Lexus LFA successor with PHEV drivetrain in the works?

Reports out of Japan say that a successor to the Lexus LFA is in the works. While this news should come with a planet-sized grain of salt, there is a non-zero chance. And since the LFA is one of the best sports cars we’ve driven, it bears at least considering, so let’s look at the mere possibility of a successor.

Best Car magazine claims to have in their upcoming Dec. 10 issue a scoop about the new “super sports” car. They say that the successor is a plug-in hybrid with a front-midship layout (the heavy motor behind the front axle) under a carbon fiber body. The gas side of the equation is said to be a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 generating approximately 937 horsepower. It’s supposedly scheduled for a 2025 debut.

This seems to be a different car than the rumored Gazoo Racing Super Sport, which is based on the Toyota’s entrant in the WEC’s new Le Mans Hypercar class. That car would have to resemble the race car somewhat, and as such would have a twin-turbo hybrid V6.

We find it highly unlikely that Toyota would build two super-expensive cars at the same time. Also, note the rumored engine is a 4.0-liter V8, a displacement that doesn’t exist in any modern Lexus. Perhaps that could mean a replacement for the current 5.0-liter V8? Or maybe just a sign that this is all much ado about nothing. 

However, we have seen an LFA prototype with modified bodywork lapping the Nürburgring in late 2018, some six years after the original ended production. The same car was spotted in summer of 2019 as well, the same year Lexus’ then vice-president, now president Koji Sato told Autocar, “We need strong requests for a new LFA from the media. This can help us proceed.”

Well, if that’s what it takes then consider this another vote in the yes column, even though we’ve described its 4.8-liter V10’s 552-horsepower output as not very impressive on paper by the time it came out and covered how it wasn’t a hot seller, with new examples still being offered for sale as new in 2018.

In the years since, though, it seems the collector market seems to have taken a liking to the LFA. At Monterey Car Week this year, a regular LFA sold for $819,000, more than doubling its original $375,000 sticker, while a 1 of 50 Nürburgring Edition sold for $1.6 million. If the GR Super Sport really is canceled as some rumors suggest, perhaps there is room in the Toyota family for another LFA.

We still wouldn’t hold our breaths, though.