Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
Akio Toyoda may want to bring driving excitement back to Toyota, but he and his team have two major hurdles to overcome: The brands's limited enthusiast base and the fact that Japan's youth have very little interest in cars.
To combat both fronts, Toyota plans to launch a new line of budget-oriented vehicles that offer a modicum of sport. But so far, things don't look too promising.
Despite debuting an FT-86-based concept at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota's G Sports line of products have mainly focused on the Voxy and Noah minivans, while a "sports" version of the Prius is apparently in the works.
More interestingly, the Mainichi Daily News reports that a version of the GRMN sports car concept has been given the greenlight, meaning a mid-engined hybrid successor to the MR2 is in the works.
All these developments come after Toyota established a sports vehicle management division in January, which now has a hand in the brand's overall product planning. We should get a look at the fruits of their labors during next year's auto show season and could see this new breed of budget sports vehicles on the market – at least in Japan – within the next few years.
[Source: Mainchi Daily News]