Toyota honours fallen test drive master Hiromu Naruse with tribute video

November 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Master Test Driver Hiromu Naruse was, and remains a total legend for Toyota. Naruse first joined Toyota back in the sixties and would go on to help develop every important sportscar to come from the carmaker. Naruse worked on such greats as the Celica, MR2 and Supra, he’s logged more hours on the Nürburgring than any other Japanese driver, and those at Toyota called him the “Nur Miester,” or “one and only master.” His job was, basically, to test drive cars, evaluate them and help figure out how to make them better. But after hours he would also race cars simply because he loved doing it.

His final challenge lay in the developing the Lexus LF-A, and Naruse made sure it reached his highest standards. He was tasked with driving the supercar near its top speed for extended periods of time, often in the dark. The Lexus LF-A is now considered a technical wonder and is one of the most coveted supercars in the world.

Ultimately, it was behind the wheel of a Lexus LF-A where Hiromu Naruse lost his life earlier this year (read news). Toyota has now created a short video to honor its one and only master, which you can watch by clicking below. Continue reading “Toyota honours fallen test drive master Hiromu Naruse with tribute video” »

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

June 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

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. Continue reading “Toyota’s chief test driver killed in Lexus LFA prototype crash” »