MR2 Revived As A Hybrid Coupe

By dancurranjr On March 27th, 2009

mr2Toyota has confirmed its MR2 replacement will feature Prius drivetrain technology. Not so sporty then?

Since 1984 the lithe, mid-engined performance cars bearing the MR2 moniker have endeared themselves to enthusiasts with their blend of Toyota reliability and rear-wheel drive handling characteristics. Production ceased in 2007.

Replacing the redoubtable little roadster will be a hardtop coupe, with design parameters attempting to balance performance and environmental responsibility.

In essence Toyota wishes to have a 7 second 0-100km/h sprint time and 4.7l/100km average consumption, which is all very laudable.

To achieve these figures, a tweaked Prius drivetrain will be employed, configured to rear-wheel drive to ensure optimal driving dynamics. In the MR2 replacement a paddle-shift gearbox will replace the Prius CVT transmission too.

Styling for the MR2 replacement will cue strongly form the FT-HS concept Рshown locally at JIMS last year. With Honda’s Honda CR-Z due next year, expect the MR2 replacement to arrive about the same time.

SOURCE: Wheels 24

Is Toyota Planning a Hybrid MR2 Sequel as a Honda CRZ Competitor?

By dancurranjr On March 23rd, 2009

mr2-toyota-hybridBased on the automaker’s current line of eminently reliable, practical and fuel efficient machinery, it’s easy to forget that Toyota has a past full of exciting sports cars. A couple of years back, Toyota decided to highlight the fact that it knows how to built a sporty-looking vehicle with the FT-HS concept, which mated a performance-minded hybrid powertrain with edgy, low-slung bodywork.

According to Auto Express in the U.K., Toyota is considering a production model based on the FT-HS concept that would revive the MR2 that was killed off in 2007. If indeed true, this new sporty hybrid would go up against Honda’s expected CR-Z hybrid hatchback. Unlike its rival from Honda, though, the MR2 would feature rear-wheel drive, and that’s something to get excited about.

Other interesting tidbits include a rumored run to 60 in under seven seconds, with fuel economy in the 60’s (50’s in the U.S.) and carbon emissions of of under 100 g/km. Performance and efficiency in one package? Sounds too good to be true.

SOURCE: AutoBlog

Toyota Focuses on Hybrids for U.S., Puts Sports Cars on Back Burner

By dancurranjr On February 28th, 2009

toyota-hc-cv-concept-2From the Mark I inline six-cylinder with just 110hp (82kW) to to the twin-turbo Mark IV with 320hp (239kW), Toyota’s Supra remains a legend in the world of high-performance sports cars. But since 2002, the brand has made a strong move away from the image of the Supra and towards the Prius’s green vision. Toyota’s North American operations are now moving even farther along that path, putting more emphasis on hybrid output and effectively shelving plans for a Celica/Supra rebirth.

Toyota’s FT-HS concept, shown in 2007 at the Detroit Auto Show, had revived hope that Toyota still retained some of its former interest in providing vehicles that were more than just transportation appliances. But Toyota Division general manager Bob Carter recently told Automotive News that hybrids would be moving to center stage in the U.S.

“It is just a re-prioritization of where we think the customer is today and where the customer is going to be 24 and 36 months from now,” said Carter. Sports cars, on the other hand, are not even in the periphery. “Personally I would love to have a sporty car, but it is pretty clear what the market is looking for right now.”

It’s no surprise that Toyota is after the mainstream consumer, or that sports cars don’t make much business sense, but it’s still disappointing to enthusiasts and fans that had hoped against hope for the return of one of the Japanese giants.

SOURCE: Motor Authority