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by Jay Traugott
In its quest to better balance green friendly technology with building more driver's cars, Toyota is considering making its new Supra an EV.
We've heard the rumors before and it seems that Toyota is now absolutely intent on reviving the Supra nameplate on an all-new 21st century performance sports car. But there's a catch: the new Supra could be an EV. According to a report from The Detroit Bureau, not only is the return of the Supra all but certain, but that Toyota president Akio Toyoda wants it ready "as soon as possible." However, earlier reports suggesting that the GT86 platform could serve as the basis for the new car may be wide of the mark.
Instead, wait for it: the drivetrain from the Tesla Model S could be assigned the task. Tesla?! Say what? For those who don't recall, the two automakers signed an agreement nearly two years ago that would allow Tesla to share battery and other EV technology with Toyota in exchange for other areas of expertise. The only Toyota product to emerge from this deal so far has been the RAV4-EV, so it makes sense the big automaker wants to get the best bang for its buck. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently hinted the Model S drivetrain could serve as the basis for a number of new vehicles, such as a BMW 3 Series competitor.
By going with a battery-powered Supra, according to GT86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, Toyota could accomplish its two main current goals: balance its green friendly image with building some cars that are fun to drive. Interestingly, Toyota's future sports car desires don't stop here. The MR2 is also set to make a return but few details are known. More than likely, it will remain mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive and may even be smaller than the GT86. The Supra does take priority over the MR2 and we wouldn't disapprove if the FT-HS Concept (pictured) served as the design basis.