Toyota Motors Co. stayed true to its promise to make its cars fun to drive again and this intention is clearly evident in the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept that it had just unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon. GRMN stand for Gazoo Racing Master of Nurburgring. The two-seat, four-wheel drive hybrid is based on the outgoing MR2 platform.
Powering it is a mid-mounted 3.3-liter V6 that when partnered with Toyota's THSII hybrid system produces more than 392bhp. The rear wheels are driven by the V6 while the electric motor propels the fronts.
It can be driven in EV mode in the city, with the V6 only firing up when needed. The car has a weight of 1500kg and it is claimed to accelerate from zero to 60mph in under 4.5 seconds.
Sources say that a car based on the concepts of the GRMN Sports Hybrid could go on sale as soon as 2011. They also say that with this car, Toyota intends to be the world's first sports hybrid car and to rival Honda's CR-Z, which has comparatively moderate performance.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda races for the Gazoo Racing Team. In fact, he has entered recent Nurburgring 24 Hour races at the wheel of a Lexus LFA.