Toyota planning a high-performance petrol-electric hybrid version of the GT86

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 9, 2013

Toyota is considering a plan to build a high-performance petrol-electric hybrid version of the GT86 sports car, according to an Autocar report. Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said that the company is open to boosting the performance of the rear-driven two-seater, with a focus on the assembly of a variant of the rear-drive coupe that’s faster and even more focused.

It’s expected to be released at a later part in the model’s lifecycle. Tada revealed that he has received plenty of inquiries about turbocharging. He added that the company has begun working on a mid-life facelift and that they’re considering both turbocharging and supercharging. He also mentioned the likelihood of an electric motor assistance solution that provides benefits that forced induction cannot offer.

At the 2013 Geneva Auto Show, Toyota unveiled a conceptual convertible version of the GT86 that’s expected to soon enter production. It actually almost didn’t get approved for production since it thought that the GT86 was “very risky,” according to Tada.

He said that the company sought proof that the ’86 coupe would reach sales targets before they approve a convertible. After they got the proof that they wanted, the company could now consider other development plans for the car.

What they’re trying to be sure of is to not compromise any of the key characteristics of the standard GT86 just to achieve more power. Tada said that an electric motor assist solution may offer a significant low-rpm torque boost for the naturally aspirated engine without having an impact on throttle response, fuel economy or emissions.

The hybrid system is comparable to the ‘IMA’ system that the Honda CRZ. It is a lot more affordable and simpler than what the Prius economy car uses. Meanwhile, the batteries may be used to lower the model’s centre of gravity even more.

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