The chief test driver for the Japanese auto giant Toyota was killed last week in a head-on road crash in Germany while driving a prototype supercar. Hiromu Naruse, 67, was testing the recently spied Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition when it was involved in a deadly collision on a road near the Nürburgring race track in western Germany. "We are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Hiromu Naruse," Mieko Iwasaki, a spokesman for the company, told the AFP news agency. German newspaper Die Welt reported on its website that the test driver of the other car involved in the collision was injured, along with a passenger.
Toyota said Naruse had worked for the company since 1963. He was 67 years old, according to the German press. The manufacturer offered its "condolences to the family of Mr Naruse and sympathy for others involved in the accident". It said it would await clarification as to the cause of the accident from German authorities. The $375,000 LFA is a two-seat supercar scheduled to go into production at the end of 2010, Toyota says, with plans to build only 500 vehicles.