I hadn’t planned to post today but I feel very obligated to now. You’re probably getting inundated with this news all over automotive blogs, but it is for good reason. Hiromu Naruse, Toyota’s chief test driver, died behind the wheel of a LFA Nürburgring Edition earlier today. He apparently crashed head-on with a BMW piloted by two BMW test drivers. Both occupants of the BMW survived but one is listed in critical condition.
If you’re a fan of basically anything performance oriented Toyota has produced within the past forty plus years, you partially have Hiromu Naruse to thank (of course others too). Naruse-san was is an automotive genius and could drive like few ever could even imagine.
Obviously I never knew the man personally, nor have I been a super fanboy to him, but I feel very saddened by this information today. As a Toyota fan, automotive enthusiast, and a person that enjoys a smooth apex, my heart hurts. I’ve never felt this sad over someone I never even knew. My heart and prayers go out to his family, the Toyota family, and the BMW test drivers and their families. I pray for everyone involved.
Autoblog has a quick and nice tribute to the man that brought joy to so many.
His death is almost automotive poetry. He died piloting the last, and possibly the greatest, car he had a hand in designing and creating.
I depart with a pic of my favorite vehicle Naruse-san created, the 2000gt. RIP, you’re in God’s paddock now.