If you own a Lexus LFA you are a member of a very exclusive club, as just 500 of these V10-powered supercars were built. Pasin Lathouras is the proud owner of the even rarer Lexus LFA Nürburgring, of which a mere 50 rolled off the Motomachi production line.
Based in Thailand, Pasin uses the LFA as his daily driver when he comes over to the UK. We caught up with him to find out what it’s like to own and use this legendary supercar.
Why did you want to buy an LFA over its rivals?
I like cars that are understated and unique. I believe that at the time, the LFA didn’t get the recognition it deserved. But as a racing driver myself, I trusted the Japanese engineers would develop a very impressive car.
What makes the LFA so special to you?
I believe the most intriguing aspect of the LFA is the amount of engineering that went into the development of the car, from the size of the engine to the acoustics inside and outside the car. I wasn’t looking for the fastest or the best driver’s car; I was just looking for some of the special emotions you get when you drive a car with such a unique combination of features.
Why did you decide to change the colour of your LFA from white to green?
I decided to change the colour of the car to celebrate the anniversary with my girlfriend. Her name is Toon, so working with Topaz, I decided to specify a unique emerald green wrap with gold flakes in it and made it my own by naming it “Emerald T”.
How much attention do you receive in it when driving around town?
I tend to get a lot of attention driving around London as there are many car fanatics around. I also like to drag the revs and listen to the sound of the glorious V10 echoing off the buildings. So my drive-by tends to be a bit loud.
Do you use it as your daily car, or just for enjoying on the weekends?
I don’t get to spend so much time in Europe but when I do, I daily drive the car and then some. I’m not afraid to put some snow tires on the car and take it to a ski resort either.
What’s it like as a daily driver?
The gear change isn’t the fastest of the cars I have had the privilege to own, so driving around town in manual mode is sometimes a bit jerky. The car has enough space to carry shopping or groceries because of the reasonably sized boot and the space behind the seats.
My only concern is that the rear boot is glass, so you can’t leave any valuable things inside the boot when you are in town. The upshifts are a bit slow for a relatively modern car but the downshift is super fast and sounds great. So I spend a lot of time downshifting from high revs, which doesn’t really help with the fuel economy.
Is the LFA usable despite being a supercar?
The LFA is quite usable actually. The ride is not too stiff and if you shift at the right rev range, the upshifts are relatively smooth.
What’s the most ordinary thing you’ve done in the car?
The most ordinary thing I have done with the car is taking it around the corner to get some groceries.
What made you go for the Nürburgring edition over the standard LFA?
I picked the Nürburgring edition just because I like the look and the rarity of the car. I believe the front canards and the fixed rear spoiler makes the car look just right, the standard version is just too rounded for me. The rarity was a big factor as well as only 50 were made and, to my knowledge, this is the only Nürburgring edition in the UK at the moment.
What’s the story behind the photoshoot of your LFA in the snowy mountains?
As I am from Thailand and we don’t get snow there, I tend to do some crazy things when I see snow. So I studied the rules and regulations to prepare the car to be driven in snowy conditions and just went with it. The photo is from a mountain in France during the Geneva Motor Show week. I have been at that location before with my other cars, so I wanted to bring the LFA up there as well. It’s not every day you get to see a track-oriented car being driven to a ski town.
Weren’t you a bit nervous driving the LFA in the snowy conditions?
I was a bit nervous at first, but I believe I have prepared the car well with the winter tires and I trusted I had the right instinct to control the car in those conditions. But most importantly, I didn’t drive the car in any way above the limit of what I think I was capable of. Being a racing driver also helps to understand the car’s reactions a bit more.
Would you ever dream of selling your LFA?
I do not plan to sell the car any time soon as it has a special place in my heart.
What has the ownership experience been like?
The ownership experience so far has been great. The car is very reliable, as you would expect from Lexus. I have never had any major issues with it. It’s just that the rarity of the car requires specifically trained technicians to work on it for the service.
Thank you for your time, Pasin. We hope you enjoy your LFA Nürburgring edition for many more years to come.