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Toyota-Subaru sports car 'years away still,' Supra likely never

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  December 12, 2008 03:16 PM

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The Supra, left, may never return. Toyota says their next sports car will be more like the Celica, center, and fuel-efficient like the MR2 Spyder, right.

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.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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6 comments so far...
  1. look!

    Posted by Taj December 14, 08 02:46 PM
  1. The Supra was actually sold until 1998 in the US. What a great car. I'm happy I'm lucky enough to own one.

    Posted by Josh Schadel December 14, 08 10:07 PM
  1. This is a complete and total joke...I've had my prius for 10k miles on Rt 3 and Rt 128...never have I been concerned about slow acceleration. If I floor it, it accelerates pretty quickly. My previous car was a BMW...I know acceleration. I'm perfectly happy with my Prius. Although...I don't feel so special anymore with gas under $2 :-(

    Posted by Jason G December 16, 08 01:28 PM
  1. Jason -- I think you're posting a comment on the wrong entry, bud.

    Posted by Stan December 16, 08 03:56 PM
  1. I recently was looking at a Scion....i thought that it didnt perform that i asked when is toyota going to come out with something like the supra it was a great sportscar....the sales manager told me that toyota and subaru were working on a project that should be coming out in 2011...I'm thinking he knows what he is talking about considering he went to a large meeting in Japan and is a large toyota enthusiast

    Posted by Josh R December 17, 08 05:51 AM
  1. Even when Toyota did make a decent sports car/cars (Supra, MR2), they were still bland as all hell on the interior and overall design. Japs make boring cars. They make quality cars, but have you driven by a Toyota dealership lately??? I almost fall asleep when looking at their current fleet. Boring drivers drive boring cars.

    Posted by 993T December 17, 08 12:50 PM

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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