After letting the trademark to the Supra name lapse in 2006, Toyota has finally renewed it and thrown fans of the iconic car into a tizzy concerning its potential return.
It’s hard to believe Toyota could have been so careless with such a valuable brand name. Had an enterprising person snatched up rights to the name, that person would likely now be sitting on a fat check from the company.
Too late for that, though, and all Toyota had to do was renew its trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which it did on July 16. Now the question is: Was that a formality, or will Toyota finally bring an all-new Supra to market?
The tantalizing clues point to the Supra once again racing from dealership lots.
Just four days before the trademark filing, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda told journalists in Japan that he wants “to see the next Supra tested in the near future.” Exciting, right? Well, Car and Driver got hold of Toyota’s vice president of external communications, Mike Michels, who told them the company registered the name provisionally, just for the flexibility of using the name in the future. Uh-huh. Nice avoidance technique, Mr. Michels. The thing with trademarks is that they have to be used within three years or are considered abandoned.
That means in three years’ time, we’ll either have a new Supra or someone will probably be the proud new owner of the name. Which do you think it’ll be?
In other fun car news, Autocar reports that the next-gen Mazda MX-5 Miata will shave some weight, bringing the hot roadster more in line with the original’s curb weight of 2,100 pounds while retaining its 50/50 weight distribution. To help meet its weight goal, Mazda will use one of its newly developed SKY-G gasoline engines, either a 1.6- or 1.8-liter mill mated to a six-speed manual that should boost efficiency while also increasing power over previous engine designs. Expect the next Miata in 2012.
Finally, if you’re in love with the new 5.0-liter, 412-hp V8 used in the 2011 Ford Mustang GT but don’t want to spend $30K+ to get the car, Ford has a solution for you. The all-aluminum engine is now an entry in the Ford Racing Performance Parts catalog. It’ll cost you $7,000, but will swap out easily with your current Mustang’s 4.6-liter V8. That seems like a pretty sweet deal and will surely keep more than a few of you busy in the garage during the coming winter months!
Will the Toyota Supra return? And would you tackle an engine swap instead of buying a new car?