Solar-powered Toyota 2000GT

Solar-powered Toyota 2000GT

Toyota’s made little secret of its desire to inject some spirit into its lineup by adding some sporty new models to its mix of dependable, albeit somewhat dull, sedans, hatchbacks and crossovers.

It all started with the launch of the Lexus LFA halo model, followed quickly by the Scion FR-S.

Perhaps hinting at the scale of what’s to come, Toyota recently signed a deal with BMW to work on at least one new sports car, and possibly even more.

Importantly, despite the renewal of its love of performance, Toyota hasn’t forgotten its electric and hybrid leadership.

According to a new report, one of Toyota’s sporty new models will be an electric sports car.

Speaking with Autocar, Toyota’s handling expert Naohiko Saito revealed that the Toyota 2000GT EV concept car unveiled earlier this year was being used to develop new electric powertrain technology.

He explained that the technology would first appear in a city car before being applied to a sports car. To make its electric sports car more fun to drive, Toyota is also testing a new manual transmission setup that’s said to rely on an inverter that alters torque levels being sent to the wheels depending on the ratio chosen.

The technology is still in its early stages so any release wouldn’t be until several years away, the Toyota exec added.

Note, the electric 2000GT isn’t the only electric sports car mule Toyota has. At next month’s postponed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb the automaker will be fielding an electric prototype, and the independent motorsports division Toyota Motorsports GmbH in Germany has also been testing an electric race car that it hopes to eventually sell to private customers. On top of that, Toyota is also testing a mid-engine hybrid prototype that may eventually spawn a successor for the Supra.