Toyota released a teaser image of a sports car.
The title of the image says, “The Legend Returns”. The only other information they posted on the press release is, “a modern racing concept signals Toyota’s commitment to bring back to the market its most iconic sports car”. More information will be available on March 6th at the Geneva Motor Show.
What is the car?
From the picture posted, it’s clear there is a rear spoiler and bubble-like roof line. This would indicate it’s a sports car. I haven’t seen many Yaris’ with great big wings mounted on the back end. Here’s what we do know though. Toyota has been working on a concept car called the FT-1, which has a big wing at the back. Pictures of the concept have been available from 2014, so this car has been in the works for quite some time. Hopefully, this means, we can expect big results from Toyota. Look at the striking resemblance between the teaser photo and the concept photos. The wing is a little different, but it’s a still a ginormous wing and the roofline is very close.
Could it be the new Supra?
With a bold title like, “The Legend Returns”, is a strong indication this car could be seen as the new Supra. Toyota has had a good run of legendary sports car including the Celica GT4 rally car and the drifters dream AE86. The RWD Supra, however, was a 90’s legend during a Japanese sports car boom that seen performance vehicles like the Nissan Skyline GTR’s and Honda (Acura) NSX’s emerge.
These beasts were putting out almost 300hp from the factory around 20 years ago. Back in those days, it must have been the equivalent to a Challenger Hellcat release. Not only were the cars a lot of fun straight out of the showroom but also have highly tunable engines. The Supra’s popularity was heightened after the movie release, “Fast and Furious” in which an orange MKIV Supra Targa top was featured. The engines used in the MKIV Supra’s are still legendary among car enthusiasts today. There were two engine options for the MKIV Supra, a naturally aspirated 3.0 liter inline six (2JZ-GE) and the 3.0 liter inline six with twin turbochargers (2JZ-GTE).
Which powerplant will it have?
According to apparent leaked information from Japan’s Best Car Magazine, a Supra MKVforum member posted that it’ll be a 3.0 liter straight six again. Producing 335hp and 332 lb-ft of torque paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with a curb weight of 3,284 lbs. Car enthusiasts are probably not excited by those numbers considering how long this car has been in development.
Another member of the same forum debunked at least of those ‘rumors’. The member with username ‘A70TTR’ says, “Curb weight is flat out wrong by a lot” and, “I have to tread carefully here, but it’s not disappointing”.
Road and Track say the engine is in development with German manufacturer BMW sharing the Z4 platform. “The two companies are working together on engines and lithium-ion batteries” quotes Road and Track. So if they did go with a 3.0 liter straight six and threw in a hybrid (because it’s Toyota and it’s 2018) some more power/torque could be possible. BMW currently offers a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder (240 hp), and a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six (300hp) with overboost function. These engines would line up with the rumors, however, nothing has yet been officially published or said about an electric motor or what kind of hybrid functionality it may have by Toyota.
Lexus has the RC F GT car. The GT3 race car specs published include a 467 hp, 5.0-liter V-8 engine (2UR-GSE). Also noted is an 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Could this be a contender for engine choice?
Here are some of the official Toyota concept images released over the past few years