Lexus will lease, not sell, the $375,000 LFA supercar. But after seeing details of how the lease works it sounds like a pain in the ass. $12,400 monthly payments? One low $298,000 payment? That's just the start.
The whole point of the Lexus LFA is to alter the way the mega rich and therefore their inferiors, think about Lexus. It's the first step in transforming the brand from a Toyota with leather to a genuine international competitor for BMW and Mercedes. The problem is, desirable supercars like the LFA tend to get snapped up by speculators, not end users and that throws a major wrench in Lexus' plan to woo the wealthy. Buying from Jimmy the Greek won't give customers the chance to get the full Lexus experience.
Which leads us to an incredibly complicated lease process that sounds like it'll put off as many customers as it'll save from the speculators. But, the positive side is you'll get to have your choice in making a truly bespoke experience (Autoblog has more details on, well, the options details). We've focused on the nine-step process behind leasing an LFA below:
Step One: If you've lodged interest in the LFA, you might be contacted between March and June and given the chance to buy a place on the list. Might be contacted. You'll then have 10 days to put your name on said list.
Step Two: Place a $10,000 deposit with Lexus that signs you up for an initial credit check.
Step Three: If your initial credit report comes up clean, you'll then be asked to place a $50,000 deposit. Congratulations, you can now order your car. Base price: $375,000. Options: extra.
Step Four: Wait until some unspecified time during 2011, production of all 500 LFAs will take place throughout next year.
Step Five: Once your car's ready for delivery, you'll need to start paying the lease. But wait, Lexus wants that $12,400 monthly payment up front. No, not at the beginning of the month, the whole 24 months' worth of payments up front. $298,000 please.
Step Six: Undergo a final credit check.
Step Seven: Present proof of insurance, which you're expected to retain throughout the lease term.
Step Eight: Receive your, well, Lexus Financial Service's, new LFA. Congratulations on your excellent taste in refined track-focussed supercars.
Step Nine: Still interested in owning one? Well, at the end of 24 months, it's all yours for the low, low price of $93,750.
Now you'd be hard pressed to find bigger fans of the LFA's formula-like driving experience than us, but for this amount of hassle we'd be sorely tempted to simply take a suitcase full of $103,300 in cash we don't have to a Chevy dealer, who'd be happy to sign over a ZR1 without any further questions asked.