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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