TMG Lexus LS 650 to Debut in Essen

Essen Motor Show / Comments

Toyota's racing division prepares a 600+horsepower super-LS to debut later this month at Germany's version of the SEMA show.

When you let a team of racing engineers sit still for too long, they start getting restless. And when racing engineers get restless, they start pet projects. The team we're talking about here is Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the Japanese automaker's German racing division. The outfit was established as Toyota Team Europe in the '70s to operate Toyota's rally team. When that wound to a close in the late '90s, TMG developed the GT-One that was Toyota's first real foray into Le Mans racing.

It then served as the headquarters for Toyota's ill-fated Formula One program from 2002, but after the bosses in Japan pulled the plug in 2009, TMG sat around with little to do. It has since returned to endurance racing with the TS030 Hybrid, but the product of its down-time looks set to debut later this month at the Essen Motor Show in Germany. The vehicle in question is the LS 650, and serves as a rolling demonstration of what TMG can do with Toyota's production cars. Based on the previous LS luxury sedan, the project known as the TMG LS 650 is expected to pack a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 engine with between 600 and 650 horsepower.

That would make it more powerful than the 536hp Mercedes S63 AMG and put it in the same league as the 621hp S65 AMG. Along with the insanely powerful engine, we're looking at a an aggressive body kit with new bumpers, side skirts, fender flares, wing, diffuser and ventilated hood, along with lightweight alloys barely containing their low-profile rubber and high-performance brakes. The result is an expected 0-62 time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed nudging the 200mph mark. Whether the LS 650 prototype ever seen production beyond the concept phase is another matter, but we're happy to see what happens when the TMG engineers get their hands on road cars.

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