Our take: Toyota has a chip on its shoulder and it has something to do with prestige. Like so many other companies, it is taking an unprecedented beating in the current market (well, unprecedented for Toyota, at least). Whereas other companies are scaling back to the nitty-gritty, Toyota refuses to say "No" to the glamorous side of the auto business. First it reaffirmed its commitment to F1, now it has reaffirmed its commitment to the Lexus LF-A supercar.
But what exactly does that commitment mean? The continued development of the LF-A is supposedly only meant to include a few examples built in 2009 to campaign in global races. There is still no date on any production vehicle, and four months ago, people in the business were saying that the LF-A will only be a development platform, nothing else.
If that's the case, Toyota's continued investment in a 500+ horsepower, 200+ mile-per-hour supercar testbed is a question begging for answers. What is more likely, however, is that Toyota is merely keeping the pot simmering until the economy turns around, at which point it could quickly unleash a production version. Either way, sticking to F1 and the LF-A (two programs that could hardly pay dividends for the company or its road cars), indicates that Toyota has the guts, and won't stop until it has the glory. Thanks for the tip, Joker!
[Source: Auto Express via Motor Trend]Toyota confirms LF-A development still being funded originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Dec 2008 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.