Toyota, which tantalised supercar enthusiasts with the purposeful Lexus LF-A concept at the Detroit Show, is reportedly committed to building a front-engined supercar with a carbon-fibre monocoque.

Toyota, which tantalised supercar enthusiasts with the purposeful Lexus LF-A concept at the Detroit Show, is reportedly committed to building a front-engined supercar with a carbon-fibre monocoque.



"The LF-A is theoretically developed to run a parallel course to our company's efforts in Formula One racing," said Jim Press, Toyota Motor Corporation's executive vice president in America, said in January. "It will probably feature a powertrain and drivetrain configuration strongly influenced by whatever is being used in competition at the time."


The production version of the LF-A is known as "Super Sport" within the Tokyo-based company. Its front structure, roof and rear are all constructed from welded and bonded aluminium and, according to , the car's carbon fibre crash structure in the extreme front end was engineered by Lotus.


The LF-A was reportedly fitted with an engine capable of producing about 373 kW, which should propel the car to a top speed of around 320 km/h. And it is believed a V12 engine might power the Super Sport, although a V8 (reflecting the new F1 engine rules for 2006) was also a possibility.


The new coupe, which is intended to raise Toyota's performance profile, was initially conceived as high-speed projectile to compete with the Ferrari F430, Porsche 911 and Mercedes-Benz SL55, among others, by combining the sumptuousness of Lexus with current race technology.


Meanwhile, Toyota is said to be "going back to the basics" of vehicle development in an attempt to make massive savings in both development and material costs. Dubbed Value Innovation (VI), the project is designed to offset both rising material costs and the threat of low-cost production from countries such as China.


A senior Toyota official told , the company is looking at radical ideas such as eliminating nuts and bolts, creating cars from large 'modules' rather than individual components and even cutting sheets of steel more efficiently.

Original article from Car