Toyota’s chief test driver killed in Lexus LFA prototype crash

Toyota’s chief test driver, Hiromu Naruse, has died in a crash on highway 410 near the Nürburgring race track in Germany. The 67-year old was driving a Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition when the crash occurred, and unconfirmed reports say he swerved suddenly into oncoming traffic and impacted in a head-on collision with two others test drivers in a BMW. The two BMW test drivers aged 34 and 33 both survived the crash, although one remains in critical condition. There is a video of the crash scene with commentary in German that can be viewed below. Police are currently investigating the crash and haven’t reached any conclusions so far on its cause.

Naruse began his career with Toyota back in 1963 and was heavily involved with the development of the Lexus LFA supercar, along with many sports cars from Toyota’s past. Enthusiasts describe him as the “Godfather of the LFA,” but it was only his latest achievement as he was involved in the development of sports cars for Toyota going as far back as the famous 2000GT from the late 1960s. Other notable vehicles Naruse helped develop include the first and third generation MR2, the Supra and the Altezza. His final ride which was a prototype of a special edition version of the LFA was reportedly worth 1.5 million euro.

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