Rumor: Toyota MR2 preparing comeback as Prius coupe

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

Auto Express has revealed that the MR2 is going to be revived. Currently, Toyota is working on a thrilling hybrid that could bring back the much adored sports car and compete with the forthcoming Honda CR-Z. The car will shed its roadster shape in favor of a compact coupe and it will come with a RWD chassis, a paddleshift gearbox and a uniquely designed variant of the powertrain of the Prius hybrid.

It will come with a remarkable balance of performance, fuel efficiency and low emission ratings in strikingly attractive bodywork. This new model will be an appropriate replacement to the MR2, the production of which was halted back in 2007.

Toyota top officials are aware of the popularity of the MR2 in Europe, particularly in the UK, the reason for developing a small hybrid sports car by the company. Toyota has also fixed a tough price point of about 20,000 Pounds, so that it will be easier to sell.

The car must also provide a pleasurable driving experience, which implies that the new model's setup must be unlike that of the Prius hybrid, with a quicker response rate.

The new model will come with mixed design cues from the FT-HS sports car concept for its front face, with a deep lower air intake, and a kick up on the door towards the roof on the side.

The rear section comes with lights from the FT-HS and a clean air diffuser-like lower bumper. The obvious challenge for the carmaker now is to design a powertrain that comes with sportier drive characteristics with an enhanced rate for battery charging and discharging for improved car response.

A sprint rate of 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds with 60mpg fuel economy and less than 100g/km of CO2 emission is well within range if Toyota does it right.

Although a new MR2 would be a welcome addition to the range, Toyota is currently focusing on family hybrids with 10 set to be launched in the course of 12 months from now.

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