On Monday, Toyota patented design images of a new model in its home market of Japan, showcasing a fastback coupe that could have some wondering whether its our first look at an upcoming concept or perhaps the company's rumored MR2 replacement.
As far as the MR2 conundrum goes, problem is it doesn’t look all that …sporty to begin with. Some might say it looks too friendly for a sports car while others will roll their eyes hard when they realize that the front and rear ends look pretty much the same. And then you take a look at its profile; what’s with that?
The proportions indicate at a mid-engine layout, with the roofline being visibly extended towards the rear in a rather unflattering manner.
Unless we’re mistaken, this doesn’t seem to be an older concept – we dug up into Toyota’s archives and came empty-handed, but if we somehow missed something, go ahead and tell us. The design language does remind us in some ways of older Toyota concepts, like the 2010 Toyota FT-CH pictured below.
The rather clean design and the extremely teardrop-shaped body would make more sense if the pictured vehicle employs an electrified powertrain -which is the most likely option. And while some may believe that this is only another concept we’re going to see, some crucial details like the door handles and door mirrors indicate otherwise.
Another possibility is the adoption of a full-electric powertrain, having the electric motor mounted behind the two seats and the battery pack located under the floor for a lower center of gravity.
Toyota’s desire to add a third sports car in the lineup has been reported extensively over the past few years. Even Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer of the new Supra confirmed it back in 2017 but since then the project appears to have been ongoing in secrecy.
Hopefully all of our questions will be answered shortly by Toyota, which will be taking part in two shows this month in New York and Shanghai (China), and then we’ll get to decide whether we like it or not.
Thanks to Steve for the tip!