It’s official. Toyota’s chief test driver, Hiromu Naruse, has been killed in a crash while testing the company’s upcoming 2012 Lexus LFA supercar in Germany. While the exact circumstances of the accident are yet to be determined, Toyota has confirmed that 67-year old Naruse has been killed in an accident that took place near the Nurburgring race track, where Toyota engineers are still fine-tuning the LFA ahead of its official launch later in the year.
Naruse was testing a bright yellow colored LFA that, according to reports coming out of Germany, was involved on a head-on collision with a BMW along a slender two-lane road. The LFA Naruse was testing was a pre-production prototype.
The riders wore helmets and the cars were packed with electronics,” a police spokesman revealed to The New York Times. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The BMW involved was believed to have been carrying test drivers as well, though the car was a regular production model.
Hiromu Naruse first joined Toyota back in 1963, working for the company’s Vehicle Evaluation and Engineering Division. He was also heavily involved with Toyota Motorsports and was one of the key men responsible for cars like the upcoming LFA as well as the classic 2000GT.