GENEVA — As trends toward autonomous driving, electrification and vehicle-sharing threaten to turn cars into more utilitarian people movers, Toyota wants to use more exciting products such as the Supra for competitive edge.
Toyota said it will use its Supra sports car as a halo model to bring more emotional appeal to the brand.
The automaker introduced the GR Supra Racing Concept at the Geneva show last week, previewing a racing version.
The concept's GR letters stand for Gazoo Racing after Toyota's motorsports brand. It is fitted out as a track-ready race car with roll cage, driver's race harness, quick-release steering wheel and center-fixed racing wheels. The exterior includes a large rear spoiler and diffuser for downforce.
Toyota wants to create a stronger link to its racing activities to increase the appeal of its cars.
"We believe we can create better cars with what we learn from motorsports," Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl said.
The production car will have a front- engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and cost about €50,000-60,000 ($62,000-$74,400) in Europe, where it will challenge cars such as the Renault Alpine and Porsche Cayman. The Supra will go on sale in the first half of next year.
Sales will be relatively small at fewer than 10,000 a year.