TOKYO -- Toyota is taking another tantalizing step closer to rolling out a sporty hybrid.
The latest incarnation is the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II, an updated, more powerful and refined version of the open-cockpit sporty hybrid based on the MR2 that debuted last year.
Toyota will unveil the car -- in a deep red paint job -- at the 39th Nurburgring 24-hour race in Germany, which runs June 23-26 and is a favorite forum for President Akio Toyoda to tout his company’s performance credentials. Toyota has tweaked the car’s all-wheel-drive system as well as its midship, gasoline-electric powertrain to improve handling and stability.
It gets the same hybrid drivetrain and engine as the Lexus RX 450h and the same battery as the Lexus GS 450h. Overall horsepower is boosted to 295 from 268 in the previous version. It also is longer, taller and heavier.