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 |  Jan 16 2012, 1:30 PM

toyota electric sports car

Officially, Toyota will tell you that the future is in hybrid powertrains. But unofficially, well, they’ve built an electric sports car, which was revealed at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon.

Based on the chassis of a Toyota Sera (a rare sports car built from 1990-96), the TES-ERA EV shares that car’s gullwing door concept, though the car is altogether more modern looking. While tiny (roughly 10 inches shorter in length than a second generation MR2), it’s certainly not cutesy looking thanks to plenty of angles and a wide stance.

A proper rear-drive machine the TES-ERA EV makes roughly 165 hp and produces 247 lb-ft of torque.  Weighing in at 2,500 lbs it’s not going to be a rocket ship, but should produce some modest smiles.

Built by the Toyota Engineering Society (hence the TES in its name), the car is part of an annual skunkworks project made up of volunteers within the automaker and isn’t even technically an official Toyota concept car.

Created in 1947 to explore organic new ideas and actually move ahead with them, last year’s TES project car was the TES Concept T-Sports, looking at a baby Scion FR-S.

See videos of the TES-ERA EV in action below:

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 |  Jan 16 2011, 6:21 PM

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Hardly the most attractive car on display at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the TES Concept T-Sports might be one of the most exciting for regular folks in search of an affordable sports car.

Since the first introduction of Toyota‘s FT-86 Concept, rumors have surfaced that the cost of development of the car has risen and that consumers will have to carry that burden by paying more for the vehicle. With Toyota’s plans for an affordable sports car in trouble, the automaker has reportedly been planning a more entry-level version of the car.

No one at Toyota is saying as much, but the TES Concept T-Sports might just be the answer. While about as pretty as Snookie, unlike the reality star, it’s what’s underneath that counts. You see, this early prototype was built by the Toyota Engineering Society (TES) in response to a questionnaire that asked what sort of vehicles they thought Toyota needed to build. The answer: an affordable sports car. And like the FT-86 it’s front-engine, rear-wheel drive.

Powered by Toyota’s 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine this concept makes 109-hp, but weighs under 2,000 lbs. The car is 150-inches long and 65-inches wide, making it just over a foot shorter in length than the FT-86.

Toyota isn’t commenting, but this concept certainly hints at the fact that engineers are studying plans for a baby FT-86.

GALLERY: TES Concept T-Sports

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See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon Coverage here and see more of Toyota’s TAS concepts after the jump.

Plus get more Toyota FT-86 news and info at FR-SForum.com

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