Lexus LFA Successor Caught Testing on the Nurburgring
Once only a dream, the successor to the LFA supercar is rumored to bow next October at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
Back at the start of the New Tens, Lexus turned out a tour de force that few have come close to replicating since. We speak, of course, of the LFA. Only 500 total units were made for the 2011 and 2012 model years between December 2010 and December 2012, each one powered by a 4.8-liter V10 delivering 552 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed electrohydraulic manual transmission. That powerplant was, of course, cradled by a handbuilt frame of aeronautical-grade carbon fiber woven by a laser-monitored circular loom.
For years since the last LFA left the line, Lexus had been adamant there was no need for a successor to the LFA supercar. Lexus may have changed its mind in the past few months, though, as these spy photos of an LFA mule making the rounds on the Nurburgring suggest.
“We need more halo representation. We hear often from our dealers if we can have an LFA follow-up,” Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Jeff Bracken told CarBuzz during the Detroit Auto Show earlier in 2018. “I think that when we hear so many emotional and high number of requests for a follow-up to LFA, we certainly won’t ignore that. It’s not a closed door.”
This is a contrast to what was said in 2016 by Lexus’ chief of European operations, Alain Uyttenhoven, who told CarScoops the LFA’s status as an icon was set in stone, proclaiming “a super-high-end machine is not what we need right now.”
Hearts and minds can change, of course, which brings us back to these spy shots of the successor’s mule out and about on the Green Hell. At first glance, the mule appears to be nothing more than an orange LFA with barely there camo and a white rear bumper. Look closer, however, and you’ll see the wider front and rear fenders. Perhaps the next LFA will have a wider track? That would place the successor in line with vehicles and concepts like Audi’s PB18 e-tron, whose wide track means it’ll be able to take tight turns with little steering effort and less body roll.
There are rumors the second coming of the LFA will make its world debut next October at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. All we can say is we can’t wait to see the long-awaited successor to Lexus’ greatest supercar.