Forza Garage Thursday Roundup 9/8
Did you folks catch the last episode of TopGear USA? If not, hopefully you have a friend with a DVR so you can watch Tanner Foust driving the Lexus LF-A around Infineon Raceway versus Rutledge Wood and Adam Ferrara racing the LF-A virtually in Forza Motorsport 4. Tanner managed to squeak by the guys in the real LF-A by a few seconds, but let’s be honest… Rutledge and Adam aren’t the best drivers we’ve seen in Forza. We’d love to see how Tanner stacks up against some of Turn 10’s best drivers.
But that’s not the point—the really exciting thing about the segment was that we got to show off how great the virtual LF-A looks and sounds on our newly-announced Infineon track. We know the hardcore fans were pouring over every frame, and hopefully you caught some of the cooler tidbits, like the rear spoiler deploying at speed—both on the track and in the game!
With all this discussion of the LF-A, it’s probably no surprise that it’s today’s Forza Garage new car reveal, but as you read about what makes it special you’ll probably not be too disappointed that it was shown on TopGear USA, too. It’s truly an incredible car, and it’s a lot of fun to drive in-game (although I have to admit it’s a handful with traction and stability control off—that V10 is wild). And since the LF-A can be considered both the spiritual successor of the gorgeous Toyota 2000GT and also the Toyota Supra, we’ve included both of those in today’s Forza Garage as well. Read on to learn more about these incredible Toyotas.
In some ways, the LF-A is more like a musical instrument than a car. Engineers at Lexus, given a free hand to craft the LF-A into a powerful driving experience, tuned the exhaust and intake sounds with the help of Yamaha’s musical instrument division. By utilizing acoustically optimized sound channels, the driver is fully enveloped in a mechanical symphony Lexus calls “Octave Harmony.” All other systems are engineered for a similar driver-centric focus: while the engine is located in a front-midship position, the transaxle and dual radiators are located at the rear for near-perfect weight distribution. The motor uses an inherently balanced 72-degree bank angle for optimal smoothness, and the 10-cylinder configuration was chosen to allow stratospheric revs while weighing less than the company’s own 3.5-liter V6. The LF-A barely disturbs the air as it wafts by, because of aerodynamic optimization that includes a completely flat underbelly pan. A multi-million dollar circular loom even weaves the complex shape of the carbon fiber windshield supports individually. With this level of detail paid to every system and component, it’s probably no surprise that the LF-A’s performance is as breathtaking as the handcrafted interior. Just as a fine violin must be played to be appreciated, the first supercar from Lexus must be driven to understand just how exceptional it is.
Rare, beautiful, and startlingly expensive, the 2000GT has all the attributes of a European supercar, but it’s not European at all. Not even the styling; although it’s a common myth that Count Albrecht von Goertz penned the coupe, it was actually Toyota designer Satoru Nozaki who created the 2000GT’s sharply creased lines—low and sporting, with classic long-hood/short-deck proportions. But if you’ve heard that Yamaha was involved in building the 2000GT, that’s not a myth. Starting with this car, Yamaha established a lasting relationship with Toyota handling engineering work for their high-performance engines. Yamaha designed the 2000GT’s 2-liter inline six’s DOHC head and carried out production of the car, all by hand, on a very limited scale. The beautiful woodwork on the dashboard is a prime example of the quality of construction, drawing on Yamaha’s experience crafting fine pianos. The performance potential of the engine was unleashed by none other than Carroll Shelby (yes, that Carroll Shelby), who assembled a team to race the car in SCCA production-class racing in the United States for the 1968 season. With a Lotus-inspired Y-frame chassis that allows the 2000GT to take advantage of a very low center of gravity, the car handles very well and won many SCCA races. It also gained some fame as James Bonds’ ride in the film “You Only Live Twice,” as a convertible (although Toyota never offered one from the factory). Despite all this, the 2000GT didn’t light a fire under American buyers due to an exceptionally high price for a car from an unfamiliar, foreign brand. With very few ever built (less than 400), they’re still expensive, with even the shoddiest examples commanding six figure prices. If you think that’s too high a price to pay, you clearly haven’t heard the sound of that lusty six at full tilt—worth the price of admission by itself.
Commonly known as the Mark III, the third-generation Supra represents the final divergence from the Celica it initially shared many components with—the Celica changed over to front-wheel drive, and the Supra thankfully remained rear-wheel drive. Now related to the Toyota Soarer, a JDM-only model that North America received a generation later as the Lexus SC, this Supra 2.0GT Twin Turbo features an engine that was never sold stateside. The 2-liter 1G-GTE features twin parallel turbochargers to produce a healthy 210 horsepower on 11 PSI of boost, although it can certainly handle more. Clean lines of the coupe often earned it comparisons to the C4 Corvette, but it’s maybe better to think of it as a blank slate for paint and body kit modifications—and there are plenty of the latter to choose from. The engine is as amenable to tuning as its larger sibling, the 1JZ-GTE, so if you crank up the boost this Supra’s immensely strong internals can handle it—or swap out for a more potent engine from the get-go. Whatever you choose to do, whether it is racing or drifting, this Supra’s got you covered.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these three sportscars from the largest Japanese car company in the world. But we’re not stopping there; now that we’re doing three rounds of Forza Garage car reveals each day, there are plenty more cars to check out below, including three modern American muscle cars and some forced-induction cars from all over the world that won’t stop at just atmospheric pressure:
2002 Chevrolet Camaro 35th Anniversary SS
2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8
2005 Ford Mustang GT
1992 Lancia Delta Integrale EVO
1994 Nissan Fairlady Z Version S Twin Turbo
2006 Saturn ION Red Line
It’s been a short week with a ton of cars, so we hope you’ve enjoyed the reveals so far and the cars of today. Check in tomorrow for the Week in Review, featuring the Ask Alex segment.
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