Docstoc

www

Document Sample
www Powered By Docstoc
					                                                           www.lexusgb-press.co.uk
                                                                    21 October 2009


                                   LEXUS LFA
               Ultra-exclusive supercar announced for production


KEY POINTS
   Lexus’s 21st century supercar delivers extreme, race-bred performance, with
    advanced technologies and absolute exclusivity
   Powered by mid-front mounted 4.8-litre V10 engine with 9,000rpm red line
   Rear wheels driven through bespoke, rear-mounted six-speed Automated
    Sequential Gearbox (ASG)
   Maximum power 552bhp, maximum torque 480Nm
   Nought to 62mph acceleration in 3.7 seconds, top speed 202mph
   Extensive use of advanced materials, including Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic
    (CFRP) construction and Carbon Ceramic Material (CCM) brakes
   Production limited to 500 examples
   UK launch price €368,000 (approximately £336,000)


INTRODUCTION
The new LFA marks an important moment in both the history of Lexus and the
development of the supercar. A true “clean-sheet” design, the LFA was created by a
small, passionate and dedicated team of engineers whose achievement has been to
push the boundaries of technologies materials and engineering at every stage to
produce a car like no other to have carried the Lexus badge.


Constructed using advanced carbon fibre technology, the rear-wheel drive LFA is
powered by a bespoke, high-revving 552bhp 4.8-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine,
matched to a rear-mounted six-speed sequential automatic transmission, giving
200mph-plus performance.


In the words of Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi: “The LFA is a thoroughbred
supercar, a machine engineered to achieve a single goal – to deliver a supreme
driving experience. Over the past decade we have pushed every boundary in pursuit
of this goal and I believe we have created the most driver-orientated car we possibly
could.”
CARBON FIBRE CONSTRUCTION
Keeping the car’s weight to an absolute minimum was one of the defining elements in
the development of the LFA and this led to the decision to switch from using
aluminium for the car’s construction to advanced Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic
(CFRP) for the chassis and bodywork.


Moreover, Lexus decided the CFRP structure should be built in-house rather than by
a third-party supplier. In doing so, it drew on Toyota Motor Corporation’s heritage in
textile weaving technology to push the boundaries of its technical abilities, developing
new carbon fibre looms and a laser system for monitoring the integrity of the material.


At four times the strength of aluminium, CFRP gives the LFA an exceptionally stiff
and strong structure, and also delivers major weight advantages, saving around
100kg on an equivalent aluminium body. CFRP accounts for 65 per cent of the body-
in-white, with aluminium alloy used for the remaining 35 per cent.


Unlike the few other vehicles on the market that use CFRP construction, the LFA
uses the same advanced resin technology favoured by cutting-edge aerospace
programmes for its unmatched weight and strength properties.


ENGINE
The heart of the LFA is a bespoke, naturally aspirated V10 engine that sets new
standards for compact dimensions, lightweight architecture and scintillating
performance. From the outset it was determined the engine should have a 4,805cc
capacity, develop 552bhp and rev to a wailing 9,000rpm red line. A 72-degree angle
between the cylinder heads is ideal for achieving balance in the engine for
exceptionally smooth running, while providing individual, electronically controlled
throttle bodies for each cylinder gives excellent throttle response.


Using a dry sump lubrication system allows the block to be positioned deep in the
engine bay, lowering the car’s centre of gravity and moment of inertia, and enabling
the engine to handle sustained, high-speed cornering.


The V10 produces 480Nm of torque at 6,800rpm, 90 per cent of which is available
from 3,700rpm all the way to the 9,000rpm red line, thanks to Dual VVT-i technology,
equal length exhaust manifolds and high-volume, 12-hole fuel injectors. This gives
searing in-hear acceleration at all engine speeds and in any gear: nought to 62mph
takes just 3.7 seconds and maximum speed is 202mph.


With a kerb weight of 1,480kg, the LFA has a power to weight ratio of 373bhp per
tonne, while specific output of 115bhp per litre is among the highest of any current
supercar, aided by a high, 12:1 compression ratio, low friction internals and optimised
intake and exhaust flow.


