As sad as it might be to admit, Toyota nowadays isn’t necessarily a cool brand anymore. True, they’ve got some serious heat in the name of Tacoma and Tundra, as well as some class in the name of the Highlander and the Land Cruiser; but those days when you just had to check out the new model from Toyota simply because you knew it was gonna be a drop-dead killer are well behind us. Toyota sports cars in 2016 are not the first thing that comes to mind when asked about the Japanese mogul. True, that’s pretty sad, but, I’m happy to say that the future isn’t at dark as it used to be and there are some positive news for us in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Thanks to the Toyota CEO, Akio Toyoda, the company has been slowly getting back to its sporty roots. It’s gonna take them a while, though, because 2016 is so much different from 2000+ that they’ll practically have to learn how to impress again.
It’s Never Too Late To Get Back To The Roots
Right now we’ve got the sneaky sporty FR-S from friendly Scion that can be yours for just 27.2K, and for the 2017 line-up Toyota promised us the revived Supra (can’t wait for that to happen!), the mysterious FT-1 Concept (which could very well be the new Supra) and maybe even a brand-new Celica and a brand-new MR2. Hey, not bad, huh? Not bad at all! You can go ahead and check out my reviews on the upcoming Supra and Celica, or, if you’re in a sentimental and nostalgic mood, join me in a ride down the memory lane. Today we’ll talk about the greatest Toyota sports cars of all time, including the old-school S800, the GT2000, the GT-One, and, of course the legendary MR2 and Supra. If you want to learn about the fastest Toyotas out there, see my “Outrunning A Bullet – Toyota’s Fastest Cars Ever” post – I promise you’ll love it. And now, it’s time to put on your seat belts and push the pedal!
Toyota Sports Cars 800
The S800, also known as the “Yota-Hachi” (don’t even ask), was the company’s first sports car to hit production, and lasted for 4 short years (1965-1969). In total Toyota created only 3.131 units and none of those ever made their way to America. However, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good for the US market – that wasn’t the case, believe me. The Japanese were just not ready (and, quite frankly, not strong enough) to try and challenge the biggest names in the industry and were happy with the great success back at home. The S800 featured a 49 bhp 2-cylinder engine and a top speed of 97 miles per hour. I know that might not sound too impressive today, but back then it was pretty awesome. Besides, this baby returned 70 (!) miles per gallon on the highways and weighted 1.3K pounds. Furthermore, it was quite the techy freak and came with lightweight aluminum and steel body composition. The cartoony looks and the nice interior helped this model to carve a permanent place for itself in the history of Japanese sports cars. Pretty cool for a car that’s as light as a feather!
Much like the Toyota Sports cars 800, the 2000GT was limited in production and was manufactured and sold exclusively in Japan. It was produced between 1967 and 1970 and was the first sports car in history to show that Japan and Japanese engineers were very well capable of creating ground-breaking luxury cars to compete with the monsters of style, design and speed from Europe herself. Today the 2000GT is often called the first supercar from Japan, and I’m guessing you understand that means folks are ready to pay fortunes just to get their hands on one. There were only 351 units made and, if you’ve got 375K dollars (that’s three hundred and seventy-five thousand!) you can buy one on auctions. The greatest thing about the Toyota 2000GT was the super-smooth and catchy design, including those huge driving lamps that just instantly make you fall in love with it. Furthermore, it was extremely low to the ground, adding up to the edgy and sporty attitude. Under the hood you had a 2.0-lit engine, which put out 150HP and allowed for a max speed of 135MPH and fuel-efficiency of 31MPG. Oh, and it also starred in the You Only Live Twice movie.
Toyota Sports Cars GT-One
Talking about limited production I just have to mention the GT-One. Believe it or not, there were ONLY TWO units made! However, it was more than enough to show that Toyota is capable of great things when they want to. This is a 100% road-legal racing vehicle that’s best-suited for riding 24 hours on LeMans. It comes packed with a turbocharged 3.6-lit V8 that’s capable of more than 600 Horses. It goes without saying, that acceleration and top speed are off the charts as well, but that’s not even the most important thing: it takes one look at the GT-One to know that it’s a glorious sports car to the core, with a million dollar design, including those sharp lights, the race track-ready wheels, that spoiler and the super-low body that’s almost touching the ground. On the inside you’ve got a traditional sport-car layout with super-comfy seats and everything the driver needs in terms of tech. Overall, this one is a true LeMans triumphant; too bad it never really had a chance to prove itself.
Toyota Sports Cars MR-2
Did you know that MR-2 means the car comes with a mid-engine and RWD? This baby was around since 1984, with production ending in 2007; folks love it because through all those years the MR-2 kept true to that idea of a small, flexible and highly powerful sport car. The first gen spawned from 1984-1989 and became an instant hit, thanks to class-leading handling, powertrain and innovations. The body was extremely light (2.3K pounds) and so the car could jump from zero to 60 miles per hour in swift 8 seconds (pretty great for 1984). However, it was the second gen that brought the MR-2 all the glory it deserved: it was completely redesigned and looked sleeker than ever; some experts even called it the poor man’s Ferrari, but, in that particular case, that was praise, not criticism. The new gen gained a bit weight, but, thanks to a stronger engine, (a 2.0- or a 2.2-lit turbocharged unit) it went from 0-to-60 in 6.1 seconds. The 3rd gen is known to us Yanks as the MR2 Spyder, one of the greatest sports cars of its time. The main appeal was in a low-budget price tag and the attractive looks that only Ferraris and Porsches could offer (for a higher price, of course).
Toyota Sports Cars Supra Mark IV
All hail the king! Toyota Supra is by far the most legendary Toyota sports cars. Hell, it might even be the most iconic sports car EVER, if you ask the right people. It’s Toyota’s ultimate pride and joy and, as far as personal favorites go, the Supra is my first love. By the way it was introduced to the world ages ago – in 1978. In 1986 the model made its first breakthrough with a mighty V6 engine – turbocharged included. However, it was the last generation that really put it on the pedestal. The Mark IV was in production from 1992 to 2002 and was available as a turbocharged model with a 320 Horses-strong engine and a 0 to 60 jump in impressive 4.6 seconds. The sad part is, despite the obvious perks and the iconic status the Supra was not that popular among the Regular Joes because of the steep price-tag of 70K. Still, that doesn’t make it any less awesome and, by many standards, the upcoming 2017 Toyota Supra is the most anticipated sports car to date. Care to disagree? Share your list of the most anticipated models in the comments!
Check out this video: MaxTV Generation of TOYOTA Sports Cars.