1. home
  2. news
  3. Lexus LFA Price, Market Watch, History, Models, Specs, and More

Lexus LFA Price, Market Watch, History, Models, Specs, and More

If you want to buy this Japanese supercar or you just dream of owning one, here’s everything you need to know.

Rory JurneckaWriterRM Sotheby'sPhotographer

Consider this when you think of Lexus LFA price: Despite all of Japan's ingenuity and advanced thinking with regard to automotive engineering, and despite the country's automakers building many sports cars through the decades, few of those models are genuinely considered "supercars."

Sure, there was the Toyota 2000 GT of the 1960s, with its curvaceous body and highly tuned straight-six engine. Then there was the failed Dome project of the 1970s, and by the late 1980s Honda and its U.S. subsidiary, Acura, marketed the mid-engine NSX. There were also plenty of JDM-only rally homologation specials with wicked turbocharged engines and complex all-wheel-drive systems, and of course, the Nissan GT-R. But buyers rarely cross-shopped these cars with true top-tier exotics.

In the end, the car with sensational styling, visceral performance, and a raw, unfiltered driving experience came from perhaps one of the least likely brands to tackle such a project.

In terms of Lexus LFA history, the coupe spent nearly a decade in development before the production version launched in 2009. And when it arrived, it cost some $400,000 for a car that didn't have a mid-engine layout but did have a dated single-clutch automated manual gearbox. No matter, all you had to do was drive an LFA to understand the magic behind the car and to feel just a tinge of jealousy; fewer than 500 people globally would be lucky enough to buy one new.

If you weren't one of those people and the dream still lingers, you'll want to hear what Sterling Sackey has to say about LFAs. Sackey is a Southern California-based specialty car broker who specializes in the Lexus LFA, even hosting a registry and an owners' group to support the model. We asked him about Lexus LFA price and today's LFA market, why the car is so special yet misunderstood, and what you need to know if your dream is to put Japan's most coveted supercar in your garage.

Lexus LFA history tells the story of a car that took a long time to come to market, and to this day it's a somewhat misunderstood supercar. What are its key virtues?

Sterling Sackey: I would call it the most misunderstood supercar, at least of the 21st century so far. There are a few key virtues that, having studied the car over the years, really stand out to me.

The incredible development story is the first thing that comes to mind in terms of Lexus LFA history. The LFA project started in the year 2000, when Akio Toyoda [now Toyota president] was promoted to a board of directors position at the company his grandfather started. Knowing Toyoda was an ardent enthusiast of sports cars and racing, two men approached him with the idea of building a supercar.

Despite heavy pushback by top management along the way, Toyoda himself kept the project on-track through almost 10 years of investment and development until the car was finally up to his standards and ready. In this way, the Lexus LFA is really the ultimate supercar vision of one man, Akio Toyoda, a true car enthusiast who wanted to see his company produce something special. Akio, of course, has since pushed his company to release multiple more sports cars and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, which further strengthens the LFA's legacy.

The second thing is the 552-horsepower, 9,500-rpm V-10 engine co-developed with Yamaha, which is perhaps the only supercar engine ever to be truly musically tuned. Yamaha spent a great deal of time with its music division making sure the sonic quality of this engine was perfect both inside and out, hence the LFA's incredible sound. (Editor's note: We've driven and heard the LFA at full-song, and it is nothing short of breathtaking. ) Unlike many other supercar engines, this engine was created solely for the LFA and has never been used in another production car.

The final virtue, and perhaps one of the reasons the LFA has been so misunderstood, is the LFA's engineering mission: a focus on being fun-to-drive and driver friendly, rather than on setting maximum performance numbers. The LFA's chief engineer, Haruhiko Tanahashi, claimed that the front-engine setup was chosen in keeping with these guidelines (to make the car more forgiving dynamically), and that engineers wanted to prioritize driving joy over lap times or performance figures. Unfortunately for the LFA, it came out at a time when a Japanese sports car with completely the opposite goal had recently debuted, the Nissan GT-R, and so many compared it to that car unfavorably in terms of performance metrics, when in reality a "numbers car" was not the engineers' goal for the LFA.

Lexus built just 500 LFAs; does that mean there are few on the market at any given time?

