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    Thread: Hiromu Naruse, Toyota's chief test driver, dies behind wheel of LFA in Germany

    1. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      06-23-2010 02:33 PM #1
      RIP!



      We don't have much in the way of details yet, but according to a report out of Germany, Toyota's chief test driver has died in a crash on highway 410 near the Nurburgring after veering into the oncoming lane and colliding with two others test drivers driving a BMW.

      While the two BMW test drivers survived the crash, the yet-unnamed Toyota driver died behind the wheel of the recently spied LFA Nurburgring Edition he was driving.

      The report says that the driver of the LF-A was 67 years old and Toyota's chief test driver, which leads us to believe that he is Hiromu Naruse, In addition to being the company's chief test driver, Naruse is also Akio Toyoda's personal driver and the Godfather of the LFA.

      More information should be forthcoming.

      UPDATE: The two drivers in the BMW sustained lift-threatening injuries and one is in critical condition.
      UPDATE 2: Video of the scene added after the jump.
      UPDATE 3: Spiegel is confirming that Naruse was the driver.
      http://www.autoblog.com/2010/06/23/b...-germany-ring/
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      06-23-2010 02:35 PM #2
      This is terrible news.
      Please sheath any brand preferences, and think of the families.
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    3. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      06-23-2010 02:35 PM #3
      That is sad.
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      06-23-2010 02:35 PM #4
      RIP but this will no doubt this incident will help further cement the LF-A's place in history as a legendary supercar. All the baddest supercars have crazy stories surrounding them.

    5. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      06-23-2010 02:37 PM #5
      wow, that's really sad....

      some of the cars he was involved with developing
      http://gazoo.com/racing/english/vol_01/page04.asp

    6. 06-23-2010 02:39 PM #6
      wow... just tragic

      i wonder how fast they were going

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      06-23-2010 02:40 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      RIP but this will no doubt this incident will help further cement the LF-A's place in history as a legendary supercar. All the baddest supercars have crazy stories surrounding them.
      QFT

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      06-23-2010 02:41 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      wow, that's really sad....

      some of the cars he was involved with developing
      http://gazoo.com/racing/english/vol_01/page04.asp


      "Of course that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

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      06-23-2010 02:43 PM #9
      RIP, that's crazy.

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      06-23-2010 02:44 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      RIP but this will no doubt this incident will help further cement the LF-A's place in history as a legendary supercar. All the baddest supercars have crazy stories surrounding them.
      Would make more sense if this happened on a track
      1988 535is

    11. 06-23-2010 02:45 PM #11
      So very sad.
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      06-23-2010 02:46 PM #12
      Very sad to hear.
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      06-23-2010 02:47 PM #13
      The damage really doesn't look all that extreme and both cars should be above average in terms of safety equipment.

      Speaking of safety, I didn't know they still used 1st gen Volvo S80s as hearses.

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      06-23-2010 02:49 PM #14
      the damage shown in the video looks pretty serious.

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      06-23-2010 02:49 PM #15
      That video doesn't show too much cabin intrusion on either car...Perhaps he died before the crash?
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      06-23-2010 02:51 PM #16
      Very sad.

      Hopefully the other two drivers pull through.


      It makes you wonder what (if any) kind of backlash there will be against all the test cars around the Ring area. Hopefully an investigation doesn't find that the drivers involved were doing something dangerous (like hauling ass down the backroads) or that an equipment failure caused the problem.

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      06-23-2010 02:51 PM #17
      Yeah, I think he died at the wheel before the accident. While 67 isn't exactly ancient, especially for Japanese folks, he's still an older guy that was closer to the end than the beginning.

      RIP though.

      to a great talent

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      06-23-2010 02:54 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      RIP but this will no doubt this incident will help further cement the LF-A's place in history as a legendary supercar. All the baddest supercars have crazy stories surrounding them.
      No joke - supposedly two female models burned to death in an overturned Countach at a promo event.
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      06-23-2010 02:54 PM #19
      that is absolutely tragic, may he RIP.
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      06-23-2010 02:55 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Yeah, I think he died at the wheel before the accident. While 67 isn't exactly ancient, especially for Japanese folks, he's still an older guy that was closer to the end than the beginning.

