Toyota (NYSE:TM) sports car offerings are legendary in some circles, though much of the company’s press revolves around compact cars, hybrids, and, lately, fuel-cell vehicles. But by the sound of rumors from Auto Blog, the automaker may have a new Supra sports car to work auto enthusiasts into a frenzy at the Detroit Auto Show in January. If so, it would generate plenty of excitement for a brand often considered safe and even boring above all else.
According to Auto Blog, “members of the Toyota team” suggested in conversation that the automaker could have a new model of the legendary Supra, one which that even feature a hybrid powertrain in the vein of other supercars, headed Detroit’s way in January. The website suggested the Toyota FT-HS hybrid concept could be a model for the new Supra, though hints on the design are pure speculation at this point.
However, Toyota’s increased focus on high-profile sports cars seems to be a top-down movement. Reuters reported in June about the emergence of Akio Toyoda as the Toyota executive who wanted a hipper, more performance-centric reputation established for the brand. At one appearance, Toyoda showed up in racing gear in a Lexus LFA, sending a crowd at the Nürburgring track in Germany buzzing.
When rumors about another model from the Toyota 86 sports car project emerged, one engineer noted that it was Toyoda who wanted a more upscale version of the Scion FR-S. Since Toyota made hay at the Tokyo Motor Show in November with concept cars using electric powertrains, the arrival of a supercar would be appropriate for next month’s Detroit Auto Show, where Auto Blog reported the Supra successor may appear.
As with any offering from the top automakers, it’s useful to look at the competition to define expectations. Honda’s (NYSE:HMC) Acura NSX is expected to feature a V6 capable of generating 400 horsepower while utilizing an electric-gas hybrid powertrain.
Toyota may shoot for that as a target. The Lexus RC Coupe it debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show had exciting styling and a motor capable of 314 horsepower. If Auto Blog is right about a Supra headed to Detroit, the power and excitement would likely best those figures.
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