Monday, March 8, 2010

$1.25m Lexus sold at speed of light



SINGAPORE - How fast can one sell the new $1.248 million Lexus LFA supercar - the first that Japan has ever produced? Probably as fast as the car itself. Two units bound for Singapore were sold even before the price was confirmed.

Authorised Lexus distributor Borneo Motors Singapore said two long-time Lexus owners snapped up the limited edition sports car before the actual price was announced on Wednesday.

Before that, only a price indication had been given to prospective customers. William Choo, commercial director of Borneo's Lexus division, sent out official product catalogues before the Chinese New Year to 16 persons who had expressed interest in Japan's first bona fide supercar.

'After the Lunar New Year holidays, two came back to us with their deposits, even before we could give them the firm price,' said Mr Choo.

The two gentlemen who had each written a cheque for $80,000 are in their 60s, 'very successful businessmen but very unassuming'.

One has owned a string of Lexus LS flagship limousines, while the other has had multiple Lexus models. Both also currently have Ferraris and Porsches in their garages, said Mr Choo who declined to reveal more except to say both men run their own companies.

'They are very low profile and do not want to be identified,' he explained.

The Lexus LFA has a 560bhp 4.8-litre V10 front mid-mounted engine powering the rear wheels through a six-speed electro-hydraulic sequential transmission.

Sheathed in carbon fibre bodywork, it can sprint from zero to 100 kmh in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 325 kmh.

If that still isn't special enough, the car can be specified with the Nurburgring package that includes sports tuning and interior carbon fibre trim for $1.478 million.

Only 500 cars will be produced over a two-year period. Mr Choo said that Singapore has been allocated only two units but hopes to be able to get a couple more. This is because there is strong interest from at least two more people but they are currently travelling.

He said: 'They had heard so much about the car that they flew up to Geneva for the motor show this week just to look at it.'

According to Mr Choo, Lexus is now collecting worldwide orders with production beginning only in December. He added that it is not yet known which market will be the first to get the car although delivery of the first Singapore unit is expected to be in Q1 next year.

The Lexus LFA sets the benchmark as the first true Japanese super sports car because of its over $1 million price tag.

It has entered a segment that is normally occupied by European manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.

source: asiaone