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Was there a better time for Japanese performance than the 1980s and 1990s? It seems like looking back, Japan was on a roll, producing cars that were affordable, economical, reliable, fast and lightweight. And while all the attention is - thanks to a certain film series - focused on cars like Toyota Supra and Mazda RX-7, there is a lesser-known model that's establishing its own enduring legacy without the help of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel.

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Toyota as we know it could become a thing of the past. According to Australian site Car Advice, the Japanese brand known for bland cruisers like the Camry and Corolla is preparing to bring two new rear-drive cars to market that would slot above and below the Scion-badged FR-S. This is very, very good news.

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Rumors of a revival of the Toyota Supra and MR2 have been swirling for years right up until just this week when high-level Toyota employees all but confirmed their return.

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Every sighting of a MkIV Toyota Supra compels a wistful pause and the rhetorical query, "Ah, Toyota... what happened?" The FT-HS concept has been adorning auto show plinths since 2007, taking rumblings of a Supra successor everywhere it went. Last December, four years of hoping out loud led to Motor Trend reporting a Supra return with a 3.5-liter V6, perhaps to be ready in 2015. For any chance of that happening, the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S needed to do well.

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Shopping trips become protracted. Friends and family call, wondering if you've been abducted. But it's a compulsion car enthusiasts can't help. Always on the lookout for interesting and exciting cars, any random parking lot can turn into a smorgasbord of "I haven't seen one of those in years!" You stand there taking smartphone pics of random old cars, confusing passers-by as you text and tweet your finds with a goofy smile on your face.

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There are plenty of dangers to contend with at a track day. High speeds, inexperienced drivers, faulty equipment and foul weather can all play havoc on an otherwise friendly fender-to-fender weekend. We can now add carbon monoxide poisoning to the list of potential threats.

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Reaction vids certainly aren't in short supply. Whether it's a mom screaming her head off during a hot lap of Laguna Seca, a little boy freaking out over the silent rush of acceleration in a Tesla Roadster, or a wife screaming expletives at her husband in Italian during a Sunday spin in a Honda Civic Type-R, these candid-camera-style videos are usually good for a few laughs.

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With everyone predictably swarming over the Toyobaru Twins here at the Tokyo Motor Show, one bit of performance geekery has been largely overlooked.

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With everyone predictably swarming over the Toyobaru Twins here at the Tokyo Motor Show, one bit of performance geekery has been largely overlooked.

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We have no qualms admitting that we miss the first-generation Toyota MR2. The spry little mid-engined racer was proof that you didn't need a summer house on the cape to enjoy a perfectly balanced, lightweight sports car. Of course, with its accessible price tag, it's no surprise that very few MR2 models survived without encountering substantial neglect or abuse. That's what makes this supercharged, 1989 gem particularly attractive. With a shave under 22,000 miles on the odometer, all of the fact

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Toyota FT-HS Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery

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Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery

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Right up front, we must state that there is a very high likelihood that the following is not entirely true. With that said, here's the skinny on what we think we know: Thanks to local copyright laws, cops in Ostuni, Italy have reportedly confiscated a Toyota MR2 cut to look an awful lot like a Ferrari 355 Berlinetta. And they intend to crush it.

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Toyota MR2 chasing down a Buick LeSabre at Nelson Ledges - click above image to watch the video

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A few years back, Toyota saw fit to remind the motoring public that it knew how to build a sporty-looking two-seat sportscar with the FT-HS. Not surprisingly, the concept featured a hybrid powertrain adapted from the Prius. Could Toyota be working on something along these lines for a future production vehicle?

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