Toyota Planning Sports Car Line, Including New MR2?

The late great Hiromu Naruse with the Toyota GRMN concept

Toyota’s base of customers who call themselves driving enthusiasts isn’t exactly thriving at the moment.

Since the days of the legendary MR2 and Supra, no Toyota has carried the torch of exciting performance.

In hopes of rallying that enthusiast base, the automaker has been planning a production sports car based on the exciting FT-86 concept. But according to the latest rumors, Toyota isn’t planning to launch just one sports car, but an entire line of budget-oriented vehicles. How’s that to show that Toyota is serious about getting back into the performance game?!

While there’s no official confirmation from Toyota on this new line, Japan’s Mainichi Daily News hints that a mid-engine hybrid successor to the MR2 is also in the works and will be based on the GRMN sports car concept. The GRMN, which stands for Gazoo Racing Master of Nurburgring (hey, why not?), is a 2-seat, 4WD hybrid sports coupe with a mid-engine 3.3-liter V-6 and the company’s well-known THSII hybrid system- a combination that generates more than 400 hp and a 0-60 time of about 4.5 seconds. Take that Honda CR-Z!

Giving a little more potential truth to the rumor, Toyota Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada said,

We want to offer more cars that are fun to drive and make people think ‘Toyota is interesting.’ Sales performance is not our primary concern.

As refreshingly beautiful as it is to hear a Toyota exec say he wants to build sports cars just for the fun of it, it’s a little hard to believe sales performance would take a back seat. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed!

As would be expected, there are few concrete details at this point, but these rumors at least hint that there’s something exciting finally happening inside Toyota.

Do you think Toyota should offer a new line of sports cars?

-tgriffith

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1 Comment

  1. The MR-2 was great, but I think the GRMN (Get Real, Mainichi News) is a pipedream. Toyota has got to live down its recent past, but is this the way to do it? Besides, the car’s front end looks like it was designed to plow snow. Don’tcha love the line, “Sales performance is not our primary concern”?

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