At Lexus, 'F' is their exclusive designation for high performance. Not that a fiery red advanced lightweight supercar, aggressive in stature and design, bore any clues in itself. The LF-A Roadster concept makes its European debut at Geneva this week, presenting showgoers with a re-interpretation in drop-top guise of the LF-A Coupe concept.
The F-Sports programme overhauls numerous technological components including powertrain, suspension and braking system to produce a concept car every bit as refined as it is exclusive. The result: a highly-polished driver-oriented vehicle highly capable in performance and handling precision.
Its design can be largely attributed to Lexus' L-Finesse philosophy and to the engineering requirements of a refined, lightweight performance vehicle. Based on the lightweight construction of the coupe, the roadster retains rigidity and structure strength by utilising lightweight but durable aluminium and carbon-fibre panels.
A low-profile stance and short overhangs contribute to an aggressive persona and also improve aerodynamic flows, while modified versions of the coupe concept's front and side profile air intakes, the latter based on single-seat racing cars, aid cooling. Large cooling duct grilles stylise the rear which incorporates a re-interpretation of the coupe's 'arrowhead' design.
Under the bonnet, a lightweight V10 unit, placed in what engineers call a 'front-mid' configuration, delivers 500 hp from less than 5.0-litres capacity and propels the LF-A Roadster to speeds in excess of 200 mph. Off-the-line sprints are as yet unpublished.
Maximising cabin space, functionality and further reducing weight, numerous components have been refined and condensed. Therefore inside, where exclusivity is key, a driver-focused environment reinforces space via a low-level console and support via sports seats and deep footwells. Stylish and exclusive touches include an F-Sports steering wheel, floor hinged alloy pedals and a unique instrument cluster.
Press Release (Click to expand)
A development of the second generation LF-A coupe which was first unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor show, the roadster further reflects the genesis of the Lexus ‘F’ designation; an ultra-high performance sports range for the premium automotive segment.
The F-sports programme exhaustively refines and re-defines powertrain technology, chassis dynamics, superlative braking systems, sports tyre technology and even vehicle sound signatures in the most minute detail. It is passionately committed to the design and production of peerless sporting vehicles which reward their drivers with the ultimate in performance, handling precision and, above all, unparalleled involvement, whether circuit racing or in everyday use.
Combining the cutting-edge technology and luxury refinements appropriate to the brand with the ultra-high performance and outstanding driving dynamics of an open-top, two-seater sportscar, the LF-A roadster is more than merely a radical statement of supercar performance. Incorporating the very latest developments in precision high-performance engineering technology with the core values of the L-finesse design philosophy, the Lexus F-sports special vehicle programme has realised a fundamental reappraisal of both styling and engineering in supercar design, which redefines the boundaries of the ultra-high performance sportscar landscape.
Lexus designers have taken a radical approach to proportion and packaging. “The LF-A programme is a fundamental shift in both style and design.” explains Wahei Hirai, Global Managing officer of Lexus design. “The positioning and sizing of major components have been redefined and condensed. By taking an entirely different approach to proportion and packaging we have achieved the ultimate weight balance, so vital to high-speed handling and stability.”
Featuring significant styling and detail enhancements, the LF-A roadster is based on the ultra-rigid, yet lightweight, carbon fibre and aluminium construction of the 2007 coupe, maintaining the structure’s outstanding strength and torsional stiffness despite its open-topped format.
As with its coupe counterpart, the LF-A Roadster is powered by a radical, lightweight, all-alloy V10 powerplant capable of developing more that 500 DIN hp from a cubic capacity of less than 5.0L. The V10’s front-mid engine placement, along with a rear-mounted transmission and rear-mounted radiators, allows for perfect front/rear weight distribution. The engine is connected to the transmission via a torque tube and propeller shaft, and gear changing is controlled by a high-speed, steering wheel-mounted, semi-automatic paddle shift system. The torque tube itself acts as a structural member, adding rigidity to the drivetrain and chassis whilst minimising drive-train vibration. Allied to optimum gearing, weight and aerodynamics, the drive-train is designed to afford the vehicle a maximum speed in excess of 320km/h.
The exceptionally powerful, fade-free braking system employs 360mm cross-drilled, ventilated front discs with six-piston callipers, and 345mm cross-drilled, ventilated discs with four-piston callipers to the rear. High-performance, 265/35 R20 front and 305/30 R20 rear tyres are fitted to bespoke, turbine-styled, 20” alloy wheels.
Standing just 122cm high, the LF-A Roadster’s styling exudes the core principals of the L-finesse design rationale, in which simplicity and dynamism go hand in hand. Bold and incisive forms that build on the inherent structure of the vehicle create an authentic dynamism that does not rely on simple exaggeration. The purity and clear intention of the vehicle stance is overlaid with the confident integration of numerous functional elements to create a striking, yet sophisticated simplicity.
The ultra-compact design -4460mm long with a 2606mm wheelbase- features the shortest possible front and rear overhangs. The Roadster’s low-profile, aerodynamic front end features numerous revisions to the LF-A coupe concept, including a remodelling of the air intakes and enlarged headlamp clusters generated by a powerful ‘arrowhead’ motif inspired by Kirikaeshi, a symbol of traditional Japanese culture that expresses dynamism through a rapid, yet fluid change of direction, which is a key L-finesse styling element.
Large intakes ducting cooling air to the rear brakes and rear-mounted radiators dominate the LF-A roadster profile, and include prominent, high-level, ‘turn-upstyle intakes informed by the sophisticated, wind-tunnel honed aerodynamics of single-seat racing cars.
Astern, the LF-A roadster is hallmarked by an enlarged, restyled interpretation of the coupe’s unique, ‘arrowhead’ tail light cluster design which incorporates large cooling duct grilles for the rear mounted radiators. Flush mounted within the bodywork when inoperative, an automatic, speed-sensitive rear wing has been incorporated to enhance the roadster’s high-speed stability. Below bumper levela triple exhaust cluster in an inverted triangular form indicates the presence of the complex, Venturi-effect underbody aerodynamics essential to optimise high-speed handling and stability.
On board, the positioning and sizing of all major components has been redefined and condensed to create a striking, exceptionally driver-focused cockpit highlighted by unique instrumentation and floor hinged alloy pedals. Eschewing conventional dashboard design, the LF-A Roadster features a prominent, full-width, low level console supporting the compact driver’s instrument binnacle and F-Sports steering wheel. This simplicity of form reinforces both the upper level width of the spacious, full leather interior, and the optimum security and support offered by deep footwells and strongly bolstered sports seats.
An ‘F’ logo located on the front wings indicates the Roadster’s special vehicle programme pedigree. The name is derived from the Fuji Speedway, the shape of the ‘F’ logo itself inspired by many of the bends on the circuit.
The hardtop version has a V-10, so I don't see why the roadster version wouldn't.
I took that the production model would have a smaller engine from comments on a Lexus forum dated a couple years ago when the concept was all there was. Something to do with the V10 wouldn't be able to pass most nations' emissions standards. Evidently, they (Lexus) has been able to work that issue out since the days of concept.
Posts: 8518 From: Coastal California Registered: Mar 2007