Monday, March 4

Toyota Partners With Suzuki To Build Light-Weight Sports Car

Toyota Partners With Suzuki To Build Light-Weight Sports Car

Toyota is working with Suzuki to build a super light sports car with a 1.0-liter engine. The mid-engine coupe is expected to be lighter than even the lightest version of the Mazda Miata. It’s expected to produce 120 horsepower, but should be quite energetic due to how light it will be. Nothing is firm yet, so it’s hard to predict when it might end up at your local Toyota dealer.

Toyota Sports EV Concept

In December 2021, Toyota got people talking when it debuted the Sports EV concept car. This small 2-seater featured a purely electric powertrain and was quickly dubbed the spiritual successor to the MR2. In official images of the car, it was shown with large air intakes, a removable targa top, and plenty of carbon fiber to go around.

Toyota remained fairly quiet about the Sports EV after producing the official images. But recent reports from Japan say that the automaker wants to make a successor to the MR2 in some capacity. According to a Japanese magazine, Toyota, Suzuki, and Daihatsu are working together to bring the tiny sports car to life.

Midship Sports

Best Car magazine in Japan refers to the car as Midship Sports and reports that it will produce 120 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. These obviously aren’t terribly impressive numbers, but the sports car is expected to weigh only 2,204 pounds, which is roughly as light as the base Mazda Miata with a 1.5-liter engine. The base Miata only makes 129 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque.

The Midship Sports is expected to be quite a bit larger than the Miata and the MR2 that it’s based on. It will be 165.3 inches long with a wheelbase of 100 inches. Suzuki is reportedly the automaker in charge of the engine, while the front suspension will be based on the current Toyota Yaris. The pictures of the rumored car show it to have dramatic sleek lines that make it look like a serious sports car.

It’s expected to carry the Toyota badge and cost somewhere between $16,000 and $21,000 based on current exchange rates.

More Rumors

The 1.0-liter engine that will allegedly be in the Midship Sports should be the same one that’s in the Suzuki Swift. Daihatsu will provide the panel-swapping technology that is currently on its Copen roadster. Toyota outright owns Daihatsu and has a 5% stake in Suzuki, which is why the car will run under the Toyota badge.

The Midship Sports may also include a 5-horsepower hybrid electric motor and might come with an automatic or six-speed manual transmission option. The price quoted by Best Car is in Japanese yen, but current exchange rates are extremely favorable to the US dollar.

However, it’s pretty unlikely that the Midship Sports will make it your North American Toyota dealer anytime soon, if ever. If plans for its production go forward, the small car will likely stay in Japan.

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