Remember that wildly flared, performance-tuned Lexus LS we caught lapping the Nurburgring back in September? Rumors suggested the car actually belonged to Toyota, and it appears those whispers were right on the money. Toyota Motorsport GmBH just unveiled a finalized version of the car, which it calls the TMG Sport 650.
To date, TMG has primarily served as Toyota’s motorsports wing, a division tasked with designing, manufacturing, and fielding race cars across the entire motorsports spectrum. F1? WRC? LMP? If you can name it, TMG has done it. One avenue it hasn’t yet pursued is tuning road cars. Company officials have indicated they’d like to essentially function as a semi-autonomous tuning company, spiffing up Toyota and Lexus products as AMG does for Mercedes-Benz.
Consider the TMG Sport 650 a proof of that very concept. Although Lexus updated the LS range for the 2013 model year, the Sport 650 is based upon the previous iteration of the standard-wheelbase LS 460. Even so, it barely resembles a stock LS, thanks in part to some wild bodywork modifications. Flared fenders, designed to surround large 20-inch wheels, increase the car’s width some 3.8 inches. A gaping front fascia – complete with requisite LED driving lights – boasts an aggressive splitter, which ties nicely to the scalloped rocker sills and the wild rear diffuser, which boasts unusually-stacked quad exhaust tips. Each and every exterior modification, including the aforementioned parts, the wild hood scoops, fender extractors, and duckbill spoiler, was designed in TMG’s wind tunnel to help reduce drag.
Like beauty, TMG’s magic runs more than skin deep. In stock form, the LS 460 uses a 4.6-liter, DOHC V-8 that produces 380 hp at 6400 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque at 4100 rpm. TMG not only bored that engine out to 5.0 liters, it also bolted on a pair of turbochargers. After much work, the result is an engine that throws down about 641 hp at 6500 rpm, and a whopping 564 lb-ft of torque at 5460 rpm. That powere is directed to the rear wheels by way of a massaged version of the LS’ eight-speed automatic, along with a Torsen limited-slip differential. Adjustable Sachs dampers are fitted at all four corners, as are Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors.
If you think that sort of power yields some impressive performance figures, you’re absolutely correct. TMG says the TMG Sport 650 should be able to sprint from 0-62 mph in an estimated 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of over 198 mph. For context, a stock LS 460 launched from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, and was electronically limited to a top speed of 130 mph. The TMG’s specs are even more impressive, considering preliminary spec tables say it weighs close to 4519 pounds, some 200 pounds more than a comparable rear-drive LS 460.
Impressive -- but inevitably, the question everyone winds up asking is “is this more than a show car?”
TMG’s own spec panel suggests the Sport 650’s price remains “to be determined,” but so may its chances of becoming reality. If TMG were to apply this to the latest LS, a number of the body panels would need to be redesigned. There’s also the pesky matter of testing and certifying that monstrous twin-turbo V-8. Even if the Sport 650 remains a one-off, we can’t disagree with TMG president Yoshiaki Kinoshita when he calls the Sport 650 a “showcase of TMG’s engineering capabilities.” It is indeed that – and rest assured the folks at AMG , Quattro, and M GmBH are paying close attention.