In spite of its potency, the V10 is an object lesson in compact and lightweight
packaging, being about the same size as a regular V8 engine and weighing about as
much as conventional V6. It is also as reliable and refined as any other Lexus power
plan and exceeds Euro 5 emissions standards.


The engine was developed in conjunction with Yamaha through the established
collaborative partnership between Toyota Motor Corporation and the Japanese
specialist engineering company.


TRANSMISSION
The formidable performance of the V10 is managed through an equally advanced
transmission, a purpose-designed six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG)
that drives the rear wheels via a limited slip differential. To help achieve the optimum
48:52 front-to-rear weight distribution, it is contained in a transaxle mounted over the
rear axle.


The ASG is operated by paddle shifts mounted on the steering column and is
engineered for exceptionally fast shifts: an upshift can be effected in just 0.2
seconds.


The system has four driving modes: Auto, Sport, Normal and Wet, activated by a
selector dial on the dashboard. Each mode has a specific gearshift programme, and
engine and brake control logic systems to let the driver tailor the car’s performance to
suit driving conditions.


SOUND
The LFA’s acoustics, induction system and exhaust notes have been specially tuned
to deliver an awesome “soundtrack” that expresses the car’s extreme performance,
both outside and inside the cabin. Referred to by the acoustic team as “Octave
Harmony”, it is inspired by the sound of a Formula 1 engine at full revs and is unlike
that of any other road car, with different harmonic qualities created as the engine
moves up towards its maximum 9,000rpm.


BRAKING
The LFA has one of the most advanced and powerful braking systems fitted to any
production car, appropriate to meet the demands of its 200mph-plus performance
capabilities.


The brake discs are made of Carbon Ceramic Material (CCM), which as well as
being lighter than steel, gives fade-free performance in all conditions. The front discs
are 390mm in diameter and 34mm thick, gripped by six-piston aluminium callipers;
the rear discs measure 360mm across, are 28mm thick and are fitted with four-pot
callipers. All use high-friction micron pads, manufactured exclusively for use with
CCM brakes.


SUSPENSION, WHEELS AND TYRES
The track-tuned suspension is the result of intensive development work carried out
by Lexus at the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit to give the best possible balance
between control and comfort.


The bespoke wishbone front/multilink rear design makes extensive use of aluminium
alloy for high strength and low weight, and the aluminium monotube dampers are the
same as those Lexus used for its LFA race car in the Nurburgring 24-hour race.


The 20-inch forged aluminium BBS wheels are shod with asymmetric Bridgestone
tyres: 265/35ZR20 at the front and 305/30ZR20 at the rear.


AERODYNAMICS
The LFA boasts class-leading aerodynamics to achieve drivetrain cooling and superb
high-speed handling and stability. Extensive wind tunnel testing helped produce a
wind-cheating profile with a drag coefficient of 0.31, a remarkable achievement given
the degree of downforce the car creates at high speed.


Airflow is precisely controlled over, under and around the car. A carbon fibre rear
diffuser and flat underbody generate significant downforce, with an active rear wing,
complete with a gurney flap on the leading edge, boosting the level further still.
STEERING
The race-tuned steering gives outstanding response and feedback to create a perfect
dynamic link between car and driver. The constant-rate rack and pinion system uses
an innovative column-assist Electric Power Steering System that does not sap
engine performance.


The large-diameter column shaft is mounted directly on the central chassis structure,
giving the steering layout exceptional rigidity. The carbon fibre steering wheel has a
flat bottom section and houses the engine starter button and instrument information
selector switch. It can be adjusted for reach and rake.


EXTERIOR DESIGN
Dictated by its front-mid engine layout, long wheelbase and short overhangs,
sophisticated aerodynamics and low-slung cabin, the LFA’s lines flow from roof to sill
in a seamless convex to concave line. As well as its low weight and high strength,
carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) also gave the designers more freedom to
create shapes, curves and edges that would have been impossible with metal.


