Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division could soon be moving into the world of electric sports cars if the company follows through with one of the 16 electric concepts it revealed overnight.
The unnamed GR-branded concept looks to have compact dimensions and seating only for two, meaning it could be the spiritual successor to the MR2, which ended its production run in 2007.
While all three generations of the MR2 were powered by a highly strung petrol engine mounted behind the passenger cell, this GR model will have purely electric motivation.
It’s unclear if this vehicle has been signed off for development. We also don’t know how close the concept’s design is to any final production model.
Given the company now intends to launch 30 EVs by 2030, it’s possible an affordable two-seat EV sports car could be part of its plans.
Toyota last floated the idea of an MR2 successor when it unveiled the S-FR concept at 2015 Tokyo motor show.
That car had a mid-mounted 110kW/148Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine hooked up to rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
While the S-FR’s engine outputs weren’t amazing, the concept was said to weigh just 980kg and was under four metres in length.
Since taking over as CEO in 2009, Akio Toyoda has pushed the automaker to be “fun to drive, again” and helped to push through a number of niche sports cars — like the 86 and Supra — that have small but enthusiastic fanbases, but are unlikely to be highly profitable for the company.
He has also heavily promoted the Gazoo Racing division, and helped it develop road-going models, such as the turbocharged all-wheel drive GR Yaris, and the upcoming GR Corolla.