Friday Photo – Inside the Lexus LFA Centre of Excellence

We’ll be honest, Lexus isn’t really a brand we pay a lot of attention to here at EngageSportMode. Maybe it’s that Alan Partridge connection; perhaps it was those CT200h adverts with Kylie Minogue, or it could be that their cars just lack that ‘soul’ we look forHowever, things are a little bit different when it comes to the LFA:

Lexus LFA Cologne 001

We make no bones about it; we love the Lexus LFA at ESM. From the epic wailing V10 engine, to the triple exhaust tailpipes and aerodynamically sculpted side repeaters, we love it all. The difference with the LFA is the fact it was built virtually by hand, by a team of dedicated engineers at a rate of only one car per day. Compared to the ‘processed’ or ‘manufactured’ image often associated with Lexus, the LFA was by contrast crafted.

Lexus LFA Cologne 002

The result was a supercar with the soul of a hand-built exotic, but also a high-tech ‘heart’ in the shape of that high-revving 4.8 litre V10 engine. Producing 552 bhp at a dizzy 8,700 rpm, the carbon-fibre constructed LFA is capable of 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a top-speed of over 200 mph. A world away from the gold badges and wood-trim of a GS300h or RX450h.

Lexus LFA Cologne 004

So why are we bringing you these photos of a car that has been out of production since December 2012? Well, the blue car pictured belongs to Lexus UK, and is one of only 38 LFAs in Europe out of the 500 made. With such a specialist car comes the need for specialist attention when the LFA needs servicing; a task which falls to the guys at Toyota Motorsport Europe in Cologne Germany. Customers can have their LFAs sent to LFA Centre of Excellence or, instead, the team will travel to a customer’s local Lexus dealership to undertake the work there.

Lexus LFA Cologne 003
Aerodynamic panels underneath the LFA’s body take two hours to refit.

Although apparently the service routine is similar to any regular Lexus, the LFA’s unique construction means that the process of working on the car is more inline with a Le Mans racer. Fortunately, Toyota Motorsport GmbH are responsible for building and maintaining the TS030 and TS040 hybrid LMP1 prototype cars so they’ve got experience.

Lexus LFA Cologne 005

Lexus UK’s LFA was signed off after a four-day long service and inspection, meaning it should be back on the roads with that sonorous engine howling away again soon. As a reminder of just how good it sounds, here’s our own video from the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed: