As a car buyer, you may know that Lexus cars are among the top names for luxury vehicle specifications, being the luxury division of the Japanese Toyota Motor Company. But did you know that Lexus is also a performance vehicle manufacturer? Today we look into the best Lexus sports cars the company has to offer.
Back in 1983, the Toyota chairman set a challenge to construct the world’s greatest vehicle. This challenge prompted Toyota to begin a top-secret project, code-named ‘Flagship One’ (F1), ultimately leading to the Lexus LS 400.
After an extended development process to create the perfect car that cost over US$1 billion, the Lexus LS 400 was launched in 1989. Since then, Lexus has ventured into developing coupe’s, convertibles, SUVs, and even sports cars!
From 1989 to the twenty-first century, Lexus has come a long way in a short period developing the perfect mix of luxury and performance in cars.
Since then, Lexus has been on a roll, and in just a decade, the luxury brand has produced several eye-opening sports cars.
Here’s our list of the best Lexus sports cars:
- Lexus GS F
- Lexus RC F Track Edition
- Lexus Hybrid LC500 H
- Lexus 2021 LC 500 convertible inspiration series
- Lexus LC 500
- Lexus LFA
- Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package
Here’s a closer look at the 7 best Lexus sports cars:
7. Lexus GS F
Known for its spacious interiors, comfortable ride quality, and muscular personality, this luxury car from Lexus is popular for its high-revving 5.0-liter V8 engine that outputs 467 horsepower and 389 NM of torque.
With its distinctive exhaust system that transmits a rumbling baritone notes from its signature stacked exhaust pipes, the GS F has the sounds to match its performance.
Its rigid structure, responsive yet compliant suspension system, and powerful Brembo braking system all combine to enable the Lexus GS F to devour curves.
The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 in the GS F is constructed for high strength and low weight, and able to sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds with a top track speed of 168 mph.
6. Lexus RC F Track Edition
Similar to the GS F in many ways however the RC F is a two-door coupe that is more performance focussed compared to the GS F, it’s four-door comfortable saloon brother.
The Lexus RC F Track Edition is a limited production vehicle for sport car buffs. It combines the luxury and craftsmanship of the conventional RC F with performance upgrades normally featured in exotic sportscars.
The 5.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 is rated at 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. With electronic launch control as standard, the RC F Track edition can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.96 seconds and a top speed limited to 168 mph.
The Track Edition delivers a more exclusive interior appearance, with Circuit Red leather-trimmed seats with Alcantara accents being standard. Another sporty feature of this Lexus car is the red carbon trim that features on the doors and dashboard.
5. Lexus Hybrid LC500 H
Lexus launched the world’s first luxury hybrid 15 years ago, with the 2021 Hybrid LC500 H continuing to be a frontrunner in technology by featuring the first-ever multistage hybrid.
Like other Lexus model hybrid arrangements, the LC 500h Multi-stage Hybrid System pairs a gasoline engine with two electric motors.
The powerful electric motors are merged with an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine. Combined, the hybrid powertrain produces a generous 354 horsepower delivered to the rear wheels.
Its futuristic design and forged aluminum components in its suspension system make this a fabulous handling sports car.
This is not your average jazzy, bright-colored sports car. This is an intelligent, futuristic, fuel-efficient, smart sports car. But that doesn’t mean it is boring; it’s great fun to drive with it hitting 60mph from a standstill in 4.7 seconds and a top track speed of 155mph.
4. 2021 LC 500 Convertible Inspiration Series
Lexus calls the design of the LC 500 inspiration series a design inspired by aviation and aeronautical engineering with the first vehicle produced, VIN #01, selling for $2 million at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Only 100 units were created of this variant, making it a rare sports car indeed.
The features seen in the inspiration series include climate concierge with upper body heating function, carbon fiber scuff plate with Inspiration inscription, heated leather-trimmed steering wheel, and a Mark Levinson 13-speaker 915-watt Reference surround sound audio system.
The LC 500 convertible receives the popular 5.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The drivetrain produces 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, endowing the LC500 with a zero-to-60 sprint of just 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 168 MPH.
3. LC 500
The 2021 LC 500 is the most developed LC to date, sporting a sympathetic blend of emotional design and high performance.
Under the hood is a 5.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 churning out 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated with a 10-speed automatic Direct-Shift transmission to extract the performance of the V8 engine further. From rest, the LC 500 can launch to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.
The 2021 coupe showcases a distinctive mesh grille that expands across the face of the vehicle. A floating roof appearance is created by the blacked-out pillars and large glass panels. For those wanting to enhance the sports car appearance, an optional carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof is available.
2. Lexus LFA
With nine years of development, Lexus engineered the ultimate sports car from its stable- the LFA. Conceived to offer the ultimate driving experience, the LFA created a brand-new flagship for the ‘F’ collection of Lexus performance models.
The LFA was entered four times by Lexus in the grueling 24 Hours of Nürburgring race. During the first two years of the race in 2008 and 2009, the car was in prototype form, however, 2010 and 2011 saw the production form race. The 2010 Nürburgring 24 Hours saw a highlight for Lexus being victorious in the SP8 class and 18th overall.
Fitted in the LFA is a 4.8-liter V10 engine that provides an outstanding output of 553 horsepower at 8700 rpm with a maximum torque of 354 lb-ft at 6800 rpm. The LFA can sprint to 60mph in 3.7 seconds and has the capacity to rev from idle to the redline of 9,000 rpm in only 0.6 seconds.
The vehicle’s power is matched with its weight-saving components. The chassis and body are composed mostly of carbon-fiber composite keeping the car weight to just 3263 pounds.
In all, only 500 Lexus LFA were produced from 2010 to 2012.
1. Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package
Despite the LFA being the pinnacle of Lexus sports cars, the company announced in 2010 a variant of the LFA which included a Nürburgring Performance Package, the best Lexus sports car made to date.
Limited to just 50 units, it is a track-ready Lexus supercar with styling hints from the prototype LFA racecar that competed at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
Lexus increased the standard LFA’s 4.8L V10 engine by 10 horsepower to produce 562 horsepower. In addition the gear shift time was reduced by 0.05 seconds.
To improve high speed down force a fixed rear wing was implemented and a larger front spoiler was fitted.
As a result of all these advancements, in September 2011, the LFA Nürburgring Performance Package Lexus vehicle lapped the Nürburgring in a staggering 7 minutes and 14 seconds- the fifth-fastest time for a production car at that point of time and securing it as the fastest Lexus car.
Do you have a favorite Lexus sports car? Let us know in the comments below.
[Images courtesy of Lexus]