Toyota Focuses on Hybrid Concept at Frankfurt Auto Show

The Detroit Bureau

It’s no secret that Toyota’s Chief Exec­u­tive Akio Toy­o­da has been push­ing for prod­ucts with more “pas­sion” late­ly – and maybe he is unveil­ing one next month at the Frank­furt Motor Show.

Find out what’s on tap for Toy­ota as the Auto Show sea­son gets under­way.

Toy­ota announced it was debut­ing the Hybrid-R con­cept at Frank­furt, but pro­vid­ed no pic­tures oth­er than this logo.

Toy­ota is rolling out a new con­cept for the Frank­furt Motor Show called the Hybrid-R. The con­cept vehi­cle will fea­ture the same Toy­ota Hybrid Sys­tem-Rac­ing (THS-R) tech­nol­o­gy found in the automaker’s TS030 Hybrid, Toyota’s FIA World Endurance Cham­pi­onship car.

Pow­ered by a 3.4-liter V8 and a capac­i­tor-based hybrid sys­tem, the TS030 cap­tured sec­ond place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The V8 put out 530 horse­pow­er while the elec­tric motor added anoth­er 300 hp.

The mak­er didn’t say much else about the vehi­cle, oth­er that more infor­ma­tion will be com­ing, and pro­vid­ed only a logo for art­work. How­ev­er, Toyota’s Chief Exec­u­tive Akio Toy­o­da has been push­ing for prod­ucts with more “pas­sion” late­ly.

Could a new sports car be part of that push? Toy­ota has been with­out a high-end sports car for some time and there have been rum­blings about reviv­ing the pop­u­lar Supra mod­el.

Chair­man Takeshi Uchiya­ma­da has already announced his desire to bring it back in some for a hybrid. Uchiya­ma­da, known as the “father of the Prius,” said he’d like some­thing much more com­pa­ra­ble in pow­er, per­for­mance and posi­tion­ing to the old Supra – though he also cau­tioned the final specs are not his to call.

Between Toyoda’s call for more pas­sion and Uchiyamada’s want for it, the rebirth of Supra seems all but cer­tain. Tet­suya Tada, who served as chief engi­neer on the FR-S pro­gram, which was a joint ven­ture with Japan’s Fuji Heavy Indus­tries – oth­er­wise known as Sub­aru, which sells the all but iden­ti­cal BRZ, has spo­ken about in some detail.

“The pres­i­dent (Akio Toy­o­da) has asked me to make a suc­ces­sor to the Supra as soon as pos­si­ble,” Tada told Asia One, adding that Toy­ota needs to bal­ance its envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly image by also pro­duc­ing some prod­ucts that are just plain “dri­ving fun.”




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