Toyota has previewed plans to launch an electric sports car by 2026 – but will it be a battery-powered successor for the Toyota GR Supra, or a new Lexus?
Japanese car giant Toyota has confirmed plans to introduce an electric sports car by 2026, as part of 10 new battery-powered cars due in the next three years.
But it is unclear if it will wear Toyota badges – as a successor to the current GR Supra, or a rebirth of the iconic MR2 – or come from its luxury off-shoot Lexus.
A presentation given by Toyota Japan to investors and media this week revealed details – and teaser images – of the 10 new electric Toyota and Lexus electric vehicles planned to be unveiled by 2026.
Included in the list (pictured below) were silhouettes of two luxury Lexus models – a sedan and a wagon – and a sports car which does not resemble any Toyota or Lexus currently on sale.
The confirmation of an electric sports car comes amid reports out of Japan which claim Toyota Gazoo Racing (GR) performance brand is planning a battery-powered successor to today’s six-cylinder GR Supra coupe.
According to respected magazine Best Car, the proposed model would be different to a concept sports roadster unveiled in December 2021 – inspired by the iconic mid-engined Toyota MR2 – which will reportedly be used for a different future model.
Instead the Japanese publication has speculated the electric Toyota GR electric sports car would be approximately the same size as the current GR Supra, which is due to end production in 2026 – seven years after its launch.
It is also possible the electric sports car in the presentation above may wear Lexus badges – as the long-awaited successor to the V10-powered LFA supercar of 2011.
Plans for the Lexus LFA revival have been previewed by the Lexus Electrified Sport concept unveiled in 2021 (below), which Japanese reports claim is due to reach production in 2024 or 2025 as the LFR.
However, overseas reports allege the LFR is due to launch as a V8 plug-in hybrid – though an electric version could come later.
It is worth noting the electric sports car in the Toyota presentation is listed in a ‘Sports’ category, not the ‘Luxury’ category that includes future Lexus electric cars. However, this does not rule out the chance the vehicle will wear Lexus badges.
Reports out of Japan have also claimed the Toyota Supra revival could be twinned with a new Mazda sports car, as a successor to the RX-7 of the 1980s and 1990s – but it could diverge from the Toyota by adding a rotary petrol engine as a generator – similar to the MX-30 R-EV.
Best Car reported in 2022 the electric sports car may be underpinned by the e-TNGA electric-car platform debuted by the Toyota BZ4X SUV, upgraded with dual electric motors developing approximately 368kW.
Toyota’s sports car could also be launched with a manual transmission, after the car giant filed a patent submission for a three-pedal gearbox for electric cars in Japan last year.
While Toyota is yet to showcase the technology in an electric car, its luxury offshoot Lexus has been working on a row-your-own gearbox for battery-powered vehicles – which was shown off in a Lexus UX300e SUV last year.
The technology is being developed to provide a more engaging experience for electric-car owners by replicating the inputs needed to drive a traditional petrol-powered, manual car, according to Lexus.