No one questions Toyota’s dominance in the auto market. The company consistently vies for honors as the largest and highest quality automaker in the world. Despite all the accolades, something’s been missing in Nagoya, Japan, for the last few decades.
In a word, that something is excitement.
Back to the Glory Days
As late as the mid-1990s, Toyota honored its sporting heritage with the all-powerful Turbo Supra and the frisky, mid-engine MR2. Most would also mention the rear-drive Corolla GTS AE86 as a hallmark of simple, affordable performance. Though none of these cars sold in great numbers, together they gave Toyota an aura of excitement that’s since gone missing. Crossovers, SUVs, and plain Jane sedans might pay the bills, but none give a brand that certain status as an object of desire.
Big News in a Small Package
Toyota plans to right this wrong, and sooner rather than later. In a recent interview in Evo magazine, famed Toyota engineer Tetsuya Tada floated the idea that the brand would soon offer three distinct sports cars, each focused on a separate submarket. “The current FR-S fastback (formerly sold as the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ) will be joined by a new world-beating, hyper-muscular Supra developed in cooperation with Germany’s BMW. The third brother, and the big news, is a lightweight, mid-engine successor to the MR2.” Evo surmises it might be based on the Toyota SF-R concept car unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo auto show.
Tada’s word is gold in many circles. He’s the father of the famed Corolla AE86, which went on to stardom in the drifting world. He knows the value of excitement to a brand and is more than well aware of how to deliver it.
The Future of Sport
Tada is known for his embrace of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system. He suggests it’s likely any MR2 successor will feature a hybrid drivetrain. This will be necessary to meet ever-tightening fuel economy and emission standards.
Ready to see what else Toyota has to offer? Stop by our dealership today to test drive some of Tada’s other fantastic creations.