Earlier this week, Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), the Japanese company’s motorsport division, based in Germany, teased a 600 horsepower version of the Lexus LS luxury sedan. That car, originally called TS-650, has broken cover. It’s just as wild as that 600 hp rating suggests, and it has a new name: TMG Sport 650.
Without any badges, it’s hard to believe the TMG Sport 650 started out as an LS. The front end sports an aggressive bumper with LED driving lights that looks like a person with dual nose rings flaring their nostrils. The fenders are flared to accommodate 20-inch wheels and tires, making the 650 3.8 inches wider than a stock LS. The car also has side skirts and a rear spoiler made from carbon fiber.
At the back, things are just as dramatic as the rest of the car. The rear end is dominated by a diffuser and stacked quad exhausts (think IS-F on steroids).
Although Lexus gave its flagship LS a substantial update for the 2013 model year, the TMG Sport 650 is based on the previous version. Specifically, it’s a standard wheelbase LS 460, without the LS 600hL’s hybrid powertrain or extra rear legroom. The TMG Sport 650 is rear-wheel drive.
What about that outrageous horsepower claim? A stock 2012 LS’ 4.6-liter V8 produces 380 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque, such TMG had quite a mountain to climb.
In fact, the TMG Sport 650 makes 641 hp (one more than an SRT Viper) and 564 lb-ft. TMG bored out the stock LS engine to 5.0 liters and added a couple of turbochargers to achieve its goal.
Backing up the V8 is a reinforced version of the stock LS’ eight-speed automatic transmission, along with a Torsen limited-slip differential. The hot rod Lexus also has adjustable Sachs dampers and upgraded brakes with Brembo carbon ceramic rotors.
When it first announced its super-LS project, TMG made another incredible claim regarding the car’s top speed. The motorsport engineers said the car would top 200 mph and they’re sticking to that, more or less. The official claim is “over 198 mph,” which seems close enough for a car that weighs 4,519 pounds (200 pounds more than a stock LS 460).
The TMG Sport 650 is also quick on its feet, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, compared to a stock LS’ 5.4-second time.
TMG’s creation is certainly impressive, but is it just for show? A production Sport 650 could outgun the BMW Alpina B7, Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, and Audi S8, but so far Lexus has no official plans for it.
TMG is responsible for all of Toyota’s racing efforts, including the hybrids it campaigned at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans. If the Sport 650 is any indication, it would make a great in-house tuner, in the vein of BMW M and Mercedes AMG.
The TMG Sport 650 is an impressive engineering exercise, but what TMG, and the Toyota executives, need to build a super sedan that people can actually buy.