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Report: Toyota To Build Electric Supra?

4 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 5

The Toyota FT 86 Concept II Likely Foreshadows the New Supra

Over the past decade Toyota has moved further and further away from building anything sporty, let alone a sports car.  However, a recent shift in the way management wants you to think about the brand has seen a lot more sports-orientated concept offerings, alluding to a new direction at the Japanese auto maker.

Toyota FT 86 Concept II From Rear

The Supra and MR-2, both throwback models from the segment’s heyday in the 90s, seem once again to be cars Toyota is looking to bring back.

The rebirth of the Supra seems all but certain.  Tetsuya Tada, who previously served as chief engineer on the FR-S program (clone of the Subaru BRZ)  has said:

“The president (Akio Toyoda) has asked me to make a successor to the Supra as soon as possible.” – Tada to Asia One

But how about an electric Supra?   The Detroit Bureau speculates that this is a real possibility, especially with new found partner of all things electric, Tesla Motors.   (Article on how the Detroit Bureau connects the dots can be found here)

We are a little skeptical of the report, but we still find it an interesting idea.  The ultimate question is, “do we really need a full-blown electric sports car from Toyota?”

An electric Supra would certainly be visually appealing (and would also make for a great wall calendar photo), but we would rather see some vehicles with a little more utility; that is provided that Toyota really does want to get into the all-electric game.

After all, useful and practical vehicles are what Toyota does best.  So why not stick to what you know?  Something along the lines of  the RAV4 EV, but about $10,000 cheaper and not as a limited production run (2,200 units) to satisfy CARB, sounds about right.

By all indications, the new gasoline Supra looks to be based on either the FT 86 Concept II platform, or the FT HS Concept.

Toyota Concept FT HS May Also Be A Front Runner For New Supra Design

Of interest, the FT-86, which may underpin the Supra, recently gave birth to the GT-86 In Europe.  A commercial for that car was just banned for “encouraging reckless driving,”  not exactly what Toyota’s are known for.  (video below)

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5 responses to "Report: Toyota To Build Electric Supra?"

  1. James says:

    The FT-86 ( FT=”Future Toyota” ) Concept became the car you can buy today,
    the Scion FR-S and Suburu version BRZ. In Japan and Australia it’s called the
    Toyota 86 , Europe, the GT-86. An obvious success and moneymaker, the return
    of the true Z-Car, or Toyota 2000GT-inspired, rear drive sports car at an affordable
    price.

    It seems whenever anybody develops a concept car today, they hint of
    some form of hybrid or electric version. It makes sense for a Supra-class
    sexy sports car with a lithium-electric powerplant to be priced at today’s
    Corvette Z-06 or ZR-1 price levels. Sure, these will be limited production.
    but if it’s done properly, Toyota could enjoy Tesla Roadster-like accolades
    and car-guy attention – and just build it quickly on a shortened Tesla
    skateboard chassis. If Toyota could convince Elon Musk to make this
    car, it could bode well for Tesla’s bottom line and give Toyota it’s halo
    that will paint mental smiles on people who want a car to be fast, and
    all the rest is just not very interesting. To me, this is the very essence of
    what the halo car was invented to do. It sure worked for the Tesla
    Roadster.

    Elon Musk stumbled upon a clever truth – Fast, sexy cars that get folks
    talking at cocktail parties and water coolers drive people into
    showrooms to buy cars they actually can use every day.

  2. James says:

    P.S. – the Toyota Supra Electric could sell where the ( IMO )
    wasteful and ridiculous excercise called the LF-A was a
    poor decision and sells in such finite, tiny numbers at
    such an astronomical price to make it a non-factor.
    LFA = joke, Tesla Roadster = just a touch out of reach
    fantasy ( halo ) speedster.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I think your right about pricing on electric sports cars. Just taking a WAG, I would think 50-65k is the ultimate sweetspot.

      The nice thing about electric cars (passive or sporty) is really that the bulk of the cost is in raw cost of components themselves (battery, software/management system, etc) and not in the end use application.

      It doesn’t take a heck of a lot of added cost to dial up more speed/power as an EV…ultimately it is how much range you are willing to give up for that power.

      The real problem with true sports cars is that the US has seemingly lost its appetite for smaller 2 seaters (at just about any price)…otherwise the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Skye should have done much better.

      We are more concerned it seems about back support, cup holders and storage space these days. The ultra-sports sedan seems to be where the real action/money for the manufacturers is.

      null

  3. Slideways says:

    AE-86 or the 85 Corolla GT-S.

    Of all the cars I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned a lot)
    This was by far, the most FUN car…
    Not the fastest,
    Not the sexiest,
    Not the biggest or smallest.
    Just the one…….

    Find that formula again and I’m yours…

  4. Brian says:

    I miss the affordable sports coupes of the 90s. I used to drive a Honda Prelude. It was only 138HP, but it was really light and nimble. It would wind through the twisties of the Adirondack Mountains like a champ! If someone could bring back that experience, but make it electric, I might have to consider a third car in the driveway….

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