Toyota has one thing missing from their lineup of automobiles, a fun to drive sports car. Now that could be due to that fact that the company is only trying to do their best in these tough economic times and quite frankly, consumers are shopping for efficient vehicles as opposed to ones that are fun to drive. This is where the Japanese automaker’s luxury line steps in. The smallest of the company’s rear wheel drive vehicles is the IS , which is said to be the spiritual successor of the AE-86. Only the Lexus tips the scales at around 3,500 pounds, whereas the nimble Toyota Corolla of the 1980s weighed in at less than 2,000.
However Toyota should not be embarrassed for trying, the IS is a great car. The Japanese automaker already offers it in a variety of flavors: the IS250 featuring a low displacement straight six, the 300 HP IS350 , an all powerful IS-F that uses a modern day high performance V8 in conjunction with an 8 speed automatic transmission to go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 4.7 seconds. Lexus is even working on an even badder IS-F Evolution that uses the same high tech power train, but this time with a lightweight carbon fiber skin. There will even be a convertible version of the IS in the near future, but it is a proposed two door version of the IS that could give it the sporty image it desires.
According to the General Manager of Toyota’s Lexus Division, Mark Templin, when asked about an IS Coupe , "Obviously, we’re making no announcements today, but it’s certainly something we should study carefully." So, until the Toyobaru ever does come true, we can look to an IS coupe to fulfill our dreams of driving a hachi roku.