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New Toyota Chairman Backs New Supra

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On: Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 10:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Toyota Chairman Backs New Supra

The Toyota Supra has been slowly moving from rumor to reality. First there were just unsubstantiated rumors. A lot of them. Then there was a real, live announcement, and while it wasn't about the Supra specifically, the partnership with BMW was aimed in part at sports car development. Then, more rumors from the BMW side about how that BMW-Toyota team up would bring the Supra back. While Toyota hasn't yet made an official announcement, its newest chairman has come out in support of a Supra-type car, providing the most explicit evidence yet.

In referring to a Supra-like mid-level sports car, new chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said in an interview, "That's what I want but it's not me who makes the decision. It's futile if we make something similar (to the 86)."

Okay, fairly obvious words—making another entry level sports car would seemingly eat up GT 86/Scion FR-S sales. But it is another shred of paper in the evidence binder. We'd guess that Uchiyamada, who's known as the "father of the Prius" at Toyota, would also support the rumored hybrid powertrain. Last we heard, that set-up was destined to pull 400 horses out of a rear-driving 3.5-liter V6 engine and front-driving electric motors, similar to the Honda NSX. The Motor Trend report that identified that particular layout also indicated that Toyota would call the car something other than "Supra."

We already know Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda supports sportier cars, and returning a nameplate with an established history seems like it could be a smart move in defining the brand as "reborn" with a focus on "fun to drive."

It appears that Toyota still hasn't made an official decision about a Supra-like Nissan 370Z competitor, but it's looking more and more likely. We've heard that the car itself could launch as early as 2015, so we wouldn't be surprised to see a concept at an auto show later this year. Until then, we'll just have to cross our fingers and wait patiently.


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