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.
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.
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)