Cars Coming Soon: A Silent But Raging Return for Toyota Performance
You might want to begin thanking everyone who bought a new Scion FR-S.
Because of the success of Toyota’s new little sports car, the company is considering bringing back the vaunted MR2 and Supra names. Yes, these rumors have been floated before, but now that Toyota has confirmed the public’s thirst for its performance offerings, there will probably be more on the way.
This possibility was mentioned in yesterday’s Car of the Year post, but since then a little more info has surfaced. Not all of it good.
Toyota engineer Tetsuya Tada is the man behind the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S and has admitted that Toyota president Akio Toyoda has asked him to get started right away on a Supra successor. Tada says that car is about 5 years out and will be followed by a modern version of the MR2.
Here’s where things get interesting, though.
Motor Trend‘s report pointed to rumors of a mid-mounted 400-hp V6 hybrid powering the next Supra. That sounds mighty nice, but then news from The Detroit Bureau changes things up a bit: It says the next Supra may go all electric.
Typically I’m against electric sports cars, because I’m of the simple belief that a sports car should sound like fossil fuel on fire. Part of the experience of driving a sports car is the torrent of noise filling the cabin as the tachometer crosses the 5,000 mark. So my initial reaction to an electric, silent Supra included a heavy exhale and a sinking heart.
However, The Detroit Bureau makes the case that Tesla could be involved, which changes things considerably. Tesla, obviously, knows how to do an electric car. A partnership could potentially mean a Supra with a Model S platform that competes with the likes of BMW. I must say, I’m intrigued.
On the MR2 side, Tada says a midengine naturally aspirated 4-cylinder would send power to the rear wheels and slot below the GT86 in terms of hierarchy.
After years of Toyota slipping into the void of stodgy conservatism, it looks like it’s about to come roaring back. Maybe silently.
Which would you rather drive: a new electric Supra or a new midengine MR2?