THE LFA made a dramatic debut at the Festival of Speed on Friday – and we were behind the wheel!
I was lucky enough to take the helm of the ultra-exclusive V10-engined Lexus supercar in front of the crowds sweltering in the heat on the south coast at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Just before 2pm, I tentatively took to the track in the 552bhp, 4.8-litre machine capable of hitting a top speed of more than 200mph and cracking 60mph in just 3.7 seconds!
Although it was an incredibly daunting experience – knowing I was the only UK journalist driving the car at the event – the LFA was still very easy to get used to.
On the track the £330,000 monster sounded simply incredible – that V10 unit revs to an ear-piercing 9,000rpm and despite the nerves there were sections of the hill climb where I could really stretch its legs.
Ok, so I was no Jenson Button – but having only driven the car a few hundred metres to the start line before the run up the hill, I wasn’t really in any real shape for drifting antics!
After crawling out of the packed supercar paddock behind a £1.2m Lamborghini Reventon Roadster, we trundled down the hill to the start line. Here, also lining up were two £1m Bugatti Veryons, a Ferrari 599 GTO, a Ferrari 458 Italia plus many more awesome machines.
It wasn’t long before I was at the burn out zone, where I got the chance to light up the rear tyres, then seconds later I was off.
The LFA’s lightning fast paddle shifts are absolutely savage, punching through ratios with ferocious force. It grips superbly and despite feeling like a big car it’s very easy to get used to and place on the track.
It feels every bit as quick as its 3.7 second 0-60mph time suggests too, and when the revs touch that stratospheric 9,000rpm the hairs on the back of your neck are simply tingling.
In front of Goodwood House I managed to give it the beans, gave the infamous flint wall the respect it deserves, before really stretching the V10 out through the final section.
There was one bit on the video where you’ll see I slow down. This was obviously purely for showboating antics and not in any way because I lost my way, thinking the service road was a left turn. Honestly. I’m telling you the complete truth – I was doing it purely for the crowds…
Then before I knew it, it was all over – I’m don’t know my time (poor I’m sure) – and the fact a Caparo T1 was kissing my tailpipes as I went over the line suggests I didn’t break any records…
But then the fact I could get behind the wheel of this £330,000 supercar, pilot it up the famous Goodwood hill climb and hand it back in one piece is good enough for me! All I want to know is what one would be like on the road…
Words: James Baggott Pictures: Dean Smith