The thought of a mid-engine, rear-drive sports car that costs about $25,000 makes us salivate. Of course, such an anomaly would also be difficult to fathom in the current market. However, there have been some reports that Toyota is working with Daihatsu and Suzuki to create such a budget-minded dream sports car. Although we have to see it to believe it, here’s what we know so far.
The mid-engine Toyota GR could be based on the Yaris platform
To get one thing straight, the details of this mid-engine Toyota are all speculation for now. However, people at The Drive recently reported that the proposed sports car will be based on Toyota’s GA-B platform. This is the same platform that has been used on the GR Yaris. But instead of the fire-fighting turbocharged four-cylinder engine, this new sports car will be powered by Suzuki’s 998cc turbo three-cylinder engine.
This will be the same engine that will be found in the Suzuki Swift for the knowledgeable people. But instead of pumping out 109 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque like the Swift, the mid-engine car is likely to make closer to 150 hp. As far as the transmission is concerned, The Drive reports that Toyota may use a conventional six-speed automatic to transmit power to the rear wheels. According to further speculation, the project may appear in a few years and is expected to cost around $25,000.
The plans for such a car are in line with Toyota’s recent mixed-brand models.
While the specs on this mid-engine Toyota are still rumoured, the project makes sense, with the Japanese automaker recently teaming up with other rivals. The Supra is a combination of Toyota’s collaboration with BMW, and its beloved child with the GR86 Subaru. In that case, it’s not too much of a stretch that Toyota could team up with Suzuki on such a daring project.
It may fit into the proposed sports car lineup but is still a pipe dream
All that being said, the issue is how this proposed car will fit into Toyota’s lineup. The upcoming 2023 GR Corolla fills the gap between the GR86 and the GR Supra. So it makes sense that a $25,000 sports car would complete the brand’s performance line. However, if we factor in any research and development costs, along with the question of whether or not the car can be a hybrid, a mid-$20,000 price range seems like an lofty goal.
Ultimately, we’d love to see a mid-engine, rear-drive sports car in Toyota’s lineup. After all, the Toyota MR2 was pretty much a sports car, and didn’t have a ton of horsepower. But in today’s market, it’s more than likely that Toyota will build a hybrid sports car that costs more than $20,000, as opposed to a rear-drive sporty commuter.
Either way, we’ll just have to wait and see what the Japanese automaker has planned for the future. But if cars like the GR Corolla and GR86 are any indication of what Toyota is capable of, we have high hopes for a mid-engine sports car in some form or another.
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