Lucky YouTuber Gets to Spend a Day in a Lexus LFA

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Seen Through Glass goes down under to drive the V10 LFA supercar around Australia’s wine country and watch the Australian Open.

There are certain things you just don’t say “No” to. If you’re on a road trip and you get the opportunity to use the bathroom at a gas station, take advantage of it. You might not get the chance to do it again for a long time. A trip to Australia is something else you don’t turn down. So is the privilege of driving the Lexus LFA for a day. When Sam Fane of the popular Youtube channel Seen Through Glass was given the opportunity to experience Lexus’s V10 supercar in the “Down Under,” he said “Yes.”

That should be anyone’s logical response to being asked if they would like to drive a car with 552 horsepower, but there are even more reasons to say yes to driving the LFA. One is that it’s relatively rare; Lexus only produced 500 of them. The LFA’s engine is another. No other Lexus production car has had a V10 under its hood. The LFA’s positioning is a third. Lexus made fast cars before the LFA and made them afterward, but none of them can be considered supercars like the LFA. And let’s not forget the way it sounds. Fane says, “It still has, possibly, one of the best-sounding factory exhaust and engine sounds ever,” then puts his right foot down to let out the 4.8-liter V10’s exotic raspy wail. 24 Hours with the Lexus LFA

Although the LFA is a special car, it’s still just that – a car. Like any other vehicle, it has its shortcomings, especially when you consider how much technology has advanced since the LFA first came out. According to Fane, “The biggest sign of age with this car is, unfortunately, the gearbox.” The LFA’s six-speed single-clutch automatic can be a little slow and rough, although some settings tinkering can unlock faster shift speeds. Flat out, the LFA continues to impress. In Fane’s words, “When this thing gets up and goes, it still gets up and goes.” 24 Hours with the Lexus LFA

As if a day behind the wheel of an LFA weren’t enough incentive, Lexus found a way to make Fane’s experience even more appealing. They sent along a representative in an LC 500, the LFA’s spiritual successor, to accompany him to Melbourne’s Yarra Valley wineries and blast through the sun-soaked countryside with him. 24 Hours with the Lexus LFA

Then Fane zooms off to the Rod Laver Arena to watch Roger Federer face Stefanos Tsitsipas in a round of the Australian Open. Whether you speak English, German, or Greek, that’s another experience you say “Yes”…or “Jah”…or “Ναι” to.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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