Toyota looks set to make further inroads towards brand excitement, with 86 mastermind Tetsuya Tada suggesting a light convertible will join the 86 and soon-to-launched all-new Supra, fleshing out its sports car line-up to three.
The new model would see Toyota revisit its ‘Three Bothers’ sports car range of the 1980-90s which included the Celica, Supra and MR2, according to Tada, who has taken up a role as boss of Toyota’s performance car division, Gazoo Racing.
“We hope to have the three brothers in place as soon as possible,” said Tada, speaking to Evo at the 2017 Geneva motor show.
The idea of a three-pronged approach has floated about since Toyota introduced its S-FR concept at the 2015 Tokyo motor show, with Tada then telling journalists that he stood by plans for three sports cars in the brand’s model mix.
While the new car would take the place of the MR2 as the junior brother of the trio, it’s unlikely to carry the same name or follow the mid-engined layout of previous versions.
It will most likely to be a convertible rather than a coupe or targa, which will put it squarely in Mazda MX-5 territory, and if the S-FR (Sport - Front-engine/Rear-drive) moniker is anything to go by, the engine will be up front.
That said, Tada has previously hinted at a ‘mid-ship’ hybrid powerplant for a future model.
“For a sports car, simple is best,” he told Evo. “But after 2020 there will be many environmental and noise regulations. It will be an era when it’ll be very difficult to create a simple sports car as you know it.
“When it comes to installing batteries, the mid-ship layout is an attractive one. We hope to come out with such a model one day.”
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