Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery
It's not all that often that Toyota products have the fun-to-drive qualities found in vehicles from other brands. Actually, it's rare that a Toyota product is noted for attributes such as handling prowess or communicative steering. This is especially true when you turn to the company's eco-friendly vehicles such as the Prius, where the fun-to-drive factor is basically non-existent. Toyota chief executive officer Akio Toyoda doesn't think this is a good path to the future, and has ordered company engineers to spice up the brand's products.
For instance, Toyoda has given several public speeches recently and he constantly talks about "seasoning" the company's lineup of bland vehicles and points out that future products will be "fun to drive." Toyoda notes that the company's hybrid sports car concept, a convertible loosely based on the retired MR2, is exactly the type of thing to expect from Toyota in the near future. As Toyoda said of the MR2 hybrid concept, "I wanted a car that shows what we are aiming for, something affordable, fun to drive and good for the environment." Making eco-friendly cars is something that's apparently quite easy for Toyota, but upping the enjoyability quotient from behind a Toyota steering wheel still presents a challenge. Still, we're definitely looking forward to the time when "fun-to-drive Toyota" is not an oxymoronic combination.