Toyota’s performance-minded push with cars like the LFA and GT 86 is about to go high-tech, with plans to develop an electric sports car.
According to a report citing Toyota “handling guru” Naohiko Saito, this technology was previewed in the 2000GT EV that was announced in January and which was on display at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed.
According to Saito, the plan is to first use the electric technology in a city car, something Toyota will do soon with the launch of the iQ EV in Europe this year. That same car, branded as a Scion, will be offered to fleets in the US.
In addition, Toyota drivetrain engineer Hiroyuki Ogawa went on record to state that it’s the desire of the company to see a manual transmission mated to such an electric motor. Calling the CVT gearbox normally used in EVs and hybrids “efficient but not fun,” it’s obvious that Toyota’s priority with the electric sports car would be to put the focus on driving enjoyment.
Ogawa did, however, say that the use of a manual transmission in an EV or hybrid is at least three years away.
Toyota is currently working on a hybrid sports car, previewed in the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II, which uses a mid-mounted gasoline motor with electric motors driving the front wheels. In addition, Toyota recently announced a partnership with BMW to co-develop a new high-tech sports car.