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Less than a day after releasing their GRMN Sport Hybrid Concept, Toyota has announced specs for their sporty new concept, the first vehicle we’ve seen from the brand since the MR2 sports car bowed out earlier in the decade.
Using a 3.5-liter Type 2GR-FXE V6 engine that produces 249 horsepower, the front-mounted electric motor adds another 50 horsepower for a total of 299 horsepower. Torque figures weren’t announced, but curb weight is said to be 3300lbs or less. While the GRMN is no featherweight, the power-to-weight ratio is roughly equivalent to a BMW 135i, which is certainly no slouch.
The GRMN will make its debut at this weekend’s 24 Hours of Nurburgring race, and will also appear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
GALLERY: Toyota GRMN Sport Hybrid
A couple decades ago, Toyota decided to launch their upcoming MR2 sports car in Europe. The MR2 was a good car on its own, but Toyota had a bit of a marketing blunder on its hands when they discovered that MR2 was pronounced “mere-deux” in French, which is similar to merde a not so nice word for doo-doo.
25 years later, Audi looks set to make the same mistake with their upcoming range of electric vehicles, branded as e-Tron. It turns out in French, the word etron is synonymous with merde in the same way that “crap” is to “s**t”.
We’re not really sure what Audi can do about this, having already established e-Tron as a brand in much of the world. Perhaps they’ll create a new moniker for the French market, but it’s a little shocking that with continental European countries in such close proximity, we’re a little surprised that this linguistic oversight went forward.
[Source: Green Car Reports]
Rear-drive model to compete with upcoming Honda CR-Z
Toyota is planning to bring back the MR2 – this according to AutoExpress.
Toyota VP Masatami Takimoto told staff at the U.K. magazine that, “We are aware of the fondness with which the MR2 is held in the UK and Europe, and are developing a small hybrid sportscar.”
“We have set a tough price point, as it will be easier to sell if it is affordable. It has to be fun to drive, too, which means the hybrid set-up must be different to the Prius’s, with greater responsiveness.”
The small sportscar would be in direct competition to the upcoming Honda CR-Z hybrid sportscar.
At this point it is unclear if Toyota’s engineers intend on building an entirely new hybrid powerplant or on tweaking the one found in the Prius. Perhaps Toyota might also look at the potential hybrid 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that could potentially come in the Insight Competitor that we reported on yesterday.
Don’t expect any concept vehicles any time soon, however, as Toyota is currently focused on more functional hybrid vehicles that suit a broader population base.
As the artist renderings above suggest, however, Toyota wouldn’t have to look far for design cues for the new MR2, having already created the stunning FT-HS.
GALLERY: Toyota MR2 Hybrid