Tell us if this sounds familiar: Hybrids will kill the driver-oriented sportscar. It's the line taken by no small share of enthusiasts, and some of them are among us here at Autoblog. But the skeptics were silenced – or temporarily hushed, at least – when Honda took the wraps off of its CR-Z coup concept. After all, anything that could bring back the CRX hatchback with added oomph at no extra cost at the fuel pumps has to sound good to anyone's ears, right? But you didn't think Toyota would let Honda have the fun all to itself now, did you?
It's far from official, but reports out of Japan suggest that Toyota may be working on a reborn hybrid sportscar of its own. The company once known for its sports-coupes recently unveiled the FT-86 concept, and could be set to follow up with a gasoline-electric resurrection of the cult classic MR2. The budget-friendly mid-engine/rear-drive sportscar had a big following who led the legions of the disappointed when the third-generation model was discontinued two years ago. But if the latest reports are to be believed, Mr. Two could be back – in hybrid form.
Details are scarce, but according to Japan's Best Car
, we're looking at a two-seat two-door coupe with a gasoline engine mounted amidships behind the cabin, coupled to an electric motor in a more performance-oriented version of the Toyota Synergy Drive popularized by the Prius. Reports suggest it could adopt the MR-S nameplate, which is what the last MR2 was known as in Japan, so there's just as good a chance that it could wear the MR2 nameplate on this side of the Pacific. That's about all we've got for now, but if we all (Toyota included) play our cards just right, Japan's beloved budget mid-engined car could be coming back...with a charge.