Neither the Lexus LFA nor the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition Roadster is on the market anymore, but they still have impressive performance. In this video from Lovecars, Tiff Needel gets behind the wheel of the Lexus, and the owner is at the controls of the SLR for the drag race.
The LFA remains a very special supercar in large part because of its naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V10 engine that can rev to 9,500 rpm. The result is one of the best-sounding road cars ever.
Before McLaren got really serious about building its own vehicles, there was the SLR as a joint venture with Mercedes. It packed a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 with extra tuning for the 722 Edition making 641 horsepower (478 kilowatts), which was 84 hp (63 kW) more than the standard version.
The LFA doesn’t have launch control, so Needel just slams down the throttle with traction control on. He gets a good start, but the SLR is clearly the quicker machine. Lovecars doesn’t post the times for the drag race, but the Lexus appears to be a couple of car lengths behind the Mercedes.
For the second race, Needel tries turning off the traction control. The result is quite a show because the LFA spins its tires through first, second, and third gear. This smoke show slows down the Lexus quite a bit, but is an impressive sight.
This was supposed to be a best-of-three race, but Needel probably deserved another chance. Running it without traction control was clearly a failed experiment, so he should have got a second chance.
The LFA and SLR are old enough that both Toyota and Mercedes-Benz are both working on new hypercars. The Mercedes-AMG AMG One packs a Formula-One-derived powertrain with a turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 and four electric motors. The company is making just 275 of them for $2.7 million each. Meanwhile, the Toyota GR Super Sport aims to be a road-going version of the brand’s new Le Mans racer.