2009 Tokyo Show: Lexus LFA

Amidst the bevy of electric concepts and minicars that naturally dominate the Tokyo show, it was nice to hear the distinct, fuel-sucking sound of a high-strung V-10.

The engine causing all the racket belonged to none other than the Lexus LFA, which, four years after its concept debut in Detroit, is finally here as a production car.

The LFA, which goes on sale at the end of 2010, has all the eye-popping specs you expect of a supercar – 553 horsepower, a top speed of 202 mph, a limited production run planned for 500 units, and most shocking of all, a price tag of around $400,000.

It also looks the part. Though not quite as imposing as a Nissan GT-R nor as beautiful as an Audi R8, the LFA does a good job combining functional and aerodynamic elements into a cohesive, distinct design.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda, the driving force behind the vehicle, emphasized that the skills and technologies that went into bringing the carbon-fiber intensive vehicle would flow down to other cars, “no matter how times change.”

Of course, the LFA’s real purpose is as a halo car, both for the Lexus brand and as a testament to Toyota’s renewed commitment to exciting, fun-to-drive vehicles.