The Lexus LFA Sounds Like $400,000

When I reviewed the Lexus LFA I failed to do it justice. It's just incredibly difficult to summarize everything that combines to make this car so special. These engine sounds do a much better job. Bonus: Top Gear LFA photo!


What you're hearing is a 72-degree 4.8-liter V10 that revs to 9,500 RPM and feeds fuel to its cylinders through 10 individual throttle bodies. It develops 552 HP at 8,700 RPM and 354 Lb-Ft of torque at 6,800 RPM. Inside, there's forged aluminum pistons, forged titanium rods, titanium valves, dry sump lubrication and an aluminum block forged in an identical method and in the sam factory as Toyota's F1 engines. The whole thing weighs less than 383 Lbs, is physically smaller than Lexus' own 3.5-liter V6 and can rev from idle to the 9,500 RPM rev limiter in 6/10ths of a second.

Illustration for article titled The Lexus LFA Sounds Like $400,000

Pictured: The LFA awaits The Stig at the Top Gear studio.

When you hear the gearshifts, it's a an electrohydraulic actuation of an H-pattern 6-speed located as a rear transaxle. Despite the lack of two clutches (Lexus didn't want to add their reciprocating mass) and the need to shift through an H-pattern, the gearbox can shift between gears in as little as 200 milliseconds. Unlike many of its rivals, there's a real feeling of connection between the paddle shifters and the gearbox. Instead of a button-like delay, pulling one of the paddles feels like pulling a trigger.

Of course, part of the reason what you're hearing sounds so good isn't just down to mechanical stuff, Toyota also worked hard to tweak the acoustics with a number of unique technologies drawn from Yamaha's expertise as a maker of musical instruments.


The only thing that puzzles us here is that Toyota didn't choose to use the TFT instrument display's virtual "race" mode with its white tachometer and and the red line positioned at one o'clock.

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Jonathan Harper

Ahhh yes. I can hear the dragon eye perfectly now.