I’ve been following this bit of news that’s been floating around the internets for some time now, and I initially chose to not report on it because I didn’t want to feed into the rumourmill. After all, haven’t we heard about this since the demise of the last generation Toyota Supra some 14 years ago? No point in getting one’s hopes up…
But, as the news spread like wildfire, and with the recent introduction of the Toyobaru twins (Scion FR-S and the Subaru BR-Z), perhaps there’ll be some substance to all of this. So, until I hear otherwise, I’ll be following this story and providing updates as they develop.
With that being said, as mentioned, it appears that the Toyota Supra is coming back to dealers. One could presume that it’ll be not only the flagship of Toyota’s triple sports-car strategy, but it will finally have a proper flagship (excluding the Toyota Land Cruiser…no self-respecting automaker should ever have a SUV as a flagship model). How soon will we see this available for sale?
Well, according to the chief engineer over at Toyota, Tetsuya Tada, he has been advised by none other than Toyota’s head honcho, racing enthusiast, and eventual saviour from a lineup of blandness Akio Toyoda to fast track the development of the Toyota Supra successor as soon as possible. Whenever Toyoda assumed the helm of the Japanese automaker, one glaring omission from the lineup was a proper sports car. Hence the Scion FR-S/Subaru BR-Z…in most respects a sports car, but lacking the amount of power necessary to appease what the automotive enthusiasts find desirable.
I personally find it interesting that Toyota started out in the middle of their triple sports-car strategy, as stated by them. If this is the case, then the Scion FR-S/Subaru BR-Z will serve as the “bread and butter” model of the group (basing this on normal lineups, re: the Mercedes Benz E-Klasse). For all of you fellow compact fans out there, yes, that means that there will be a smaller sports car slotted below the Toyobarus. Now, Tada stated that it could be another proper successor, this time in the form of the Toyota MR2. That would mean that Toyota would have a rear wheel drive/mid-engine two seater, possibly in a coupe form this go around (the last generation was strictly a convertible affair).
That being said, I do wonder if it will come in a proper sports car layout (rear wheel drive), but given the current global climate/economies of scale, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with a FWD layout to minimise costs. Perhaps a version of the upcoming Toyota version of the Mazda2? If so, I would love to see a proper hatchback to expand its appeal to potential buyers…and it would be nice to see another hot hatch being offered. This could fill the void of the seventh-generation Honda Civic Si that was offered from 2002-2005.
In any event, this is rather exciting news, even if it’s from Toyota. Good to see that they’re finally starting to recognise that people want more than boring appliances and lifted station wagons to spend a good chunk of their day in. The real question remains though…with the Toyota Supra be a proper successor? Stay tuned…