Lexus Is Plenty Aware That Everyone Wants a Successor to the LFA

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Lexus’ LFA was a car nobody could have anticipated. Limited to just 500 production models, the $350,000 status symbol was as prestigious as it was rare. Strange, considering Lexus is known as a luxury brand that’s still big on value. However, there weren’t many people griping about the LFA’s price once they experienced its performance firsthand. Its high-revving, 553 horsepower V10 has been universally praised by almost everyone who’s gained access to it, and even those who haven’t.

The Toyota Motor Corporation is aware that the model’s absence has been noticed and, despite Lexus’ current focus on improving sales via sport utility vehicles, it thinks there could still be room for another flagship halo car.

Speaking to CarBuzz at the recent Detroit auto show, Lexus Group vice president Jeff Bracken said there may be yet be hope. At the very least, he explained that the automaker understood that the public misses the LFA.

“We need more halo representation. We hear often from our dealers if we can have an LFA follow-up,” Bracken said. “So you never know. But that car was just so out there in terms of technology, power and handling. I wouldn’t rule it out. I think that when we hear so many emotional and high number of requests for a follow-up to LFA, we certainly won’t ignore that. It’s not a closed door.”

The closest thing to it in Lexus’ current lineup is the LC grand tourer. While there is little bad to be said about it (it could be faster), it lacks the scalpel-like precision and exotic charms of the LFA. It’s not the kind of vehicle that forces enthusiasts to look at the brand in a different light.

“Just as the LF-LC concept came out in 2012, there was so much positive feedback from the media, public and dealers that we did make the decision to go ahead and build it. And we were able to make the production car [the LC] look very much like the concept.”

Alright, got it. All Lexus needs to do is design a concept vehicle that we can gush over and they’ll eventually build it. That certainly sounds simple but, if the brand intends to bring something forth that’s on the bleeding edge of technology again, the timeline for it could be vast. We’re banking on Lexus finishing off another SUV first, maybe even something that will sit above the $85,000 LX.

[Image: Lexus]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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7 of 23 comments
  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Jan 20, 2018

    Sad to say, but the most effective and potentially profitable halo car Lexus could make today would be a $350K CUV/SUV with all the fancy technology and luxury gadgets they could stuff in it.

    • See 4 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Jan 22, 2018

      Lexus doesn't have the brand power right now to sell a $350k CUV. Heck, Mercedes probably doesn't right now and forget BMW or Audi.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Jan 20, 2018

    Put the LFA V-10 engine into a rebodied 2-seat LC500, price under the NSX. Offer the same V10 in the GS-F as an M5 AMG competitor.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X As much problems as I had with my '96 Chevy Impala SS.....I would love to try one again. I've seen a Dark Cherry Metallic one today and it looked great.
  • Susan O’Neil There is a good reason to keep the Chevrolet Malibu and other 4 door family sedans! You can transport your parents and other somewhat handicapped people comfortably and safety! If someone can stand and pivot you can put them in your car. An armrest in the back seat is appreciated and a handle above the door! Oh…and leather seats so your passenger can slide across the seat! 😊Plus, you can place a full sized wheelchair or walker in the trunk! The car sits a little lower…so it’s doable! I currently have a Ford Fusion and we have a Honda Accord. Our previous cars were Mercury Sables-excellent for transporting handicapped people and equipment! As the population ages-sedans are a very practical choice! POV from a retired handicapped advocate and daughter! 😊
  • Freddie Remember those ads that say "Call your doctor if you still have...after four hours"?You don't need to call your doctor, just get behind the wheel of a CUV. In fact, just look at one.I'm a car guy with finite resources; I can't afford a practical car during the week plus a fun car on the weekend. My solution is my Honda Civic Si 4 door sedan. Maybe yours is a Dodge Charger (a lot of new Chargers are still on dealer lots).
  • Daniel J Interesting in that we have several weeks where the temperature stays below 45 but all weather tires can't be found in a shop anywhere. I guess all seasons are "good enough".
  • Steve Biro For all the talk about sedans vs CUVs and SUVs, I simply can’t bring myself to buy any modern vehicle. And I know it’s only going to get worse.