Toyota has confirmed reports that its chief test driver, 67-year-old Hiromu Naruse, has has been killed in a head-on collision near the Nurburgring. Naruse was driving the Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition when he collided head on with a BMW. The German car’s test driver and his passenger were seriously injured.
Reports from Germany say that the prototype Lexus (said to cost 1.5 million euros) veered into oncoming traffic. Police are investigating the crash and have yet to determine its cause.
Naruse joined Toyota in 1963 in the Vehicle Evaluation and Engineering Division, and had been involved with Toyota Motorsports since 1970. He was heavily involved with the Lexus LFA project, the classic Toyota 2000GT from the 1960s and all sporty Toyotas in between. His death will be a big loss to Toyota, including chairman Akio Toyoda, who had Naruse-san as his personal on-track driver.