It was back in 2010 that Toyota’s chairman, Akio Toyoda, felt the itch to build his own special LS luxury saloon. Allegedly inspired by BMW’s tentative M7 super saloon, Toyoda-san asked his R&D team to conceive a car that was good enough to meet it head-on — spacious and comfortable, yet equipped with an astounding chassis, bat-out-of-hell engine, telepathic steering and brakes that would stop a charging rhino.
Apparently, Toyoda-san was so pleased with the initial results he dispatched a container with Kirin beer and Junmai-shu sake to Cologne.
The original plan was to build a small batch of ten units for Mr Toyoda and his nine best friends. But since the lifecycle of the full-size LS is coming to an end, the project will now likely be transferred to the new model out in 2015.
This puts the TS 650 into a much more understandable context, as it goes from being a mysterious project initiated at random to something part of the bigger picture. It also reinforces just what Akio Toyoda is bringing to the Lexus brand.
(Also, next-generation LS in 2015? Sounds good to me.)