You’d expect a car with a nine-year gestation to be well honed, and the Lexus LFA certainly is. Its appearance is out of the Japanese techno box and would look cutting edge by most standards were it not for the fact that we’ve seen it next to the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Viewed in that light, the LFA’s sides look a little flat and functional. But the detailing is still exquisite and there’s no arguing with the finessing and airflow management that has left it with a commendable drag coefficient of 0.31.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Next to a Ferrari 458, the Lexus LFA’s sides look a little flat and functional

The LFA’s design puts function before form. So all the air intakes, including the duct that forms the curved peak in the shoulder line, have been designed primarily to work well. Even so, we think function looks outrageously good. Door handles are well concealed yet are quite easy to use because the gutters, which channel air to the upper intakes, also act as grips.

Door mirrors are designed to impede front three-quarter visibility as little as possible while also funnelling air into the rear intakes. The gap in the bonnet serves as the engine’s air intake, where it’s passed into the cylinders via a throttle body for each one.

The body is carbonfibre composite, which allows more freedom with the exterior styling. The sharp rear trailing edge would, says Lexus, have been impossible to do with metal. Triple exhausts add symmetry to the rear end, emit a raucous, F1-like sound and look great. The rear diffuser, made of the same carbonfibre composite as the rest of the body, also looks great and helps the LFA to achieve its low drag coefficient.

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