Toyota president plans to fast-track new sports car

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The announcement came this morning in a speech at the Center for Automotive Research

The announcement came this morning in a speech at the Center for Automotive Research

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Fans of Toyota's sporting history have often lamented the current lineup of perfectly competent yet decidedly boring offerings, calling them 'appliances'. The days of the Supra, Celica and MR-2 may yet return, however, with new president Akio Toyoda at the helm.

Speaking today at the 2009 Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Conference, Toyoda said, "My hope is that I can transfer some enthusiasm from the race track to our vehicles and make driving fun for our customers around the world.

"And to that point, I am happy to announce this morning that Toyota plans to build an exciting...fun-to-drive...affordable sports car and launch it within the next few years.

"I am very excited about it...and I plan to fast-track it."

That could mean a debut of the new car as early as 2011 or 2012, which would put the vehicle right on schedule for the 086A joint project currently being developed with Subaru.

That car is expected to be a RWD sports coupe powered by a naturally-aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine rated in the neighborhood of 200hp. Some reports have the car being sold in the U.S. as a Scion, which would help mate the car with Toyoda's statements about affordability and excitement.

Whatever the car ends up being, or looking like, it's exciting to see such enthusiasm for driving, racing and cars in general at the head of Toyota. Let the talk of a Supra revival - hybrid or not - begin!

 
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