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As it slowly gains on General Motors as the top automaker in the world, Toyota is planning to bolster its lineup by filling in the sports car slot with, what else, a hybrid. The company says that withithout the Celica and MR2 in the lineup, the full benefits of its participation in Formula 1 is  effectively being wasted.

Not only will the vehicle be a hybrid, it will also target the likes of BMW and Mercedes. Europe will be the biggest battleground for the automaker anyway as it expects sales there of more than one million Toyotas and 45,000 Lexus models this year. The new hybrid sports car is expected to contribute to Japanese juggernaut's goal of selling over 1.2 million vehicles in Europe by 2010.

[Source: Bloomberg]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ted K, so what in the world did you perceive the 1965-1970 toyota 2000GT to be, a haywagon?

      Lessee.... it had 1988cc (121 cubic inches) of inline six cylinders, dual overhead camshafts (like Jaguar), and belted out 150 hp, well over the 1 hp per cubic inch that the Corvette fuelies could do in 1965. The Corvette has clunky overhead valves to this day, man.

      How about the 1985-1990 Toyota MR2? Is that a taxicab? No? How about a mid-engine 2 seater? Yeah.

      OK, how about the 1988-1993 Toyota Celica GT AWD? Pretty darned advanced if you ask me.

      You don't like that? How about the 1991-1995 Toyota MR2? Still mid-engine, you could get it turbocharged for as much as 200 horsepower. Just a Toyota, eh?

      Lets look at the 1993-1998 Toyota Supra. As much as 320 horsepower with turbocharger.

      That's just counting Toyotas which have been sold in the US and are listed in my book "The Complete Book of Collectible Cars."

      A Toyota, collectible? Yeah.

      A Toyota sports car? Yeah.

      A reliable Toyota sports car? Yeah.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Id buy a hybrid sports car...

      engine in the middle, driving the rear wheels, and a compact electric motor driving the fronts. Granted id prefer it was made by Porsche, Lotus or Subaru...

      And theres nothing wrong with a sports car with less enviromental impact. Hell, if supercars pursued diets like McLaren and Lotus so fastidiously have shown they would perform better with less too!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh what a feeling Toyota's showing why it will be number 1 automaker in the world very very soon. The only hick up is Formula one, Nascar in 2007 look out Gm Ford Chrysler. How long did it take to dominate the Craftsman series. good luck from Australia.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It isn't a simple matter of not liking Toyotas that brings out the hick-and-yahoo remarks, at least not for me. I just hate it when people categorically dismiss an entire brand when it's obvious they haven't driven many (if any) of the brand's cars, and are mostly just taking issue with anything Asian.

      Sid, I assume you've driven Toyotas, since you're open to the idea of owning a Honda or Mazda. I personally agree with your assessment. The Celica and MR2 were the last Toyotas I'd actually consider buying, because their current models are too stodgy to drive for my tastes (tC included). But that doesn't mean Toyota doesn't build good cars, or that they're incapable of building sports cars, or that it's reasonable to rail against all things Asian. Those are the assumptions I was reacting to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, I was proposing the theoretical Prius-powered Celica as a *substitute* for a real hybrid sports car, but even so, the performance situation wouldn't be quite that bad. A Prius does 0-60 in 10.1 seconds, according to Car & Driver (Sept 2004), and that's with a CVT. A manual transmission would likely knock another second off that. And the Prius weighs 2900 lbs against the Celica's 2580 lbs (although, of course, the batteries would add substantial extra weight).

      As much as I love stupid fast cars, I think something as nimble as the Celica, even if it did 0-60 in 8.5-9.0 seconds, would be plenty fun for me as an everyday commuter if the trade-off was 45 real-world MPG.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Toyota sports, hahahahah!!!...."

      Wow. So, let me guess, you're one of those guys that hasn't actually set foot in a Toyota in twenty years, but assumes that everything they build must be as boring as the 1984 Camry your babysitter drove. By your logic, a Corvette must necessarily drive like a Caprice.

      Are you also thinking that a Fox-body Mustang is a sports car? Or maybe a GM F-body? Okay. Go drive, in this order, a Celica GT-S, an MR2 Spyder, a '90s MR2 Turbo, and a Supra Turbo. I'll be waiting for you with a knife, a fork, and some crow.

      Not all enthusiasts are unaware, self-absorbed yahoos who feel they must model themselves after Brock Yates to be a "real car guy." I've personally been waiting for a hybrid sports car for years. I'd have been happy if Toyota plunked the Prius engine in a Celica platform, or if Nissan had put the upcoming Altima's hybrid 2.5 in the SE-R. This new Toyota, depending on looks and the driving experience, could very well be my next car.

      As long as Toyota can preserve the pin-sharp control feel, chassis balance, and powertrain involvement of the cars noted above--no electric steering, please--it could be a major success.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "...withithout the Celica and MR2 in the lineup, the full benefits of its participation in Formula 1 is effectively being wasted".

      How about money, time effort. There F1 program is so mediocre, they should consider withdrawing completely, or becoming an engine supplier execlusively.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is this the LF-A supercar? Ive seen word that the supercar might be a hybrid... does this confirm that or is there another Toyota sports car in the pipeline?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Toyota sports, hahahahah!!!
      aaaaahhhhhhhahahaha!!

      wait, wait, i'm not done HOLDING MY SIDES YET

      hahahahha!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's see a show of hands from whoever wants to buy a hybrid sports car...yeah that's what I thought.

      Nobody who buys a sports car does so to hug more trees or save money on gas. It's a sports car, for crying out loud! They're supposed to do exactly the opposite of that!
      • 8 Years Ago
      How about something they've made in the last 8 years, Glenn A.?

      All you've shown is that they've gone an entire automotive generation without a decent sportscar. Longer than that when you consider that several of your cases are wholy dependent on the aftermarket for real performance.
      • 8 Years Ago
      how about the toyota volta?
      http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/future/volta.html

      "408-hp Hybrid Synergy Drive® (a 3.3-liter V6 with an electric motor for each axle) not only delivers 435 miles on a 13.7-gallon tank, but 0-60 acceleration in a mere four seconds."

      i actually saw this on the road once...except it was on the back of a flatbed tow truck. who says toyota cant build a hybrid sports car?
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