Owners need not apply
In an effort to cut off speculators when the Lexus LFA launches in January 2011, Lexus will only offer the $375,000 limited-edition hypercar via two-year leases, according to Brian Smith, vice president of sales for Toyota Motor Sales Lexus division. As a result, Lexus remains the owner of all 150 of the 500 units during that period slated for the U.S.
In a statement to Automotive News, Smith said, "If someone buys it the first month and then decides to sell it, that could be damaging for the ownership experience. If it is not controlled and hits the speculation market, all bets are off."
Based on dealer orders only, the LFA will be built over a two-year period starting in December 2010. It is powered by a 4.8-liter V10 producing 412kW (560hp) at 8,700rpm while peak torque is 480Nm at 6,800rpm. Going to the rear wheels, the LFA uses a 6-speed ASG transmission, 0-100 km/h is 3.7 seconds and the top speed is 325km/h (202mph).
Lexus wants to maximize the customer's purchase experience by asserting the same price, at least for the first two years. The customers can opt to purchase the cars outright afterwards. Smith emphasizes, "You can personalize it right down to the stitching in the car. We want people out driving the car and not just parking it in a museum or selling it at an inflated price."
A dedicated team of 15 Lexus employees will be extensively trained as customer liasons. Positioned in California, Chicago, New Jersey and Atlanta, the LFA specialists will meet with prospective clients starting in March 2010. Additionally, Lexus HQ will provide specially hired technicians to perform service at any dealer, therefore, taking the burden of investment for special tools and training off the dealerships. Customers can also take delivery at any dealer of their choice.