Subscribers and readers of the print edition of the January 22, 2007 issue of AutoWeek magazine were surely flabbergasted to read, on page 22, these excerpts from their short blurb on the Lexus IS-F from their 2007 Detroit Auto Show coverage: "The car has a top speed of 200 mph...Toyota will build less than 1000 for the United States." While we fervently wish such performance and exclusivity were, indeed, true (especially at the rumored $50,000 price), don't count on it. My.IS member Flipside909, who attended the Detroit Auto Show press conference for the IS-F world debut, had an opportunity to ask Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter, among many other things, the projected top speed for the Lexus IS-F. Mr. Carter replied that, while this is one of many specifications that have not yet been finalized, the goal was 160 mph. There is certainly strong logic for this number, since no Japanese carmaker subscribes to the German sedan makers' (and, probably, Jaguar's) informal, gentlemen's agreement on a 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed. From that to a 200 mph top speed, however, stretches credibility. Even mega-sedans whose makers don't subscribe to the 155 mph gentlemen's agreement, such as the Maserati Quattroporte and Bentley Continental Flying Spur don't quite hit the 200 mph bogey. And there surely has to be demand for more than 1000 IS-Fs a year. The only rational explanation for all this, of course, is an editing error by the folks at AutoWeek where those top speed and production numbers were for the production version of the Lexus LF-A supercar but accidentally wound up in the IS-F section. Keep an eye out for the next print issue (or the one after that) of AutoWeek, where surely a publisher's or errors note to that effect should clarify all this.
That makes sense. I wouldn't expect Lexus to sell nearly as many of the LF-A supercar as they would of the IS-F. It wouldn't make sense for Lexus to limit production of a car if they knew they could sell more of them. Being more of an exotic, I can understand limiting the production of the LF-A. I doubt there will be enough demand for the LF-A to warrant building too many of them.