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MR2, GT86, Supra: Toyota's three-strong sports car lineup is coming

ADAM TOWLER

10 MAR 2017

Toyota's 'Three Brothers' core range means GT86, plus new Supra and an MR2 successor: Full interview with Tetsuya Tada

 

 

 

 

'To be honest, we did think it was a bit boring'; Toyota engineer, and Gazoo Racing chief, Tetsuya Tada isn't the biggest fan of the kind of cars that drove Toyota to top spot in the global car manufacturing charts, but it's all change now. Toyota has its sights back on the performance car market. 

Echoing its line-up of 20 years ago, the heart of Toyota's new sports car range will once again be 'The Three Brothers' - the Toyota GT86, the all-new Toyota Supra and a replacement for the Toyota MR2. 'We hope to have the three brothers in place as soon as possible' the legendary Toyota engineer told evo at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

This rebirth of 'The Three Brothers' means a new Supra, the GT86 taking the place once held by successive generations of Celica, and a spiritual successor to the MR2 in the form of a lightweight sports car. Tada-San expressed Toyota’s desire to have the trio in production together. With other performance "specials" like the new Yaris GRMN hot hatch also on the way, Toyota’s driver-focused offering should soon be unrecognisable from the barren period of recent years. 

 

 

New Toyota MR2 replacement

The confirmation of a compact, MR2-sized car is fantastic news for driving enthusiasts, and should at last mean some competition for the Mazda MX-5 in the segment. It isn't clear exactly what form this car will take, though it could be similar to the Toyota S-FR concept revealed at the 2015 Tokyo motor show.

That car, which featured subtle nods to the styling of the classic Toyota Sports 800 in a platform almost identically-sized to the current MX-5, took the form of a four-seater, front-engined and rear-drive coupe. Toyota subsequently showed the car in track-ready form as the S-FR Racing Concept. What was notable about both, particularly the brightly-coloured road-going model, was their production-ready feel - far closer than the concepts that originally previewed the GT86.

 

 

 

Given he was "Mr GT86", it’s no surprise that Tada-San is trying to make the entry-level sports car as simple and light as possible. However, to meet forthcoming emissions regulations Toyota is working on incorporating the hybrid tech from its LMP1 racers into the car, which means an MR2-style mid-engined layout could still apply, as battery storage in the overall package is easier. While the car may not be a hybrid from the start, Tada-San says Toyota is 'Working very hard' to make the hybrid sports car a reality.

Toyota GT86 updates and new Supra

Expect the GT86 lineage to continue, although updates will be minor. Toyota built a very limited-run GRMN version of the car for Japan last year with stickier tyres co-developed with Bridgestone, but there’s no word on whether Europe will get anything more potent.

 

One big reason the GT86 isn’t gaining lots more power is the incoming Supra, a car that make’s Tada-San’s face light up at the very mention of its name. Telling evo 'The car should be lighter than its rivals', Tada-San’s admiration for the Porsche Cayman over the larger, heavier 911 gives a hint to the new car’s size and character. The new car is being co-developed with BMW; the German manufacturer's Z4-replacing Z5 will be on the same platform.

Gazoo Racing is also considering building R5, R3 and R2 versions of the Yaris for private entrants in rallying, particularly after the strong start to Toyota’s WRC campaign this season.

 

Full interview with Teysuya Tada

Read the full evo Q and A with Toyota's legendary engineer and Gazoo Racing chief... 

Why is Toyota suddenly producing enthusiast-led cars again?

'Some time ago Toyota became number one in terms of units sold, producing very practical and environmentally friendly vehicles only. I myself was chief engineer on one. But at shows or drives with journalists I’d be asked if I was enjoying these dull cars: to be honest, we did think it was a bit boring.

'There was a period when, if we tried to create a nice car that we wanted as engineers there would then be instructions from higher up to hurry along to launch and reduce costs for more profit. Then Akio Toyoda became CEO, and it all turned upside down.

'He said of course making many units is important, but perhaps more important – for engineers - is to have passion in creating a vehicle. That started some years ago and now you’re seeing the results of that.'

Will we see a return to the three-tier Toyota performance car range, as in the days of the Supra, Celica and MR2? 

'We hope to have the three brothers in place as soon as possible.' 

What can you tell evo about the new MR2?

'For a sports car, simple is best. But after 2020 there will be many environmental and noise regulations. It will be an era when it’ll be very difficult to create a simple sports car as you know it. But our underlying thought of going into Le Mans is that there are possibilities to use new technology to make such a (sports) car, and we’re working very hard to do it. 

'When it comes to installing batteries, the mid ship layout is an attractive one. We hope to come out with such a model one day.'

What about a fully electric sports car?

'An EV Sports? That’s difficult to answer. For me the most important element of a sports car is how light you can make it. A Tesla is very good for acceleration, but very different to the light feel of a GT86 – and that’s my definition of a sports car. If there are further improvements to motors and batteries, then it could be made.'

What kind of car will the new Toyota Supra be?

'A Supra should be lighter than it’s rivals. Personally speaking, my favourite Porsche is the Boxster and Cayman, although I am a little disappointed with the four-cylinder engine. The Cayman helps a lot of us here to make a sports car.'

Can we expect any more developments with the GT86?

'The most important thing with a sports car is you must not stop development, every year, even if they are small things.

'The concept of the GT86 was intentionally not to be obsessed with the tyres, like you normally would be with a sports car. We tried to take the contrary approach. However, last year in Japan we did launch a model that emphasised the tyre – the GT86 GRNM. We put out 100 units, cooperating with Bridgestone to develop a special tyre for it, with new suspension and bodywork to complement it. There was also some more power from TRD.'