      RIP though.

      to a great talent
      You mean the same people that have the longest life expectancies in the world?

      Edit: n/m, read that wrong. Proceed.

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      06-23-2010 02:56 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by masa8888 View Post
      You mean the same people that have the longest life expectancies in the world?
      That's what he just alluded to.

      Re-read his post
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      06-23-2010 03:01 PM #22
      Horrific.

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      06-23-2010 03:05 PM #23
      MR2, Supra, MR-Spyder, AE86, Celica...

      that guy helped build every decent toyota in the last 30 years. RIP.

      there is much to be said for cashing out behind the wheel of a very fast car. at least he was doing what he loved in probably one of the better cars they've ever built.

    24. 06-23-2010 03:06 PM #24


      RIP...hopefully the BWM drivers recover

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      06-23-2010 03:09 PM #25
      Awful.
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      06-23-2010 03:11 PM #26
      RIP Mr. Naruse

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      06-23-2010 03:13 PM #27
      Very sad. R.I.P ..

      Here is his resume...

      http://gazoo.com/racing/english/vol_01/page04.asp

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      06-23-2010 03:14 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Yeah, I think he died at the wheel before the accident. While 67 isn't exactly ancient, especially for Japanese folks, he's still an older guy that was closer to the end than the beginning.

      RIP though.

      to a great talent
      x2
      Well-said.
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      06-23-2010 03:16 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkEnergist View Post
      That video doesn't show too much cabin intrusion on either car...Perhaps he died before the crash?
      The video does show significant damage, but never shows a good angle. It seems they struck flat on, so the full force of energy is transferred, no deflection. The gentleman that died was 67. Maybe it does not looks as bad because of how well engineered these two cars are?


      Can anyone give a summary of what the fireman said?

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      06-23-2010 03:19 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Kong99 View Post
      The video does show significant damage, but never shows a good angle. It seems they struck flat on, so the full force of energy is transferred, no deflection. The gentleman that died was 67. Maybe it does not looks as bad because of how well engineered these two cars are?
      Not to mention he could have had any number of physical problems that would be exacerbated by a bad crash
      1988 535is

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      06-23-2010 03:37 PM #31
      The collision looks passenger side vs. passenger side and there aren't any skid marks. The last clip of the video shows that it was a bit of a blind curve with those trees there. Maybe the LFA was cutting the corner and the BMW tried to evade... resulting in the cars ending up hitting that way and being on the wrong side of the road? Just an idea.

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      06-23-2010 03:44 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by ThatsGoodT View Post
      The collision looks passenger side vs. passenger side and there aren't any skid marks. The last clip of the video shows that it was a bit of a blind curve with those trees there. Maybe the LFA was cutting the corner and the BMW tried to evade... resulting in the cars ending up hitting that way and being on the wrong side of the road? Just an idea.
      It's hard to see the BMW driver being that badly hurt if he was wearing his seatbelt. The passenger side was pretty seriously compromised though. The A-pillar and roof are severely deformed.
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      06-23-2010 03:48 PM #33
      sad

      R.I.P.
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      06-23-2010 03:52 PM #34
      Just occurred to me that I've driven that road. Such a tranquil spot for such a terrible accident.
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      06-23-2010 03:55 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Kong99 View Post
      The video does show significant damage, but never shows a good angle. It seems they struck flat on, so the full force of energy is transferred, no deflection. The gentleman that died was 67. Maybe it does not looks as bad because of how well engineered these two cars are?


      Can anyone give a summary of what the fireman said?
      Significant damage =/= cabin intrusion. Obviously it was a bad crash, but I don't see any points where someone would suffer life threatening injuries on either of those cars.

      My friends and I crashed in 99 Chevy Malibu and the passenger wasn't wearing his seatbelt, his face hit the airbag and was pushed up, causing his forehead to both shatter, and dislodge the windshield from the car. He got out of the car without a scratch, just a bad headache.

      Not often do you see a crash and think, that's not so bad, someone died? Usually it's the reverse, some horrific looking mangled mess, and people survived. This is all speculation though, obviously I'm guessing until we can find out what actually happened.

      Very sad though, it's always rough losing someone with great talent.
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