Toyota Drivetrain Boss Confirms the "Advanced" Development of a Hybrid GT 86
During an interview with AutoCar at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota’s senior manager for drivetrain engineering, Koei Saga, confirmed that the company is currently developing a hybrid GT 86 sports car for testing. According to him, the development is "quite advanced now" and that it is just awaiting a green light from top Toyota officials.
He also hinted that this GT 86 hybrid could use a combination of the hybrid systems currently used by Toyota in both road and track cars: "We are quite prepared because we do have a hybrid system that we can use for that kind of vehicle, utilizing the production passenger car hybrid system, and we also have the pure race-oriented hybrid system. So I think it won’t be very far in the future that the green light will come."
Still, it is pretty difficult to make any assumptions on the hybrid system that the GT 86 would use, because a boxer engine and an electric motor have never been combined in this manner. Also, the hybrid GT 86 would most likely retain a manual transmission "to maintain driver appeal," which can make tying the gas and electric components together even trickier. Because the batteries add significant weight, the initial plans have engineers putting the batteries as low as possible, which will lower the car’s center of gravity and allow it to retain its sporty feel.
Remember, folks, this is all still just in the "planning" phase and likely nothing has moved beyond computerized simulations, so don’t start placing orders just yet.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Toyota GT 86.
Toyota unveiled the GT 86 sports car in 2011 at the Tokyo Motor Show after two concept versions were revealed in the previous two years.
The GT 86 is powered by a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated flat-four engine developed in cooperation with Subaru. It delivers a total of 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and maximum torque of 151 pound-feet at 6,600 rpm. The engine is mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The GT 86 is capable of hitting 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, and it tops out around 145 mph.