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moe
post May 25 2008, 10:36 AM
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SANTA MONICA, California — After three auto show appearances and the occasional spy photo and video from Germany's high-speed Nürburgring test circuit, it's no secret that the Lexus LF-A supercar concept is headed for production. With an estimated 500 horsepower coming from the LF-A's 5.0-liter V10, we didn't expect the Lexus to come cheap, but Inside Line has learned that the car will carry a price tag over $200,000.

A Lexus source in Japan told Inside Line the price for the carbon-fiber supercar may be as high as $225,000.

Shown in both coupe and roadster forms, the LF-A will first launch as a coupe. Roadster versions will be priced even higher. Both body styles are approximately 2 inches shorter and an inch narrower than the 483-hp Ferrari F430, with a similarly sized wheelbase. A 2007 Ferrari F430 Spider costs $211,525.

Although final specifications have not yet been released, Lexus says the LF-A will reach a top speed over 200 mph.

What this means to you: Lexus is gunning for the Italians with the LF-A, and it's not going to cut any corners in its quest to deliver a legitimate supercar. — Kelly Toepke, News Editor


Source: InsideLine

Who the fuck is going to pay over $200k for a Lexus? No really, I want to meet the person that would. Don't get me wrong, I love Lexus, and it's a strong brand. But not enough to be charging $200k+ for a performance car. 911 Turbo money is the max I expected it to cost (and quite frankly as much as I thought anyone would be willing to pay for it). Hopefully this is just b/s, and it'll be priced more reasonably, because at this price I really don't care how good it is. I'd rather have a Ferrari or a Lambo.
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duality
post May 25 2008, 10:45 AM
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the lexus brand isnt ready to sell a car over even $120kish imo, let alone a supercar. im sure its competent...but cmon, the gt-r costs like $60k, im sure they can cut some costs. know how many they plan on selling?
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moe
post May 25 2008, 10:56 AM
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Dunno, if it's just a limited production, image-building exercise, then I can understand...a little...
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Mitlov
post May 25 2008, 11:02 AM
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Nothing about supercar purchases makes any rational sense anyway. Somewhere out there are Lexus fans who want something different than the 599 that all of their captain-of-industry friends have.

People may say that Lexus can't compete with Ferrari and Maserati, but a decade or so ago, people said that Lexus couldn't compete with MB and BMW. Lexus competes just fine with its German competitors nowadays, and there's no reason to think that, over the course of the next decade, it won't be able to compete with Italy's best.
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Razor
post May 25 2008, 11:05 AM
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A $200K Toyota? No thanks. I'll take a $70K Nissan that will blow its doors instead.
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moe
post May 25 2008, 11:06 AM
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Did Lexus start off pricing their cars right at their competitors though? I thought the original LS cost quite a bit less than an S-class.
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Mitlov
post May 25 2008, 11:34 AM
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QUOTE(moethepaki @ May 25 2008, 12:06 PM) *
Did Lexus start off pricing their cars right at their competitors though? I thought the original LS cost quite a bit less than an S-class.


I think there's a much smaller leap in image from near-$100k sedans to $220k supercars as there is from Corollas to near-$100k sedans. Today, Lexus is generally accepted as an equal of MB and BMW--maybe not among hrdcore driving enthusiasts, but certainly among typical luxury buyers. Heck, Audi listed MB, BMW, and Lexus as the three established luxury brands in its "break the cycle" ad.

If BMW or MB wanted to make a Ferrari-fighter, I suspect few would be surprised if they charged Ferrari prices for it. Heck, MB charges twice this much for the SLR, even though the C-Class, E-Class, and S-Class are no fancier or more expensive than Lexus's IS, GS, and LS. I don't think that the market has any lower expectations for Lexus as it does for MB and BMW nowadays, in terms of either price or luxury.
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Bjorn
post May 25 2008, 11:39 AM
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I wonder, I was under the impression that there was also going to be a hybrid LF-A, if that's the case I could see Lexus charge a premium for the world's first hybrid supercar...while pricing the non hybrid LF-A at a more reasonable amount.
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m_weinerich
post May 25 2008, 11:59 AM
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They would sell like hotcakes if their time around nordschleife is accurate....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordschleife_fastest_lap_times

