It's hard to remember, but once upon a time Toyota sold sporty cars within its ultra-bland, green-happy lineup. While they weren't any more aggressive than a Honda Civic Si, the last Celica and (mid-engine!) MR2 Spyder models in 2005 were some proof that Toyota employed performance-minded engineers.
For months, there's been talk about a Celica-type sports car that Toyota is developing with Subaru, which will use a "boxer" four-cylinder and rear-wheel drive. At the Boston auto show, Toyota's Northeast public affairs manager Wade Hoyt said the car will be made at the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Ind., but says the car is "a few years away still."
"It'll be a good replacement for the Celica," said Hoyt. "It will not be the next Supra, and with fuel economy regulations coming in and worries about energy, there may never be a next Supra."
That may be disheartening for fans of the 320 horsepower coupe, which bit the dust in 1996 right as other premium Japanese two-doors - including the Mazda RX-7, Nissan 300ZX and Mitsubishi 3000GT - were tanking.
Much closer to completion is the 500 horsepower Lexus LF-A, which Toyota has hot-lapped around Germany's Nürburgring numerous times. When that happens, Toyota can suspend some of the green talk and make its F1 and NASCAR teams relevant in the real-world. Let's have a go while gas prices are below $2.
The author is solely responsible for the content.