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Toyota is planning to introduce a new lineup of budget-oriented sporty vehicles, but don’t get too excited. While it is possible that there’s a larger plan for the FT-86/FR-S and a rumors of a rear-drive hot-hatch, it’s more likely that Toyota is instead planning “sporty” versions of existing cars.
Earlier this year the Japanese auto giant released the “G Sports” or G’s” versions of its Voxy and Noah vans and it that may be the direction they’re headed with the rest of the lineup, including a confirmed sports edition version of the Prius.
“We want to offer more cars that are fun to drive and make people think ‘Toyota is interesting,’” said Toyota Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada at a recent press event in Japan.
And while Toyota’s plans for a true performance-minded budget sports car lineup seem less likely than a new lineup of TRD-style models, Uchiyamada did confirm the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept is headed to production as a spiritual successor of the MR2 – but with a high-tech hybrid powertrain.
[Source: Mainichi Daily News]
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Several months ago the first reports of a “baby” FT-86/FR-S rear-drive sports car emerged and now that project is taking shape. Toyota has reportedly begun the work of building this lower cost alternative to the FR-S as a tribute to chief test driver Hiromu Naruse, who died recently while testing a Lexus LFA in Germany.
The new car would also be a front-engine, rear drive model and will be based on the GRMN Hot Hatch Concept that was first shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year. Based on the Toyota Aygo this concept features a Daihatsu rear-drive setup and a 1.5-liter engine making around 100-hp. That’s not much, but the car is expected to weight right around the 2,000 lb mark. The hatch body will be tossed in favor or a coupe profile and to add to the package, Toyota will also maintain the concept’s race-ready double wishbone rear suspension. Toyota is said to be targeting a 1.4 million yen price point (roughly $15,000).
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