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Toyota Fast-Tracks Development Of New Sports Car


2001 Toyota Celica 3dr LB Manual (Natl) exterior front left

2001 Toyota Celica 3dr LB Manual (Natl) exterior front left

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Fans of Toyota's sporting history have often lamented the current lineup of perfectly competent yet decidedly boring offerings, going so far as to describing some of its products as the ‘appliances’ of the auto world. Exciting models like the Supra, Celica and MR-2 may all be distant memories but there’s hope that some may eventually see a return, especially with new president Akio Toyoda now at the helm.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this month, Toyoda expressed his desire to transfer a personal enthusiasm for racing to making Toyota’s production cars more fun for customers. He also used the event to confirm that Toyota will be launching a new, affordable sports car within the next couple of years.

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

Toyota’s chief of sales in the U.S., Jim Lentz, has now backed up the claims, telling reporters at the recent Management Briefing Seminars that the car will arrive in local showrooms in several years as either a Scion or a Toyota.

The car is actually a joint-project between Toyota and Subaru, which is also expected to launch its own version of the affordable sports car. Not much else is known but previous reports have suggested that it will feature a rear-wheel-drive configuration and be powered by a naturally-aspirated boxer four-cylinder engine rated in the neighborhood of 200 horsepower.

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.

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