It’s hard to believe more than a decade passed since Lexus retired the LFA. And while a successor has been confirmed, this will arrive in 2025 at the earliest, coming in the form of an EV, albeit with a manual transmission. Yep, that sounds extreme, and so was the original, V10-powered, carbon-built LFA, of which just 500 units were made. So when an LFA gets fitted with air suspension, you bet it’s a big deal.
Before we get to the radical stance of what appears to be the world’s first LFA on air suspension, let’s take a bit of time to see what makes this Lexus so special, shall we?
Why so many people respect the LFA
Japan’s industry is reasonably big on sports cars, and while it’s been no stranger to supercars either, it hasn’t made that many of the latter. Well, the LFA is arguably the most focused supercar to have come from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Even with Lexus being a premium brand whose performance offerings stand out, there’s simply no other model from the brand that matches exotic aura of the LFA. However, this isn’t a supercar that can be described solely by numbers.
For one, while the 553 hp of the “base” model we have here still makes for a respectable output nowadays, the figure only tells half the story. You see, the 4.8L V10 sitting at the middle of the car was co-developed with Yamaha, which also tapped into its guitar-making expertise to help the N/A unit scream like an F1 car at 9,000 rpm.
The curb weight? At 3,559 lbs (1,614 kg), there are lighter supercars out there from the same era. However, the Lex is some 220 lbs (100 kg) more scale-friendly than an all-aluminium offering, since it only uses the metal for bits like the front and rear subframes.
That’s because the coupe sports a CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced polymer) monocoque. To build this, Lexus has to use a laser-guided circular loom, a machine of which just two existed at the time.
Then again, you could also dial things up with the Nurburgring package—back in its day, this held the Green Hell production car lap record at 7:14. Of course, with just 50 units built, this can more than double the $700,000+ average price a “base” LFA commends in today’s market.
The uber-sharp handling of the LFA has always recommended this as an extreme machine, ableit with the Lexus not being the ideal supercar for those eccentric enough to daily a vehicle of the sort.
This is probably the world’s first bagged Lexus LFA
Now, given all the focus on the suspension (double wishbones up front and multi-link at the rear), it’s no wonder that we weren’t able to find any example that has received air suspension in the past, at least not in the way that noticeably changes the handling.
Yes, D1GP champion Yoichi Imamura did run an LFA drift car a couple of years ago, albeit not as a full-season effort due to the massive costs. However, that car had be flooded, so he saved it, with the ruined V10 being replaced by a NASCAR V8. Anyway, the complicated project is detailed in a clip by Video Option.
And, for the record, Japanese aftermarket developer Roberuta offers a lifter system for the LFA that relies on compressed air. However, this is only used to help the machine get over bumps and such. In other words, the piece, which is fitted to the upper mount of the suspension, is rigid when not in use, so it has a minimal impact on the handling.
The air ride LFA is showcased at Osaka Auto Messe 2023
So yes, this Pearl Red LFA is probably the first bagged LFA in the world. The toy is displayed at the Osaka Auto Messe 2023, a custom car event held between February 10 and 12, at the Kes booth.
The detailing specialist and “Toyota-affiliated” dealer tells us that the air bags replacing the springs, the air tank and the custom suspension arms (painted orage) were supplied by T-Demand. Hey, you can see the air tank through the hatch of the LFA, with this sitting in the back of the trunk. The hardware allows the SSR Wheels, which are shod in Nitto tires, do go deep into the factory arches of the Lexus LFA.
Other parts of the world (Europe in particular) have been dropping models from car shows years before these events got fewer, but models are still big in Japan. And, if you’ll excuse that pun, we’d like to add that the specialist mentioned gamer and model MiyU‘s Instagram account in its posts showcasing her and the car.
Oh, and while we’d have to get behind the wheel to reach a conclusion, but one can’t neccesarily asume that the air suspension installed on this LFA means the slammed form has taken over the function of the mid-engined machine.
Regardless, you can check out the video below for a view underneath the carbon belly of the beast—you wouldn’t want that to scrape—as well as the vehicle being transported to the venue and displayed in all its ground-hugging glory.