7:24 on the ring is pretty fucking insane.....
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moe
post May 25 2008, 12:00 PM
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Luxury brands, not performance brands. If Lexus dropped a Maybach-rivaling super-sedan, I'd have no trouble accepting that. A car company that up until recently, had no credible sporting offering, suddenly charging $200k+ for a supercar? No thanks. Merc can pull it off, because they've been doing this forever (300SL Gullwing, etc.), plus they've been successfully involved in top flight motorsports as far back as I can remember. BMW and Audi are similar cases. All Lexus has to its name is the IS-F, the IS in BTC (during it's decline era), and I think they may have run the SC in JGTC (thought it might've been badged a Toyota Soarer, in which case that is worthless, because we're talking about Toyota and Lexus as different companies).
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Razor
post May 25 2008, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE(m_weinerich @ May 25 2008, 03:59 PM) *
They would sell like hotcakes if their time around nordschleife is accurate....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordschleife_fastest_lap_times

7:24 on the ring is pretty fucking insane.....


I won't believe it until it's done officially.
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DaGonz
post May 25 2008, 12:50 PM
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There are plenty of people who will buy it... all of them with a hell of a lot more money than all of us! firedevil.gif
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Mitlov
post May 25 2008, 01:08 PM
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QUOTE(moethepaki @ May 25 2008, 01:00 PM) *
Luxury brands, not performance brands. If Lexus dropped a Maybach-rivaling super-sedan, I'd have no trouble accepting that. A car company that up until recently, had no credible sporting offering, suddenly charging $200k+ for a supercar? No thanks. Merc can pull it off, because they've been doing this forever (300SL Gullwing, etc.), plus they've been successfully involved in top flight motorsports as far back as I can remember. BMW and Audi are similar cases. All Lexus has to its name is the IS-F, the IS in BTC (during it's decline era), and I think they may have run the SC in JGTC (thought it might've been badged a Toyota Soarer, in which case that is worthless, because we're talking about Toyota and Lexus as different companies).


Did anyone really see the R8 coming? Most people five years ago would have said that Audi makes gorgeous cars, but they'd never be capable of building a Porsche-killer. I'm not saying that the LFA is guaranteed to be for $200k performance cars what the R8 is for $100k cars, but I don't think we should write it off before it even arrives based upon the brand's other offerings.

And while Lexus doesn't have a racing heritage, Toyota does, F1 and all. I'm sure Toyota racing engineers will be just as involved in the Lexus LFA as Mercedes-Benz racing engineers are in their production-model performance cars.
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moe
post May 25 2008, 01:35 PM
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^ Quite frankly, I didn't expect the R8 to be anything but brilliant, but that's not the point. The point is, the market was ready to accept it after a history in motorsports (rallying, Le Mans, etc), and some truly sporting road cars (RS4, Quattro, RS6).

I'm considering Toyota and Lexus separate at this point. I'd be willing to see a $200k+ Toyota supercar, why? F1, the Supra, the Celica GT-Four, and the GT-One (didn't the road version cost a cool million dollars?) to name a few. But my point is Lexus has no history, and almost zero experience in motorsport or performance cars, yet expects to sell a supercar rivaling the Italian exotics. Yes, it has Toyota as a calling card, but that's a bit like saying I'm a brilliant public speaker just because my dad is. Same genes, different cars. Lexus specializes in unparalleled refinement, and luxury, which I think they do quite well. Hence, I'm willing to accept a Rolls-rivalling limo, or even an uber-gt like a Merc CL...but a supercar? Not at that price.

On a side note, it'll be brilliant. Mind-blowingly, earth-shatteringly, awesome. It won't sell though. Which means prices will nosedive until someone realizes it's a collectors item fifty years from when it was launched because it was so damned rare.
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duality
post May 25 2008, 02:15 PM
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as you said, it could be brilliant...plus there's hype. all depends on how much the production amount is. im sure there are 200 richies somewhere who wouldn't mind having one if its any good.
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Uwe
post May 25 2008, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE(m_weinerich @ May 25 2008, 09:59 PM) *
7:24 on the ring is pretty fucking insane.....

This laptime holds as much truthiness* as the laptime of the Nissan GT-R. Production car, yeah right. rolleyes.gif


* © Stephen Colbert
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Mitlov
post May 25 2008, 05:10 PM
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QUOTE(Uwe @ May 25 2008, 04:37 PM) *
This laptime holds as much truthiness* as the laptime of the Nissan GT-R. Production car, yeah right. rolleyes.gif
* © Stephen Colbert


But didn't the production GT-R lap the Ring even faster than the preproduction one?
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m_weinerich
post May 25 2008, 06:46 PM
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Well I did say if the laptime is "accurate" they would sell like hotcakes....

