Toyota gets serious about its Supra, will preview a production-ready concept in 2016

Toyota FT-1 front angle
Toyota FT-1 Concept
Anticipation for Toyota’s Supra successor is about as high as it gets for a new sports car. Years of rumors, teasers, and finally, concepts has built enthusiasm for the follow-up to one of the best front-engine, rear-wheel drive cars ever to come out of Japan.

Enthusiasts were rewarded last year when Toyota introduced its FT-1 Concept at the Detroit Motor Show, and if the latest word from the automaker’s sports car division head is true, we can expect to see a new, more production-ready concept early next year. Tetsuya Tada was careful not to give an exact date for the concept’s reveal, but January’s Detroit Motor Show seems like a fitting timeline.

Tada hinted that the FT-1 replacement will use a sequential gearbox and a powertrain that won’t try to break any horsepower records. Instead, the Supra concept will be designed to deliver a fun-first driving experience.

Toyota FT-1 rear angle
Toyota FT-1 Concept

“There are so many high-end sport cars available in the world with 700 horsepower or more [that are] not so special anymore,” said Tada. “That kind of horsepower makes no sense for our car. Almost all customers are not like professional racing drivers. They just want to enjoy, to feel something fun.”

Don’t interpret that to mean Toyota won’t gun for rivals like the Porsche 911. Expect the new Supra to be as much of an upset to the sports car market as the A80 generation was in 1992.

Co-developed with BMW, the new Supra should be about the size of a Porsche 911 and will be powered by an inline six-cylinder 3.0-liter turbocharged engine with at least 335 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. There will also be a more power plug-in hybrid version with 473 horsepower.

When Toyota introduces the production version Supra successor in 2017, the Toyota brand will have three sports car tiers, starting with the production version of the brand’s S-FR concept, working up the second generation of the GT-86, and finally to the range-topping Supra.


Porsche knows not to mess with the 911, but also knows how to weave in progress

We're getting our first look at the next-generation Porsche 911. Called 992 internally, the model will get evolutionary styling upgrades and bigger changes under the sheet metal. We expect it to debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Honda HR-V vs. Honda CR-V: The differences explained

The Honda HR-V and CR-V may overlap in some regard, but they're not the same vehicle. In this comparison, we highlight the design, technology, performance, and fuel economy unique to each ride.

Rock hall of famer John Oates takes day off touring to drive 2016 Porsche GT3RS

On this episode of Behind the Wheel, Tim Walbridge is joined by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Oates. Taking a day off while touring, he jumps at the chance to drive the 2016 Porsche GT3RS.

We found the best trucks for everyone (including truck haters)

Pickup trucks have evolved to meet the demands of a shifting marketplace. They now have to compete with cars and crossovers, as well as other trucks. Here are the best trucks currently on the market.

This hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Silverado looks like it’s straight out of Halo

General Motors' defense division has released video footage of a rugged, Halo-like truck called Silverado ZH2. The pickup is powered by the next evolution of GM's hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain.

Google Maps tests feature that will help drivers avoid crashes, speed traps

Google Maps is testing a feature that lets drivers report crashes and speed traps so the app can plan efficient routes for others in the area, or warn of upcoming hazards. Waze, which Google owns, already offers such a feature.

Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as chair, Elon Musk steps down

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk agreed to step down from his role as chairman as part of a settlement deal with the SEC. Tesla has named a 55-year-old Australian businesswoman named Robyn Denholm as his successor.

Ares turns the Tesla Model S into a two-door roadster with Italian flair

Italian coachbuilder Ares has done what Tesla won't. It's taking a Model S, chopping off the roof, and sending the rear doors back to the parts bin to create a roadster that's ready for the French Riviera.

Ford buys scooter-sharing service Spin as it looks to expand beyond cars

Ford has acquired San Francisco-based scooter-sharing company Spin. The Blue Oval believes mobility services like scooter sharing can complement its existing car business going forward.

Bosch, Daimler team up to deploy autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Classes in San Jose

In 1986, when Bosch and Daimler joined an autonomous car research project, the technology seemed overly futuristic. Now, the partners are aiming to make a production self-driving car by the early 2020s.

Thinking of driving for Uber? These cars are safe, comfy, and fuel-efficient

Uber is a viable means for making money on the side, but you won't earn much if all of your profits are going direct toward fuel and maintenance. Thankfully, these five cars are a perfect fit for those looking to shuttle passengers from…

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best 'Top Gear' episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, 'Top Gear' has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 25 seasons.

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.

Roborace wants human drivers and machines to work together

Roborace believes the future of racing is autonomous, but it's keeping human drivers in the picture for now. For its first race season, Roborace will use a car called DevBot 2.0 that can be driven by humans or machines.