IT?S BEEN A long time coming for the 2011 Lexus LF-A, with prototypes first spotted lapping the Nurburgring way back in 2004.
Rumoured to be heading to next month's Tokyo Motor Show in production trim, the LF-A has been spied this week testing in what appears to be the final stages of development.
Wearing only the lightest of camouflage to its headlights and tail-lights (the two elements Lexus has remained the most guarded about) the Japanese manufacturer's first supercar looks to be virtually complete.
The LF-A would seem to have spent an inordinate time in the ?on-road evaluation stage? as Lexus debated whether the project should be terminated or allowed to proceed.
But signs are positive that the low-slung Lexus will shed the last of its camouflage cladding and appear in showroom-ready form soon. The recent prototypes look less like development mules and more like production cars.
The front has undergone a thorough redesign, gaining a much larger front air-dam and a pair of prominent cheek vents.
The B-pillar air intakes for the rear-mounted radiators are also different to those seen on previous prototypes, and the rear bumper seems to have also undergone subtle changes.
The front and rear lights are well masked, however it appears the lenses and reflectors are markedly different to those previously seen. The wing mirrors are also much larger and more production-friendly.
The LF-A is expected to boast a 410kW (550hp) 4.8 litre V10 engine, a six-speed automated manual transaxle and a top speed just over 350km/h.
Word on the street is that a limited 500-car production run is planned, with just 10 cars possibly coming Australia?s way.
Ben Mitchell, Corporate Product Planning Manager for Lexus in the US, recently confirmed that pricing for the LF-A will "begin with a two", and rumours in Japan suggest the price could be as high as US$225,000 (AU$257,000).