What do you get when you cross Formula 1 technology with a luxury limousine? The TMG Sports 650 of course…
This 650PS, 320km/h prototype is a high-speed cruiser with racy handling based on the Lexus LS 460, the original car having been heavily re-worked by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany.
Designed as a showcase for TMG’s technology and engineering prowess, the TMG Sports 650 is the ultimate LS 460, showcasing a whole range of TMG’s engineering, technology and development possibilities.
Compared to the standard LS 460, the TMG Sports 650 produces 68% more power (650PS), 54% more torque (772Nm), 28% higher top speed (320km/h) and a 30% quicker 0-100km/h time (
But as with any super car, the TMG Sports 650 is about more than just the cold, hard facts – this car runs on emotion.
Even before that five-litre twin-turbo V8 engine fires into life, the significant bodywork changes capture the imagination. Looking closely, it’s clear they are made with performance in mind; a carbon fibre roof to reduce weight, dramatic air scoops for engine and brake cooling, carbon fibre skirt to improve air flow – the list goes on.
When the engine fires up the car comes to life and the deep rumble it produces at very slow speed sounds like a longing for some full-throttle action.
Buried deep inside the engine – a modified version of the IS F powerplant – TMG’s engineers have painstakingly enhanced most components; cylinder head, pistons, con rod, intake manifold, sump… all have been modified.
On a test track near Berlin last week, the TMG Sports 650 was introduced to a select group of German and British media, the first people outside of Toyota employees to experience what all those modifications achieved in terms of performance and handling.
For a company with its roots firmly in motorsport, TMG isn’t familiar with giving its cars to journalists so this was a step into the unknown. “Please bring it back in one piece” was heard more than once as the big day dawned.
Any apprehension was blasted away when Isolde Holderied, Toyota’s former ladies world rally champion, gave some breathtaking demonstration laps and proved the TMG Sports 650 is almost as entertaining to watch as it is to drive. Almost…
Big smiles after each media drive indicated the car was certainly good fun behind the wheel and there were a few pointers for improvement should a successor emerge any time soon.
Alas, the TMG Sports 650 is likely to remain a one-off showcase for TMG’s engineering capabilities, so when the car was wheeled into its trailer for the long drive westwards back to Cologne, it was heading for the museum.