The 2011 Lexus LFA is an extreme sports car that completely shatters the Japanese automaker’s discreet and conservative luxury car mold. But without historical cues on which to draw, Lexus designers and engineers had to invent the vehicle’s identity from the tires up. Oddly enough, the development team started on the LFA by creating an entirely new mold for the monocoque chassis, which is constructed from fiber-reinforced polymer. The aluminum-alloy sub-frame—supporting the 552-hp 4.8-liter V-10 engine—and aluminum suspension components are both bolted to the carbon-fiber centerpiece, keeping the weight down to a svelte 3,263 pounds. This well-balanced equation of power and weight add up to a 3.6-second blast to 60 mph and a top speed of 202 mph, while its $375,000 price tag will keep production limited to just 500 examples. But the few lucky owners will be glad to find that the LFA’s race-car-inspired engine and exterior design is matched with a comfortable and customizable interior cabin. After all, the LFA is a Lexus.
Pros: The exclusivity and engineering achievements of a true super car.