Please, make it stop.
A rumor of a new Toyota Supra sports car seems to surface every day, but they might be leading somewhere. High-ranking Toyota officials told Autoblog that the Japanese carmaker will bring a Supra concept to the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, and that this concept will be broadly similar to a planned production version.
Such a concept would be shock not because it would signal that dowdy Toyota is serious about building performance cars, but because it would finally stop the rumor mill.
It all started back in 2007, when Toyota unveiled the FT-HS hybrid sports car concept in Detroit. Fans and journalists saw this sleek two-door and immediately thought “Supra”. The iconic model left quite a hole in Toyota’s lineup when it left the U.S. market in 1998.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda subsequently declared that the company should build “more exciting cars.” This inspired the compact “Toyobaru” GT86/Scion FR-S sports car and – according to Toyota’s PR machine – the styling and driving dynamics of the current Avalon. The jury’s still out on that one.
Since Toyoda made that statement, obvious question has been: If you want to build more exciting cars, why not revive the Supra?
The rumors have been legion. Back in 2011, Toyota reportedly began testing a 3.5-liter V6 powertrain for the Supra, but by early 2013 that had changed to a four-cylinder hybrid setup. Most rumors have pointed to the FT-HS as the model for the neo-Supra’s styling.
Fanning the flames of speculation was Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, who said he liked the idea of a new Supra back in June.
In the midst of all of this, Toyota has been collaborating with BMW on a performance car project, although that seems to have shifted into the supercar realm.
So will it have a muscular turbocharged engine like the last Supra, or will it be a hybrid? Will it do the name justice? At this point, I’d just be happy with proof of the new Supra’s existence.