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Toyota to Revive MR2 as Hybrid Model

Rear-drive model to compete with upcoming Honda CR-Z

 |  Mar 18 2009, 10:34 AM
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Photos: Beyond-Form.com

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

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[Source: AutoExpress]