Back in November, the rumormill was set ablaze when reports began to surface that Toyota was working on a new MR2 packing hybrid power. Today, those rumors have been laid to rest... kinda.
In addition to the G Sport Series FT-86 and Prius, Toyota trotted out a concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon based on the third generation MR-S (ZZW30). Although the MR2 was nixed in the U.S. in 2005 (and in Japan in 2007), Toyota and its partners at Gazoo saw fit to resurrect its midship drop-top by fitting a 3.3-liter V6 where the old 1.8-liter four-cylinder used to reside and an electric motor mated to a THSII hybrid system up front. That's right, the MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept is all-wheel drive, and between the two mills, it's churning out over 400 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
But despite its boosted output, the 2,800-pound concept is a bit on the porky side compared to its 2,200-pound predecessor. Toyota claims it can run to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds – still better than the stock ZZW30, but at what a cost to the MR2's supreme chuckability? While there's no chance of Toyota putting the MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept into production, this could point the way for things to come – for better or worse. Make the jump for a promo video.