Toyotas are notoriously un-fun to drive, but the company’s new boss aims to change that, infusing some driving character into even the greenest of the brand’s beige offerings. In numerous interviews since Akio Toyoda took over at the helm of the world’s largest automaker, he has repeated that the brand needs products that are more fun to drive. More recently he even commented that company engineers have been instructed to add more excitement to the cars – especially the hybrids.
To prove that this is possible he points to the Hybrid Sports Car Concept, which is based loosely on the MR2, something he says is the sort of car to expect from Toyota while he’s at the helm. “I wanted a car that shows what we are aiming for, something affordable, fun to drive and good for the environment,” he says.
Toyota’s first real effort to win back younger buyers and enthusiasts, the FT-86, has created a ton of buzz but delays and development costs are driving the model up in price and pushing back its release date, having doubters wonder if Toyoda really understands what they want.