creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spiicytuna/38536366/Enlarge Photo
News of a new Toyota Supra will be music to the ears of fans of Japanese sports cars, but the next generation of the car may please those of a greener disposition too.
While the previous Supras have been dominated by brutish good looks and embraced by the tuning scene, the next model will be altogether more sophisticated, and for the first time, use a hybrid powertrain.
The hybrid Supra project previously went on hold as 2008's global financial crisis changed all carmakers' priorities, but according to Motor Trend, the model may have been given the green light once more.
The next Supra is expected to use a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine, paired with a hybrid drivetrain. Unlike previous Supras, it will also use all-wheel drive, implying it has Acura's upcoming NSX firmly in its sights.
That means a power output of around 400 horsepower, with the front and rear wheels powered by electricity and the engine respectively. Unusually for a high-performance sports car, it may also use a continuously-variable transmission, apparently lifted from the Lexus RX and tuned for higher performance.
Other details are thin on the ground at the moment--including the name, which probably won't use the Supra tag--but the car is expected to arrive by late 2015, for less than $60,000.
What green-skeptical import fans and tuners will make of a hybrid version of one of their icons isn't clear, but following the NSX the picture is quite clear--to maximize efficiency and performance, hybrid technology is the route to take for the next generation of sports cars.