Toyota still seems to want a third sports car

It would slot below the 86

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The chief engineer Tetsuya Tada on the Toyota Supra project has been a wealth of information as we impatiently wait for Toyota to fully reveal the sports car. But the latest Toyota sports car tidbits from the engineer don't have to do with the Supra, but rather something unannounced. Tada was asked in a Toyota-conducted interview, "Were you trying to create a big brother for the GT86?"

Tada replied, "Akio [Toyoda] has always said that as a company he would like to have Three Brothers, with the GT86 in the middle and Supra as the big brother." Basically, Toyota is interested in having three sports cars, and a third one would actually probably be slower but more affordable than the 86.

This isn't completely new information. Tada said as much way back in 2013 not long after the 86 was first launched as the GT86 in Japan and Scion FR-S here in the U.S. This was also before the Supra project and name were fully confirmed. But what's interesting about Tada saying this again, now, is that Toyota has had 5 years of experience selling the 86. And despite sluggish sales, at least the company's CEO still sounds game to do yet a third sports car.

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So what exactly could this sub-86 be? Well, Toyota had a little sports car concept a few years ago called the S-FR. The name had basically the same meaning as the FR-S name. The S stood for "sports," the F for "front" (as in front-engine), and the R for rear (as in rear-drive). It was a nicely proportioned car and was actually rather adorable with its scowling circular headlights. It also had a six-speed manual transmission and independent rear suspension. Basically it had all the right parts for a sports car. It also was definitely smaller and undoubtedly less potent than the 86. It would fit Tada's description perfectly.

The one thing that would be disappointing is this sub-86 sports car, particularly if it were based on the S-FR concept, is that it might actually be too small for America. The S-FR looked close to the size of a Japanese Kei car, a class of vehicle in Japan designed to fit in a small footprint and capped to 660 cc of displacement. The fact that Honda won't bring its own Kei sports car, the S660, is a sign that something S-FR sized would probably be too small. There's also the question of whether this car Toyota comes up with could actually be made cheaply enough to be sold at a price comfortably below the 86's roughly $27,000. That could be difficult without working off an existing platform to keep costs down.

Still, even if we didn't get it, we will be curious to see what a third Toyota sports car might be. And we're glad to hear that Toyota isn't put off the idea of rolling out more sporty models.

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