Toyota to build sub-86 sports car – hybrid powertrain?

It appears that even with the 86 and the forthcoming Supra, Toyota still hasn’t satiated its sports car dream, as it is looking to build a third one – a smaller car that will form the entry to its performance range. According to Evo, the company wants to revive “The Three Brothers” lineup of the 1990s, which originally consisted of the MR2, Celica and Supra.

Gazoo Racing boss and 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada told the publication that Toyota wants all three cars to be in production “as soon as possible.” A sub-86 sports car was already teased to the public with the surprisingly production-ready S-FR concept from the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show – a lightweight front-engined, rear-wheel drive 2+2 coupé that looked ready to tackle the Mazda MX-5 head-on.

Although Toyota was coy on specifics, we’ve been salivating over prospective specifications published by Japanese media, which included a 130 PS/148 Nm 1.5 litre direct-injected four-cylinder engine, a standard-fit six-speed manual and a kerb weight of only 980 kg.

Toyota to build sub-86 sports car – hybrid powertrain?

1989 Toyota MR2

However, forthcoming emissions regulations could force Toyota to scrap the idea in favour of hybrid technology derived from its Le Mans prototype programme – Tada said that the company is “working very hard” to make such a sports car a reality. This could mean a switch to a mid-engined format that is more suitable package for a hybrid powertrain, says Evo, making it a spiritual successor to the MR2.

Tada also had words regarding the Supra, saying that “the car should be lighter than its rivals.” Developed in conjunction with BMW alongside the latter’s Z5, the car is expected to be powered by a range of BMW-derived inline four- and six-cylinder turbo petrol engines, with the most powerful hybrid model getting capacitors and four-wheel drive. It is also tipped to benefit from BMW’s expertise in carbon fibre construction.

GALLERY: Toyota S-FR at Tokyo 2015