The Lexus LFA Centre of Excellence is the specialist facility at Toyota Motorsport’s base in Cologne, Germany, to care for the 38 LFA’s in Europe.
Peter Dresen is the workshop manager who heads the centre’s operations. He explained: “We treat an LFA more or less like a Le Mans car. The servicing principles are the same as for a normal Lexus road car, but it’s much more complicated to do certain things and access certain parts, which makes the LFA closer to a racing car in terms of how we take care of it.”
The rigorous program sees the car’s body panels being removed to give clear access to the suspension, steering system and subframe. Every nut and bolt is checked and re-checked.
For all the LFA’s technical sophistication, the human hand an eye are still essential tools, with fingertip inspection of the brake discs and pads to check for the smallest cracks in the carbon-ceramic material. Should it be needed, the centre also has an x-ray system to look beneath the surface for any wear or performance issues.
Many of the routine servicing jobs are the same as for a regular car, such as replacement of the air and oil filters and an oil change. One that’s unique to the LFA is a detailed inspection of the composite body shell, made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. In spite of its high usage by a number of different drivers, the British LFA was in tip-top condition, bar a few small scratches to the front bumper.
The centre is also able to look after visitors from outside the region, notably those taking their car to the Nürburgring, giving technical advice, changing tyres and carrying out brake system checks.
With more than 30 years’ experience as a race engineer and technician, Dresen is well-placed to give an informed verdict on the quality of the LFA: “It’s a fantastic car to drive. The power and handling are incredible, but you can drive it every day – something that’s not possible with some other supercars.”
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