The styling remains true, however, to the principles of L-finesse, the design rationale
behind all current Lexus models. Form follows function, as witnessed n the numerous
air intakes and aerodynamic details, and even in the design of the door mirrors,
shaped to channel air over the car’s shoulders into the rear intakes.


INTERIOR DESIGN
The low-slung cabin is divided into three zones: the mechanical zone, which includes
the skeleton of the car’s construction; the human zone, with two seats placed right at
the centre of the car; and the driving zone, with high-tech instrumentation that brings
driver and machine together.


The cabin is hand-built, with driver-focused ergonomics. The seats, upholstered in
fine leather and Alcantara, provide the high level of back and side support needed in
a car capable of 200mph-plus performance. The trim echoes the advanced materials
used in the LFA’s construction, with exposed areas of both matt and gloss carbon
fibre. Trim details are finished in brushed metal and the floor-hinged brake and
throttle pedals are made of forged aluminium. As with the exterior finish, owners can
choose different interior colours and details to suit personal taste.
INSTRUMENTATION
The compact, hooded instrument panel combines an LCD display panel with a colour
Thin Film Transistor (TFT) and a motor-drive movable ring. It features a single
circular dial with a central tachometer with an LCD needle. When engine speed
exceeds 9,000rpm, the display area turns red to prime the driver for an up-shift. It
can also be programmed to turn yellow or green when the revs reach a user-selected
range. The dial also houses a digital speedometer and gear indicator, transmission
mode, vehicle control data and trip information displays.


An information selector switch on the left side of the steering wheel lets the driver
toggle through a series of functions, including customising the data display, adjusting
cabin illumination and operating a track-ready stopwatch system.


When the car is started, an instrument display sequence is triggered, creating a
sense of occasion, culminating in the four digital dials showing oil and water
temperatures, fuel level and oil pressure radiating out from the centre of the rev
counter to take up their positions on either side of the central dial.


SAFETY
Passive and active safety provisions are in line with the LFA’s exceptional
performance. The central carbon fibre reinforced plastic central structure is extremely
strong and provides excellent impact protection. Crash boxes are fitted front and rear
that are designed to deform in a controlled fashion in the event of an impact. That at
the front is made of CFRP; that at the rear from extruded aluminium. Side impact
protection includes strong and rigid carbon fibre side members and door structures
comprising an aluminium inner panel and a Glass fibre reinforced Sheet Moulding
Compound (G-SMC) outer skin.


The LFA is equipped with Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM)
system, which co-ordinates the smooth operation of the ABS, vehicle stability and
traction control systems as the vehicle approaches its performance limits, based on
critical data on brake operation, yaw and roll rates, individual wheel speed and
longitudinal, lateral and vertical acceleration


Passive safety features include two-stage adaptive front airbags and seatbelt airbags
for driver and passenger and a driver’s knee airbag.
MANUFACTURING AND SALES
The LFA programme was launched in 2000 as a straightforward R&D project, but
gained impetus with the appointment of Haruhiko Tanahashi to lead a dedicated
team of engineers, committed to a bespoke Lexus development programme. The first
LFA prototype was completed in 2003 and a design study made its public debut at
the 2005 Detroit motor show. In 2008 and 2009 the LFA was entered in the
Nurburgring 24-hour race, the intention being to push the car hard under testing
conditions prior to its official launch as a production-ready model at the 2009 Tokyo
motor show.


The LFA will be hand-assembled at the Motomachi plant in Toyota City. Only 500
examples will be built, at a maximum rate of 20 per month to ensure the finest build
quality and attention to detail. Each V10 engine will be assembled by a single
engineer, and will bear his signature as testament to each LFA’s bespoke status.


The UK launch price for the LFA is €368,000 (approximately £336,000). Owners can
choose from an extensive range of options to personalise their car, including 30
different paint finishes. Certain items of standard equipment can also be removed,
such as the audio system, to reduce the car’s weight.



Ref: 091021N

				
DOCUMENT INFO