I was not expecting to play such a goof-off today so naturally, I did not come equipped with my good camera. This was shot with an elderly smart-phone in difficult lighting.
I have seen dozens of pictures and followed the development of the LFA for some years so I wasn't surprised by anything. But seeing something in the flesh is still an eye-opener.
1) It's pretty small. This is a car that tries to have everything a high-end passenger car has but is still supposed to be ultra light. I am two standard deviations larger than the statistically average North American male. Because of weight considerations, my guess is that someone my size is the maximum-sized driver the LFA was designed to accommodate. I other words I just barely fit and there wasn't any wiggle room.
2) There is no wasted space anywhere. I can only imagine how hard it is to do something simple like changing spark plugs. It has a V-10 and only four cylinders are actually in front of the firewall.
3) Look at the size of these brakes!! Those are 20" wheels! Because Toyota is the world's largest car maker and hence a big fat legal target, they must treat all design decisions very seriously. In this case, they could not just size the brakes for the rich twit who decides to find the top end once or twice after he bought his übertoy, they must size them as if the car was going to be routinely driven to the designed top speed of 325 km / hr. The cooling system looked big enough to handle top speeds all day long. Etc. It was a stunning object lesson in just how woefully under-engineered most sports cars have been over the years.
And here are the links to some of my more serious writing about the LFA and those Veblenic virtues of Workmanship and Idle Curiosity. But even though the LFA was an extremely serious and expensive engineering demonstration, at fundamental level, this car makes serious people just giggle. Example: One of the more unfair criticisms that Lexus has had to deal with over the years is that it's ultra-quiet and graceful cars don't "stir the soul." So in the LFA, the shriek of a V-10 hitting a 9000 rpm redline (750 explosions per second) is captured and piped into the cabin for the driver's aurel entertainment. Any kid who ever clipped baseball cards into the spokes of his bicycle to make it sound more like a motorcycle understands this impulse immediately.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Japan's moon shot
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Building the LFA
Monday, December 17, 2012
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
USA economic competitiveness