Lexus Tests 641-hp, 4564-lb Performance LS Sedan

September 23rd, 2011

Too many cars still tend toward the obese, though we’ve seen the beginnings of a welcome trend to lightening in some smaller vehicles.

But Toyota Motorsport has certainly bucked that tendency with its Lexus LS TMG Edition, an overweight, overpowered monster caught testing at Germany’s Nürburgring. Lexus has wanted to be a performance player for years and now is reportedly preparing an LFA for the upcoming Le Mans.

A leaked spec sheet tells us that the LS TMG will do 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds with a top speed (probably limited) of 199 mph. Is the engine a V8? A V10 derived from the LFA (which outputs 550 hp)? Speculation is rampant, but we don’t know.

We wanted to show you the video of the car at Nürburgring, but SpeedLux has disabled its embedding “by request”—presumably Toyota’s. But you can watch it on YouTube here.

Look closely, and you will see the beast (which is certainly not being pushed) exhibiting more than a trace of float and wobble in the turns. Hear the tires squeak in the first turn?

Besides which, it’s ugly as sin.

Autoblog remarks:

While we have no idea whether this is a production prototype, a one-off exercise or something else entirely, the very existence of a 641-horsepower, 200 mile-per-hour Lexus LS suggests that the crew behind the LFA are holding increasing sway over the Toyota luxury asylum.

To which yrs trly responds, “Who cares?” Put the car back in the garage, the inmates back in the asylum, and build a proper LFA (finally!) for the street at a decent price.

Does Lexus really need to get into the performance game? Can it compete against the high-end Germans with a car like this?

—jgoods

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  1. panayoti
    | #1

    There’s always “an ass for every seat” and I get that, but this one I don’t. I also realize that there are lots of folks out there that make a lot of money, but doesn’t Toyota understand that there is a worldwide recession going on and that even the affluent are cutting back on their spending?? There’s also a very tiny market for these vehicles and all the luxury marquis names make one or two of these. So even if they sell a thousand of them, what could they possibly gain over their competitors?? I just don’t get it.

  2. Jim Redd
    | #2

    I love it! panayoti, the thing Lexus would gain is a valuable thing called reputation. It has it for luxury… it needs reputation for performance. A car like this and the LFA makes buyers assume lower level cars have the same engineering. It’s good to see Toyota making some performance news. Between this car and the FT-86 (and I think I’m hearing new Supra) Toyota will stay competitive and exciting. WHen’s the last time we could say that?

  3. Randy
    | #3

    I can’t think of anything funnier than Toyota producing a GM car. Talk about a blunt instrument! No surprise any more, they GM’ed pickup trucks and SUV’s but somehow missed GM’s crisp styling and created some rolling gargoyles. The only thing missing on the Lexus is 200 pounds of chrome.

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