Lexus LFA vs Business Jet

Seriously, sometimes I don’t know what all those rich people are thinking… or maybe they watch too much Top Gear. Either way, that’s a lot of money to spent to get everything.

Reference site: Jalopnik

When a Lexus dealership owner and an Eclipse business jet pilot start exploring possibilities, interesting things happen. As happens so often with these things, what started out as some friendly trash talking turned into a full-on bet, and a race.

It took a year and a half of planning and a lot of red tape cutting to get to the race part, but when it finally did happen, the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition beat an Eclipse business jet by 2.1 seconds.

“Just because my car doesn’t have wings doesn’t mean it can’t fly,” Kent Stevinson, owner of Stevinson Lexus of Frederick in Longmont, Colo., told 9News.

Stevinson got a race car driver to pilot the Lexus — a 552 hp V10-powered beast that screams to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds — and bet-maker Marc Arnold piloted the Eclipse jet he usually flies charters with. Other than the huge stack of FAA paperwork that had to be completed for the race to actually happen, the tricky part was setting up a race that could test the abilities of a car that can go 202 mph against a jet that has a top speed of 400mph.


This is how it worked: the jet took off first, then circled around to cross the starting line at 150 mph. The LFA launched from a dead stop, sped to the end of the runway, turned around, and raced back to the start. Clearly, it’s a very fast car, and both it and the plane hit 171 mph during the race.

The event had the full support of both Lexus and Eclipse, and understandably so, as it was a badass thing to do and makes both marques look cool. As far as the bet goes, the only thing at stake was honor. Both sides’ commitment to donate $5,000 to the other’s charity — OUR Center for the car and Veterans Airlift Command for the plane — no matter who won more or less cancelled out the money part.

I have to wonder if these guys saw that episode of Top Gear when the boys from BBC raced a Bugatti Veyron and an RAF fighter jet and said, “Whoa! Let’s do that!” before they made the wager.

…they both got pride in their toy. My hats are off to them for actually made the race. Not only they talk the talk, but they walk the walk

4 thoughts on “Lexus LFA vs Business Jet

  1. Marc Arnold says:

    Ichi… Thanks for picking up on this story. I flew the Eclipse Jet. As reported above, it was VERY challenging to set up the event and, more importantly, figuring out how to make it a competitive race. Had the runway been substantially longer, the jet would have creamed the car. If it had been shorter, the car would have walked away. I wrote a lengthy description of the constraints that made the race so close on MotorAuthority. Anyway, standby to see the film being edited by Lexus. You’ll see a lot more about the event there. In the end, we raised $20K for charity, so in a sense everyone won.

    • ichitaka05 says:

      Thank you for your comment & extra information! I am honor to read this comment from pilot himself. Again thank you for your comment.

      Yes, sounds like long figuring to get everything correct.

      Wow $20k of charity is amazing. I’ll be waiting patiently to see this vid (Hurry Lexus!)

      So if I may ask, was there any practice race? Cuz calculation only can’t get everything right & awesome result like that… or maybe it can? lol

      Again, thanks for the comment.

      • Marc Arnold says:

        I flew the maneuver about 50 times with another aerobatic pilot before the race. We focused on altering small variables to shave seconds off the time (e.g. starting speed, G forces, altitude gained at top of turn, point of retracting flaps, lateral offset, etc.) Since the FAA waiver was only valid on the day of the race, though, I never had a chance to practice low over the runway or against the car since these would have cost me my license. On the day of the race, I was comfortable that I could extract maximum performance from the plane in a way that was safe and legal, but without actual practice runs against the car, none of us knew which vehicle would win. Finishing within 2 seconds of each other was really exciting. From my perspective, it’s too bad I didn’t WIN by two seconds!

      • ichitaka05 says:

        That’s double WOW! My hats are off to you. I seriously can’t wait to see the vid Lexus edited!

        Thanks for answering my question.

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