On this week’s episode of The Downshift, we take a tour of the LFA Works factory in Japan before the very last 552-hp supercar was produced a few weeks later.
Weeks before the 500th LFA rolls off the line, the LFA craftsmen, or “Takumi,” are seen working diligently on building the last LFAs. Haruhiko Tanahashi, Lexus LFA chief engineer, expresses the importance of the Takumi, saying they are the backbone of the LFA. They take their work seriously: not one robot is used in the building process, and Lexus LFA factory manager Shigeru Yamanaka says he’s even overheard the Takumi’s conversations about how to make a part lighter or tweak a part to make the car run faster.
Those involved with the LFA not only take pride in the way it’s manufactured, but in the way it performs. When asked what it’s like to drive the LFA, Tanahashi, who created the car to go above and beyond the Lexus brand’s core values, paused and replied, “I don’t have a girlfriend, but it probably feels much like being on a date that is going very well.”
While Yamanaka says everyone involved with the LFA will feel a sense of accomplishment when production has ended, saying goodbye will be hard. “It will probably feel like marrying off my daughter,” he says.
Watch the video below for a glimpse inside the Lexus LFA Works factory.