• Apr 26, 2009
Click above for a larger view of the Lexus LF-A's 2009 Nürburgring 24 livery

Toyota scion (pun intended) and new company president Akio Toyoda will don a helmet and Nomex late next month as his company returns to Germany to compete in the annual Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race. Toyoda will be part of the four-driver lineup taking the wheel of the Lexus LF-A (hey, remember that?) as part of its ongoing (and seemingly endless) development. Unlike last year, when the LF-A showed up to race in plain 'ol development-mule matte black, Toyota's got a more proper race livery planned for this year's event (see above). After all, we can't have the boss rolling like every other test engineer, can we? Thanks, Dom!




[Source: AP via The Japan Times]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This bodes very well for a revival of exciting cars in Toyota. You just regained some of my respect too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with Huff but without any actual focus on building performance machines (bar the IS-F), this is just PR fluff. Nissan is probably the only Japanese company building performance machines...atleast till Mazda rolls out the RX-9 & RX-7 v2.0 (fingers crossed).
        • 5 Years Ago
        But why put a product into showrooms that ISN'T completed?! Hell, this car has already seen TWO concept iterations and I must say the roadster looked MUCH more refined than the coupe from which it came. It's already been three years since the Camaro concept was shown in concept form and the project started in 2005. The car will debut as a 2010 model. The FIRST LF-A (coupe) concept was shown in 2005, it's only been 4 years. I am not trying to down talk the Camaro, but the LF-A's target audience and competition are on a MUCH higher level, so it's only natural that they'd expect a much better level of refinement.

        Patience grasshopper.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Hell, this car has already seen TWO concept iterations and I must say the roadster looked MUCH more refined than the coupe from which it came."

        I appreciate your enthusiasm for Toyota but you are talking about one concept being more refined than a concept before it. That to me is silly. Let's get some products on the ground and then we can chat. The IS-F itself is several yard-sticks off the M3 and RS4. The company can talk the talk...wheres the walk.

        I have nothing personal against Toyota...heck I actually think it's styling is better than what Honda can do these days (Lexus IS, GS, FJ Cruiser etc).

        But the average Toyota product is quite far removed from "sport". The average Mazda, VW and BMW is very much plugged into "sport".
        • 5 Years Ago
        It might be PR fluff, but at east he isn't sitting back counting the yen, in his Toyota Century V12.

        It's also nice to be positive every once in a while, especially now. Do you see Honda doing anything like this right now? Super cars do not equal profit, if Toyota/Lexus wants to boost their profile from being white goods to something a little more special, then good for them!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's nice to see that an automotive executive is actually getting involved in R&D and some of the more inner-workings of such a big company (even if it does end up just being a publicity stunt).

      So for that, I tip my hat Toyota, it seems you may have gained a little more respect from me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not sure how involved he is in the intimate R&D work, we're not talking former heads of VW who developed various porsche cars with their own heads, but involvement in R&D isn't extraordinarily relevant. What is relevant is that he'll be piloting the car on the ring, which is a very welcomed move. I doubt any of this will make the toyota line up a driver focused one, but who cares, it's the premise that matters. Toyota's finally getting that it takes more than simply putting a V8 in a single sedan to challenge Audi/BMW/Mercedes in their RS/M/AMG levels of cars. Maybe with VW overtaking the #1 spot, and already producing fantastic cars in the Bentley, Lamborghini, and even Audi brands, Toyota can focus on bringing some more driver involvement to the lexus line.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't honda doing a great job of being competitive with their Acura cars in the various LeMans races currently under way? As much as I love to laugh at their horrid commercials during ALMS which scream "hey, our buyers don't know jack about motorsports", at least they're campaigning well. Which is a lot more than can be said of Toyota's "attempt" last year. I'm not sure it's entirely fair do chide honda as having zero sporting intentions, go drive an accord and a camry, go drive the civic and corolla.

      Don't get me wrong, their acura brand sucks right now, but it's not as if honda doesn't have some segments locked down as the sportier of the japanese brands. And it's not like they're not actually doing pretty good in their requisite events.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Last I recalled Toyota is doing pretty well in F1 this season. So I'd say they're pretty on par with Honda in terms of motorsports involvement. The sporting ability of their actual products are both lacking, so I'd say the companies are pretty even.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "but it's not as if honda doesn't have some segments locked down as the sportier of the japanese brands."

        Really? Aside from the now EXTINCT S2000, what Honda vehicles have any sporty segments locked down? LOL. This is the Honda line-up. Accord, Civic, CR-V, Element, FCX Clarity, Fit, Insight, Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline. None of these vehicles fit your description.

        Your argument would have been a bit more compelling if you'd replaced "Honda" with "Nissan."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice, maybe he can make Toyota cool again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota is finally getting their act together in F1 and I applaud their efforts for allowing there new company president to drive in the annual Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race. Good luck Toyota.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A car enthusiast at the helm of Toyota? Who would have thought it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea, cause you know EVERY automaker stuffs 416hp V8s into their smallest luxury sedan and tosses in some Brembo brakes "just because." I love all the Toyota trash talk that goes on at this place, yet you people let a company like... Honda putter down the road with their underpowered, non-RWD, "oh hey, we're not behind the sporty curve, we're green", middle-of-the-road line-up like it's perfectly fine, lol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ dwightB


        LMAO.

        The IS-F is bad-ass. If you ever saw one you know what i mean...


        Cant wait till they do the say for the GS-F. Lexus already has the luxury aspect under their belt. Now all they need is to perfect the performance aspect, and they are already off to a great start....ever since the GS400.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      It doesn't sound like they're interested in winning this race, so why bother entering.
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