Toyota (NYSE:TM) raised some pulses at the North American International Auto Show in January when it debuted the FT-1, an insane looking two-seater that renewed the faithful’s hopes that Toyota would one day revive the Supra nameplate on a car worthy of living up to what that title entails.
Those hopes just became a bit more real, as the Motor Report says that Toyota has filed an application to the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office to once again secure the rights to the “Supra” name. The FT-1 — a concept developed by Toyota’s Calty Design studio in California — was intended to explore what a Supra successor might look like, and it used many factors derived from the previous Supra models.
“The FT-1 is a dream-project for a designer and car enthusiast like myself,” said Alex Shen, Calty’s studio chief designer, in Toyota’s statement at the time of the FT-1′s unveiling. “Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, especially Celica and Supra, and we sought to capture some of that history. It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe.”
The reveal also followed up an announcement that Toyota and BMW would be renewing an alliance to build a platform for a new sports car. Whether the FT-1 was the car in question is still unclear, but it’s certainly indicative that Toyota is serious about getting back into the performance arena.
An application was filed for the Supra name in 2010 but was abandoned, Motor Report said. That was the second filing after the original in 1979, as that application expired in 2006.
Toyota was once a fairly big name in certain performance circles, as was Honda (NYSE:HM); recently, in the last 10 or so years, the companies have turned to a more growth-forward strategy to the detriment of their performance divisions.