Will you be expanding your range of rally cars, particularly given the strong start to the WRC campaign?

'We are already studying the possibility of having R5, R3 and R2 cars ready for customers.' 

Why produce the Yaris GRNM?

'This is Toyota’s first rally car for 17 years, and right from when we had the thought of coming back we thought of producing a commemorative model. Of course, compared to the days of the (Celica) GT4, the gap between the road car and the rally car is quite big, but we felt we could get some of the ambience of the rally car and provide it to our customers.'

 

Evo.co.uk

 

Dunque ci sarà anche una erede della MR2 per fare concorrenza alla MX-5. Complimenti a Toyota per il suo rinnovato investimento nelle sportive.

 

Ah, benchmark della Supra è Cayman, ma a 6 cilindri. 

La teoria è quando si conosce il funzionamento di qualcosa ma quel qualcosa non funziona.

La pratica è quando tutto funziona ma non si sa come.

Spesso si finisce con il coniugare la teoria con la pratica: non funziona niente e non si sa il perché.

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Arrivati a metà si sono rotti il cazzo e hanno usato la funzione “rifletti rispetto a un asse”?

Brevetti   Una discreta ciabatta

Che bestemmie mi tocca leggere propongo il ban a vita per l'utente in questione l'unica cosa a cui può tornare utile uno stupido cassone c@g@fumo è compensare il senso di inferiorità del pro

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ma cos'è sta fregola di Toyota di fare auto che poi non si vendono...? :mrgreen:

 

MR2 è una figata come idea, ma ne venderai 3  :-D

 

si conferma che dal 2020 in poi fare auto "sportive" sarà sempre più difficile.

 

vedrete che faranno campionati in pista per SUV :disp2:

 

 

mi tengo stretta la mia MX-5

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contento che toyota ritorni a fare sportivette...

Osservate con quanta previdenza, la natura, madre del genere umano, ebbe cura di spargere ovunque un pizzico di follia. Infuse nell'uomo più passione che ragione, perchè fosse tutto meno triste. Se i mortali si guardassero da qualsiasi rapporto con la saggezza, la vecchiaia neppure ci sarebbe. La vita umana non è altro che un gioco della follia. IL CUORE HA SEMPRE RAGIONE...

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1 hour ago, Matteo B. said:

ma cos'è sta fregola di Toyota di fare auto che poi non si vendono...? :mrgreen:

 

MR2 è una figata come idea, ma ne venderai 3  :-D

 

si conferma che dal 2020 in poi fare auto "sportive" sarà sempre più difficile.

 

vedrete che faranno campionati in pista per SUV :disp2:

 

 

mi tengo stretta la mia MX-5

 

 

SUV  e sportive(tte) si contendono in effetti la palma d'oro per auto più inutili. C'è da dire che almeno un SUV in talune, limitate occasioni può tornare utile.

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53 minuti fa, Shangri-La dice:

 

 

SUV  e sportive(tte) si contendono in effetti la palma d'oro per auto più inutili. C'è da dire che almeno un SUV in talune, limitate occasioni può tornare utile.

anche la sportivetta .... e non voglio dire in quali occasioni ...

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4 ore fa, Shangri-La dice:

 

 

SUV  e sportive(tte) si contendono in effetti la palma d'oro per auto più inutili. C'è da dire che almeno un SUV in talune, limitate occasioni può tornare utile.

 

Che bestemmie mi tocca leggere :disp2:

propongo il ban a vita per l'utente in questione :ban:

l'unica cosa a cui può tornare utile uno stupido cassone c@g@fumo è compensare il senso di inferiorità del proprietario...

Una vettura sportiva è l'essenza della guida, la forma più pura del concetto di guidare. Come si faccia a definirle inutili è per me un rompicapo irrisolvibile.

Buona googlecar a tutti.

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4 minuti fa, kire_06 dice:

 

Che bestemmie mi tocca leggere :disp2:

propongo il ban a vita per l'utente in questione :ban:

l'unica cosa a cui può tornare utile uno stupido cassone c@g@fumo è compensare il senso di inferiorità del proprietario...

Una vettura sportiva è l'essenza della guida, la forma più pura del concetto di guidare. Come si faccia a definirle inutili è per me un rompicapo irrisolvibile.

Buona googlecar a tutti.

 

 

Confermo che trattasi di bestemmia....pero' un fondo di verita' c'e'....nonostante il mio immenso amore per questo genere di macchine....Me ne rendo conto personalmente:stradine strette di montagna:impraticabili.Dossi leggermente piu' alti del solito:ostacoli insuperabili.Garage sotterrranei:inaccessibili.Guida in citta' (con cambio manuale):bestemmioni che partono ogni secondo.Parcheggi:va bene,se c'e' una piazza,altrimenti.....Aggiungi la totale mancanza di discrezione,perche' tutti si voltano a guardare,(e' sempre un litigio con la morosa che non sopporta troppe attenzioni).Insomma....un po' di inutilita' c'e'....pero'...meno male che esistono...

Aggiungiamo il fatto che dopo una certa eta',diventa un 'impresa salire/scendere...

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Queste sono le poche notizie buone nel mondo dell'auto per chi, ancora, è appassionato della guida analogica, o comunque old style. In tutto questo penso che si ispireranno molto a questa...almeno a quello che si legge in giro sui forum etc etc. Se la fanno penso proprio che sarò uno dei 3 che la compra! XD

Lo dicevo anche della BRZ fino a che non ho fatto i conti con gli assicuratori! XD

 

A speriamo sia 4L o comunque che siano almeno 4 cribbio!

Toyota%20S-FR%20Concept-1.jpg

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