Toyota Motor Corporation was once known for producing some of the best sports cars and during one moment, they fed consumers with beige, drab looking models. With the recent release of several sports-orientated models such as the Lexus LFA, Toyota 86 and Lexus IS-F (there are even plans to release a Lexus GS-F); it seems that the aspiration to produce stylish sports orientated cars has been renewed again at the Japanese firm.
But Toyota’s sports cars rejuvenation is not really complete, yet. They already have an entry level model which is the 86 and one that is considered in the super car status which is the Lexus LFA. What the company needs now is a model to fill in the huge gap in between the two above mentioned models and it looks like they already have one in the works.
Toyota’s previous sports models (MR2, Celica and Supra) hold a fond place in the memory of sports car enthusiasts and one of them could be returning. And that model is the Supra. The Supra could return as a mid-engine sports car with a hybrid heart and all wheel drive.
These rumours are connected strongly to comments made by Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer of the Toyota 86. He hinted that the company is considering a Supra “follower” rather than a direct successor. Instead of building a new grand tourer with a powerful turbo engine set-up mounted at the front and power sent to the rear wheels, the new car could use Toyota’s latest technology which includes hybrid drive systems and sophisticated electric motor all wheel drive set-ups.
The major clue to the above mentioned technological set-up is Toyota’s GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept. The concept car is now in its second generation and features a mid-engine platform and an all wheel drive system which is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine driving the rear wheels and an electric motor powers the front rubber. The car has been extensively tested at Fuji Speedway in Japan and the car also competed in the Nurburgring 24 Hours competition last year.
It is a little too early to predict much about the car or if Toyota would even resurrect the Supra name. But if Toyota produces such a model, it should be at least positioned against the GTR.
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