• Sep 14th 2010 at 7:52AM
  • 13
Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery

It's far from official, but reports still suggest that Toyota could be working on a hybrid sportscar to duke it out with the Honda CR-Z. When Honda first took the wraps off its CR-Z coupe, we believed Toyota would swiftly respond by stuffing a more performance-oriented version of its Synergy Drive powertrain into a currently available model, offer this vehicle for sale at a price below the CR-Z, brag about its mileage capabilities and call it a day. That's not exactly how it played out. Honda has officially launched its CR-Z and Toyota is still searching for an answer.

It now appears as though Toyota might have a hybrid competitor planned, but the company's tight-lipped approach keeps us from determining what's actually in the works. It could be the sports hybrid concept based on Toyota's now-defunct MR2 hybrid. Since debuting at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the MR2 has gained popularity and with specs like a 3.3-liter V6 engine, all-wheel drive and an electric motor that helps deliver it from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, there's good reason to be excited about this vehicle. Then again, Toyota may decide to drop a hybrid powertrain into the rear-wheel drive FT-86, a vehicle developed jointly with Subaru and expected to launch in 2012.

Either choice would be fine by us, though we'd tend to think that the rear-wheel drive FT-86 would be particularly well-suited to demolish the CR-Z. Toyota offers no promises, but does admit that it's working on and wants to offer a sporty hybrid. Let's hope it's one of these aforementioned vehicles, either of which could give the CR-Z a real run for its money.



[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      This again is far from news. Just vague speculation. I think about 2 years ago they were at least drawing fake renders to go with the Prius coupe speculation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you got it. If there is a Toyota hybrid sports model, it will be based on the Prius. Much cheaper to modify an existing specialized platform that create a new one or turn a nonhybrid platform into a hybrid. And it will probably not be a two seat roadster because the Honda is a coupe because coupes sell better than 2 seat open cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm thinking you could put a sport suspension and a turbo on a yaris and out-do a CRZ in both fun and economy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're just going to overwhelm the horrible chassis of Yaris.
        • 4 Years Ago
        None of these vehicles has had a chassis in quite some time.
        It's pretty much a unibody world for anything like this kind of vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It would be nice if Toyota made any fun to drive car. The Lexus LFA is the only car they make that even remotely can be considered fun to drive. I think the Hybrid concept coupe they showed a few years back would be a good start. That and bring back the Supra name.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Tuners have shoehorned V6s into first gen MR2s.

      Toyota should be able to put the Camry Hybrid drivetrain into a refreshed / modified third gen MR2 and call it a day.

      Don't go overboard and make it too expensive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly, it's as if manufacturers (other than chevy and ford) are afraid to make an affordable car that has some real kick. Are we going to whine and complain about the cloth seats and the cheap plastic? Sure, but they'll sell like hot cakes! I don't need my hybrid sports car to be "exclusive", I just want it to go fast, drive well, and get reasonably good fuel economy. If you throw in some good looks that can't hurt either, but Subaru seems to have done just fine without those, so don't get too hung up on it. Why is this formula so elusive to the people in charge? It's like weight loss, there is nothing hard about the concept (eat less, exercise more), but people just don't do it. Come on Toyota, find that sweet spot just one time!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds intriguing. Honda missed the boat with the del Sol by not having a convertible

      Toyota did the same with MR2s

      Meanwhile Mazda has cornered the market with rear wheel drive roaster

      Competition is good so cant wait.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/4929484160/in/photostream/
      • 4 Years Ago
      It would be nice if Toyota made any fun to drive car. The Lexus LFA is the only car they make that even remotely can be considered fun to drive. I think the Hybrid concept coupe they showed a few years back would be a good start. That and bring back the Supra name.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Meh. bad speculation in here too. Electric motors are more efficient on FWD because of braking torque. It doesn't work the same for RWD. A Prius GT would probably be the worst Toyota could come up with.
        • 4 Years Ago
        While braking is normally done primarily done by the front wheels, there are plenty of examples of RWD hybrids and EVs that take advantage of regenerative braking.

        Tesla Roadster is RWD.
        GM two-mode trucks are RWD (4wd optional).
        Plenty of Allison Heavy duty two mode hybrid vehicles are RWD.
        Etc.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whatever it is, it better be able to DESTROY the CR-Z, not just match or slightly best it. An awd V6 hybrid in an MR-2 body would kill...the only challenge would be the price tag...
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