Great Nordschleifen Time In A LFA. A Bad Day For The Blogs

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

While Jack is ranting about blackballing PR flacks and journos with pants on fire, let me warn against journalism by Twitter. Here is a prime example: Today, the interwebs are abuzz about a Lexus LFA setting a new Nordschleifen record. The source: A tweet by Chris Harris of EVO. He wrote: “LFA Nurburgring pack just did 7.14 lap of the Ring. That’s mighty fast.” And he followed it by a “Akira Iida was the man who did the LFA’s 7.14. Great time.” That may be the case. What is shameful is what was made of this tweet.

From Torque News (“Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition shatters production car ‘Ring record”) through GMInsideNews (“Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package Smashes Nordschliefe Production Record with 7:14 Lap”) to Jalopnik (“LFA Nürburgring Edition sets a ring record”), the blogs are blabbering that Lexus sent the standing Nordschleifen-time to the Green Hell. And nobody bothered to check. Which is what anyone should do who calls himself a journalist.

I called Keisuke Kirimoto, Toyota’s genial spokesman in Tokyo this morning. He had not heard about the stunt yet. But he had his lap times in his head: “7:14? Doesn’t the record stand at 6 and change?” He’s right: A look at Wikipedia shows that the Nordschleifen-record for production cars stands at 6 minutes and 48, and it stood there since Michael Vergers drove his street-legal Radical SR8M around the Nordschleife in 6 minutes and 48 seconds in 2009. Wikipedia even lists Akira Iida’s new 7:14 – in number 4. Well, if the journos are that lazy, no wonder they get treated in a way that upsets Baruth the Brute.

Jack: They deserve it.

Some of them corrected the copy in the meantime. Jalopnik added: “Akira Iida posted a 7:14 lap time of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition – good enough for either the fourth or fifth all-time fastest lap.” But they didn’t change the headline, and that’s what most Jalopnik readers usually manage to read. Or that’s what Jalopnik hopes they click on.

Kirimoto promised to come back with an official confirmation by tomorrow. Good for him, he doesn’t want to rely on Twitter. Even after his boss, Akiro Toyoda, twittered via the Team Gazoo account: “レクサス LFA、ニュルで7分14秒台を記録か” which according to Frau Schmitto-san stands for “Lexus LFA, 7 minutes, 14 seconds recorded on the Nürburgring.”

Team Gazoo warns on its website that the timing is not official yet, but if it is, then it would beat the times of the Nissan GT-R (7 min 24 sec), of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (7 minutes 19 sec) and that of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS (7 minutes 18 seconds), “which would be a great honor.”

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
2 of 32 comments
  • Pch101 Pch101 on Sep 05, 2011

    I don't see what is so impressive about this car. A real supercar would have caught fire, you know.

  • Imag Imag on Sep 07, 2011

    I actually like the fact that racetrack times are part of the new benchmark. A good 'ring time says more to me about a modern super/sports car than does 0-60, 1/4 mile, or top speed metrics. At least handling is part of the equation in a ring time. And most LFAs will indeed be used on the track. Toyota is making sure that their owners are interested in driving them there. Say what you want about the policy, but it at least means they won't solely be garage queens and boulevard cruisers.

  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • Aja8888 NO!
  • OrpheusSail I once did. My first four cars were American made, and through an odd set of circumstances surrounding a divorce, I wound up with a '95 Nissan Maxima which was fourteen years old and had about 150,000 miles on it.It was drove better, had an amazing engine, and was more reliable than any of my American cars. This included a new '95 GMC pickup that went through five alternators in under two years while the dealership insisted that there was no underlying electrical problem while they tried to run the clock on the warranty.That was the end of 'buy American'. I've bought from Honda and VW since, and I'll consider just about anything except American now.