I never insinuated it was...

And btw the GT-R no matter what you guys say about it it's an insanely big computer that goes like stink, and yes it did post a 7:29 on the ring (Mitlov, the GT-R has 480bhp to the wheels, which means it's really got around 550 at the crank.... Thats what I think Uwe meant when he said "production car" sarcasticly)
I would LOVE to see if you can give the Porsche 911 turbo equivalent tires and see it's time.

In reality I would have a ton of cars over the GT-R, wouldn't really care about the speed.....
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Mitlov
post May 25 2008, 09:35 PM
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QUOTE(moethepaki @ May 25 2008, 02:35 PM) *
^ Quite frankly, I didn't expect the R8 to be anything but brilliant, but that's not the point. The point is, the market was ready to accept it after a history in motorsports (rallying, Le Mans, etc), and some truly sporting road cars (RS4, Quattro, RS6).

I'm considering Toyota and Lexus separate at this point. I'd be willing to see a $200k+ Toyota supercar, why? F1, the Supra, the Celica GT-Four, and the GT-One (didn't the road version cost a cool million dollars?) to name a few. But my point is Lexus has no history, and almost zero experience in motorsport or performance cars, yet expects to sell a supercar rivaling the Italian exotics. Yes, it has Toyota as a calling card, but that's a bit like saying I'm a brilliant public speaker just because my dad is. Same genes, different cars. Lexus specializes in unparalleled refinement, and luxury, which I think they do quite well. Hence, I'm willing to accept a Rolls-rivalling limo, or even an uber-gt like a Merc CL...but a supercar? Not at that price.

On a side note, it'll be brilliant. Mind-blowingly, earth-shatteringly, awesome. It won't sell though. Which means prices will nosedive until someone realizes it's a collectors item fifty years from when it was launched because it was so damned rare.


I think I misunderstood your argument up until this post. I thought you were arguing that the LF-A would be underwhelming for the price and would be a sales failure, when in fact you're only arguing the latter.

Anyway, it's hard to tell whether it'll be a success when we don't even have a solid idea of what it's going to be--hardcore sports coupe, luxurious-and-fast GT, or something else. I think there's three sorts of people who buy $200k two-seaters:

(1) Mr. Hardcore: A successful day-trader on the weekdays, a competitive track driver on the weekends. Has to be the best at everything he does, and that includes trackdays too. Currently drives an E46 M3 CSL, but is about to trade up to something even faster and more focused.

(2) Mr. Midlife Crisis: A plastic surgeon or a corporate lawyer or something of the sort. He drives a Lexus LS; his wife drives a RXh. He thinks he deserves "the best" and is willing to pay for it. Facing his 50th birthday, he decides he wants something a bit flashier in his life that says "I'm not dead yet," though he'll likely never do anything more radical than go 85 mph on the turnpike on his way to the office.

(3) Mr. Hollywood Hypocrite: Tells us all that American society is too wrapped up with material goods, but owns three houses, 10,000 square feet each. Recently bought a Gallardo because it looks great at Red Carpet events, but doesn't know off the top of his head how many cylinders it has or what wheels they put power through. Bummed that Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney quit inviting him to parties when he bought the Lambo. Knows that he'll be the coolest movie star on the block (and get back into those VIP events) if he has a "hybrid supercar," even if his personal assistant realizes that it's no more fuel-efficient than a run-of-the-mill SL550.

I think you're right that Lexus is going to have a hard time moving the LFA if it targets Mr. Hardcore, even if the LFA turns out to be quite a good performance car. However, knowing Lexus, I think they're primarily going after Mr. Midlife Crisis with a fast-and-superbly-refined GT, with an optional hybrid-drivetrained LFAh that'll give Mr. Hollywood Hypocrite a hard-on. And if Lexus does go after those two, I think the model will be a success.
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clarkma5
post May 25 2008, 10:22 PM
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Wow you're all being stupid...

$200k is typical ~500 HP supercar territory. There's waiting lists on practically every supercar for sale, regardless of how shitty the economy is. This car will meet its (very small) sales projections without any difficulty so long as it isn't a huge pile of shit. It doesn't have to be a Ferrari-beater, a budget Veyron, or anything of that sort. It's a supercar and it will find a market.
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