14 January 2008

Roofless streak

Lexus shows off LF-A roadster concept in Detroit. We want the real thing

Lexus LF-A Roadster

We had hoped, against the odds, that the production version of the Lexus LF-A sports car would make an appearance in Detroit. No such luck, sadly. But Lexus went some way to assuaging our loss by unveiling this: a roadster LF-A concept. 

With the same carbon-fibre-and-aluminium body as the coupe, the LF-A roadster should remain rigid despite the loss of its roof. It is powered by the same V10 as the hopefully-soon-to-reach-production LF-A, widely suspected to be a 4.8-litre unit, though Lexus hasn't confirmed this yet. 

That'll develop in excess of 500bhp and help the LF-A to a top speed of over 200mph. Such pace has led the Lexus engineers to fit the roadster concept with a speed-adaptive rear wing - like that on the Bugatti Veyron - which raises to provide extra downforce at silly speeds. 

Just under that wing lurks a pair of radiators, fed cool air by the intake ducts above the rear wheel wells. Sticking the radiators at the back helps to centralise the weight of the front-engined LF-A: indeed, Lexus is referring to the concept as 'front-mid-engined' because the V10 sits well behind the front axle. 

All of which sounds wonderful, but a concept's still a concept. We want to see the real thing please, Lexus. Soon. Please.

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