? High priced halo cars that differ from the brand rarely work: reference the Corvette’s non-effect on GM, the Acura NSX’s non-effect on Acura or Honda, the failure of the Dodge Viper, the failure of the Supra to give Toyota a sporty image. Even the Mazda RX-8 has been a bad halo car for Mazda, ostensibly a sporty brand. The LF-A to potential shoppers will say buy the IS-F because it's related to the LF-A, and buy an IS since that's related to the IS-F. What does BMW's M division say to shoppers? Most people either don't care for, or can't afford an M car but the M cars get a lot of people to buy regular BMWs. Ultimately, the LF-A will attract a whole new group of shoppers. The NSX had a huge effect for Honda in some ways. For example, in the UK the NSX almost single-handedly made Honda popular with enthusiasts. The NSX forced people to take notice of Honda and it gathered a lot of respect and good will from enthusiasts in the UK. The Supra didn't do much to Toyota's image because it wasn't a big enough statement. The LF-A will be a much bigger statement than the Supra ever was. ?Robert Farago: The question is, what will the other current and potential Lexus buyers think? Sure, a supercar puts Lexus in the same league as Mercedes (SLR). But shouldn’t Lexus be defining itself against Mercedes? Current buyers won't think much, because the LF-A won't be of interest to them. Lexus currently has great offerings for their current buyers. The LF-A will aim to attract potential buyers, or those who have never considered Lexus before. The LF-A will STILL be a Lexus, and that means the LF-A will still have the luxuries and reliability of a Lexus. Yet also it will offer world-class performance and exotic looks. No other supercar (apart from arguably the NSX) has ever offered world-class performance, comforting luxury, and great reliability in the same package. The NSX did not offer that much luxury, and it's image as a supercar was muddied by the V6 engine and the fact that it was offered as a Honda in most parts of the world. Since Lexus is a worldwide brand, the LF-A will be strictly a Lexus in all parts of the world, not a Toyota. Speaking of which, the LF-A will also help differentiate the Lexus brand from the Toyota brand.