SS: The low production numbers, and the fact that many owners tend to keep their LFAs long-term, results in only a few cars being on the market worldwide at any given time. We believe around 190 LFAs were built in U.S.-configuration, and many of them have left for other areas of the world since they were new. So, in the U.S. particularly, the LFA is not a common supercar to see for sale.

Let's talk about the even more rare Nürburgring-spec cars. What was included in this package and how many were ordered this way?

SS: This is a fun part of the car's history and a key point when discussing different Lexus LFA prices today.

Lexus set a limit of 50-units for the Nürburgring Package option, to be included within the overall 500 car LFA run. The Nürburgring Package is particularly special in that the tweaks were largely guided by Hiromu Naruse, Toyota's chief test driver, who was known as the "Meister" for having logged more laps at the Nürburgring than any other Japanese driver. He tragically died in 2010 after a freak traffic accident [on a public road] behind the wheel of an LFA Nürburgring Package prototype car, so the Nürburgring Package was his final project, and in my mind a fitting tribute to a man who was integral to the history of Toyota sports cars and racing.

The changes to the Nürburgring Package cars included an engine with reduced-friction components which resulted in 11 extra horsepower, [revised] transmission programming resulting in faster shifts, aerodynamic aids front and rear to increase downforce, stiffened and uniquely tuned suspension, stickier Bridgestone tires mounted on special lightweight BBS wheels, and special track-focused interior appointments.

The LFA cost about $400,000 new; what are these cars worth now and how much of a premium is the Nürburgring Package worth? Where do you think prices are headed?

SS: Lexus LFA prices in the U.S. market for non-Nürburgring cars are still fairly similar to the cost when new, in the very high $300,000-range for some and well into the $400,000-range for others depending on mileage, condition, specification, etc. The Nürburgring Package was a $70,000 option when new, but today those cars are typically worth around double that of a "standard" LFA, at $800,000-plus.

I think these cars are bound to head upward in price over time, if only due to their rarity and special nature. That said, misconceptions about the LFA still exist within the enthusiast sphere, and it will take time for the car to be fully understood and valued by collectors down the road.

What are collectors looking for in LFAs? What should curious buyers be aware of?

SS: LFAs were fully customizable, with an incredible level of custom tailoring applied to each car, so many have very unique color and trim combinations that can be perfect for one buyer and a turn-off for another. For that reason, specification is probably the top concern when shopping for an LFA.

Curious buyers should take every opportunity to see and experience an LFA in person. While the car may look like a fairly ordinary front-engine coupe, those who drive one will quickly realize it's a hard-edged supercar, with attention-to-detail and build quality truly rivaling the likes of a Bugatti or Pagani.

Regardless of Lexus LFA prices, who is buying them, and why? What else do they own?

SS: LFA owners tend to be multi-time buyers, as those who have made the effort to study the car often find it to be highly undervalued for the experience it provides. They are usually savvy enthusiast collectors who prioritize driving experience over badge-loyalty, and who like owning cars that are rare and atypical. That said, I know many owners who also lay claim to the best supercars from companies like Ferrari and Porsche, and they all maintain that their LFA provides similar or sometimes even higher owner satisfaction than those cars.

More Videos

Are we seeing any difficulty in servicing LFAs today, and how reliable have they turned out to be?

SS: The LFA has proven to be very reliable, in line with typical Toyota/Lexus standards. There aren't any seriously complicated service procedures to note, [unlike] many other top-level supercars. Additionally, Lexus has taken care of LFA owners well and has continued to provide service and warranty support where needed. Service costs are reasonable for this level of car, and in line with comparable supercars.

Recent Lexus LFA Prices at Auction:

For more on Sterling Sackey: www.sterlingsackey.com

2009-2012 Lexus LFA Specifications
PRICE $375,000 (base)
ENGINE 4.8L DOHC 40-valve V-10/552 hp @ 8,700 rpm, 354 lb-ft @ 6,800 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed single-clutch automatic
LAYOUT 2-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE 11/16 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 177.4 x 74.6 x 48.0 in
WHEELBASE 102.6 in
WEIGHT 3,263 lb
0-60 MPH 3.6 sec
TOP SPEED 202 mph