Best of the Best 2011: Sports Cars: Lexus LFA

The most remarkable thing about the Lexus LFA (www.lexus.com) is not that it is extremely quick (202 mph), very expensive ($375,000), or exceedingly exclusive (only 500 will be built), but that it is made by Toyota, a brand better known for manufacturing family-friendly Corollas and Camrys by the millions.

But this is precisely the point for the LFA, which stands for Lexus Fuji Apex. By building the Ferrari-fighting, Corvette-crushing supercar, Toyota and its lightly luxurious offspring, Lexus, are showing the world that Japan’s automotive talents stretch beyond building nondescript sedans, somewhat sporty coupes, and minivans and hybrids.

After a cautious 10-year march from concept to production car, the mostly carbon-fiber coupe, which has a front-engine V-10 that produces 552 hp, certainly has made its bones. In a test conducted by one magazine, it went nose-to-nose with Ferrari’s 599 GTB Fiorano and scared the cappuccinoout of it.

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