With its gestation period growing even longer than that of some concept-to-production American cars such as the latest Ford Thunderbird and Chevrolet Camaro, rumors are circulating that Lexus is throwing in the towel and has decided it's not worth building a production version of the LF-A sports car. At least, that's the word from this story by Autoblog:
Rumormill: Lexus LF-A... Stillborn?
by Justin Gardiner
The writing has been on the wall for some time. Although the Lexus flagship graduated from "concept" to "prototype" when it campaigned in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, Toyota has refused to even hint at a production date for the V10 supercar. Then Toyota declined to plonk an LF-A silhouette on their Super GT racer, electing to continue with the doomed SC 430 jello mold.
Then news broke that production cars would cost a whopping $225,000, but the LF-A still wouldn't turn a profit. Needless to say, Toyota doesn't like things that are not profitable.
Finally, members of the testing and development crew who have been putting the car though its paces in Germany, as well as test drivers from rival Honda and Nissan crews, have told Autoblog that the LF-A is not destined for the showroom, and will remain only a development platform.
No reasons were given, but we can think of a couple. How many people are willing to part with nigh on a quarter of a million bucks for a Toyota/Lexus? Also, the world's most prolific car maker may not be willing to join the current Nürburgring pissing contest unless it is 100% sure that they can beat the Viper, ZR-1 and perhaps more importantly, the GT-R and upcoming NSX replacement.
Actually, one 'Ring test driver didn't mind going on the record with his opinion. Former Nissan racer, NSX development driver and Nürburgring legend Motoharu "Gan-san" Kurosawa reckons, "Toyota are good at making money, but they're no good at making sports cars."