[MR2] Autoweek - Toyota's New Sports Car?
Andrew P. Tasi
aptasi at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 11 21:15:21 EDT 2007
AFAIK, it was a combination of the early 90s recession and increasing insurance rates (along with increasing sticker prices) that killed off the cars like the mk2 MR2, Supra TT, RX-7 TT, 300ZX, and 3000GT.
And while I agree Toyota is very deliberate, I find it funny that they weakened, then killed all of their sports cars at the same time many other manufactures are introducing new sports cars, and adding HP all over the place.
Perhaps they are content to supply engines to Lotus for the Elise/Exige, without needing to hassle with building a car that might provide it with some competition.
My 2 bits,
Andrew P. Tasi
----- Original Message ----
From: Ken Meyer <kmeyer at blarg.net>
To: Andrew P. Tasi <aptasi at yahoo.com>; MR2 List <mr2 at mr2.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 4:28:27 PM
Subject: RE: [MR2] Autoweek - Toyota's New Sports Car?
So, a lot of performance machines retired in the late 90's, early 00's.
Could it be that OBD II bit them very hard and it has taken this much time
to get on top of the digital stuff necessary to make a high-performance
engine comply? Did the sociology of autos change -- maybe shifting the
battleground temporarily from sporty stuff to behemoth SUVs? Certainly
Toyota has directed attention to the Tacoma TRD and the Tundra massive V8,
with is pretty dominant in the NASCAR Craftsman truck series. Factory
But my take is that Toyota is very deliberate in their approach to
everything. Like the young bull and the old bull looking lasciviously at
the cows grazing in the next pasture. Young bull: "Let's jump over that
fence and have us a cow." Old bull: "Let's walk around the fence and have
Certainly, Toyota is in no sweat to do something dramatic to pull their
company out of the fire, like say, Ford is.
Did you see that Joe Gibbs Racing is going Toyota for the NASCAR Nextel and
Busch series next year? That means: Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle
Busch driving. Downside is no excuses for bad performances with those guys
Bunch of stories here:
This year was "feeling out time", with 7 cars in three teams: Michael
Waltrip, Bill Davis, and Red Bull. Although the mavens deprecate Toyota's
performance, these cars very seldom, if at all, came in last. I'd say
running in the high 20's and 30's finishes is not too shabby for the first
year. Have had a few top ten finishes, and won one Busch race.
Worst problem is that, back in the pack, they have been very susceptible to
be victimized in the pile-ups. I have even wondered if it wasn't always
accidental, but there has been no howl from the teams about that.
Mikey has been a disappointment, maybe still recovering from the trauma of
the big scandal at the season opener when "oxygenating material" (wonder
what that could be) was found in an intake manifold. But at least NAPA has
capitalized with these hilarious commercials where Mikey is answering fan
mail: "No, I do not have the parking brake on", "Yes, I realize that turn
three is not in a school zone", etc.
So Toyota came with a shotgun approach using new and perhaps second-tier
teams, has looked around, and now has pulled out a wad of bills and peeled
off a bunch for Gibbs. It's get serious time methinks. Hope they don't
ditch Mikey, given that the Davis and Red Bull teams have been doing the
best of the three.
Apparently, this "step-wise" approach was the Toyota tactic in gaining
domination in open-wheel racing (I didn't realize that). The linked
commentary is very interesting in describing TRD's historical approach to
kmeyer at blarg.net
93 SMG MR2T - The Deuce Coupe
From: mr2-bounces at mr2.com [mailto:mr2-bounces at mr2.com]
On Behalf Of Andrew P. Tasi
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 3:58 PM
To: MR2 List
Subject: [MR2] Autoweek - Toyota's New Sports Car?
Autoweek has an article that reads...
>Toyota Motor Corp. is hinting that a new sports car might be in the works,
meant to fill a gap left by the retirement of the MR2 two-seater.
>“We used to have a lot of sports cars, but not anymore,” Kazuo Okamoto,
executive vice president for R&D, told Automotive News. “So now we want to
try it again.”
You can read the rest here...
Unfortunately the article is short on details and long on speculation.
[sigh] I wish I could buy a replacement for my 1993 MR2 Turbo that had:
- more power
- better fuel economy
- more upscale interior
- modern aerodynamics
Basically I want a smaller Porsche Cayman with more power and Toyota
reliability. Is that too much to ask?
Andrew P. Tasi
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