Nothing creates demand for a product quite like killing it off. In the case of the Toyota Supra, rising prices, falling demand and stricter environmental regulations ultimately led to the demise of Toyota’s flagship sports car in the United States after the 1998 model year.
Since then, fans have been clamoring for a Supra replacement
, which has been delayed by corporate strategy, the global economic collapse and the rising strength of the Japanese yen. Rumors of a revived Supra have been circulated for years, but they’ve begun to heat up once again
If Motor Trend
is correct, Toyota is working on a next generation Supra that will borrow styling from the FT-HS concept shown at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show and get power from a hybrid drivetrain. The car allegedly uses a 3.5-liter V6 in conjunction with batteries and an electric motor (or motors) to produce over 400 horsepower.
While it’s far too early to speculate about performance numbers or pricing, the car would likely be positioned against the Nissan GT-R in both categories.
If that’s the good news, here’s the bad: Toyota’s accountants are hesitant to give final approval to the Supra replacement until they get an idea of demand for the GT 86 (or Scion FR-S, in the U.S.)
sports coupe. If the Supra project does get final approval, we aren’t likely to see it before 2015.
The Supra isn’t the only sports car rumored to be under development by Toyota
, either. A test mule, based on the previous MR-S but sporting an all-wheel-drive layout
powered by the same 3.5-liter hybrid drivetrain, is reportedly under development for a potential launch as early as 2014.