This morning we brought you the first word of the joint Toyota/Tesla project to resurrect the RAV4 EV. We think there may even be a Lexus RX variant in the works, but rumors circulating the Web are also hinting at a possible all-electric supercar.
The thought is an obvious one if you look at Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW--all of which are planning electric supercars of their own. However, it's not so obvious if you consider that Toyota's first and only true supercar, the Lexus LFA, is already as expensive as two Ferraris, slower than a Porsche 911 GT2 RS (which also costs about $130,000 less than the LFA), and relies on a V-10 gasoline engine and a single-clutch automated manual gearbox.
Finding the link from there to an all-electric, battery-powered supercar is a stretch. Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW have all been working on concepts and prototypes of an electric-powered supercar for years now; Toyota/Lexus has been completely absent from the sector. In other words, there's almost nothing in the way of the typical breadcrumbs we see before a brand-new supercar hits the streets.
Even the LFA was previewed for a full two years before making its debut, showing off as a roadster concept at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show--six months after we first caught spy shots of the coupe in testing.
The recent tie-up with Tesla does lend some validity--or at least the air of it--to the rumors, however. Leveraging the expertise and experience of the all-electric Roadster manufacturer could short-cut the development process by a few years, in theory. We still wouldn't expect to see the "production" version of any such electric supercar until 2015 at the earliest. Catch more of the speculative details at the link below.