Honda is hard at work preparing the future CR-Z hybrid sports car, so today it was Toyota’s turn to step up to the plate, and they did! The future sombrero wearing Japanese compact will be a sports coupe hybrid model based on the Prius. The new sports car is supposed to be called MR-2 and will debut in the middle of 2012.
The Prius coupe will be shorter than the popular hybrid by about 10 cm and will be powered by the same 1.8L 2ZR-FXE engine and Hybrid Synergy Drive from the 2010 Toyota Prius five door hatchback. The only modification will be that the future MR-2 will be tuned to make a maximum output of 136 HP.
The new model will be a 2-door coupe model with a 2+2 layout accommodating a pair of back seat passengers. Even if the car looks a lot like the future Toyota “AE86” compact FR sports car being produced in conjunction with Subaru, the two models will appeal totally different buyers. Although it looks like the hybrid power plant will be located between the front fenders and send power to the front wheels, it would be nice to see a proper midship runabout return to Toyota’s lineup.