Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Japanese Sportscar Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Our buddies at Autoblog have strapped on their brave pants, speculating that Toyota's LF-A supercar is DO-A. And there's plenty of evidence to back up their suspicion. There's no production date (not even 2010!), and a $225k price point that won't even pay off development costs. After an uncharacteristically unreliable 24 Hours of Nurburgring race, ToMoCo has opted for a soon-to-be-canceled SC430 silhouette on to its Super GT racer. Plus, Nurburgring testing crews and rival test drivers tell Autoblog that the LF-A is doomed to eternal test-bed status. All of which confirms that Toyota is no longer capable of producing quality performance cars. And reflects Lexus's shift in focus from performance to hybrid luxury. Meanwhile, Car Magazine reports that Honda's hybrid Open Study Model (OSM) will replace the elderly S2000 as Honda's mainline roadster. And they're not talking just styling cues either: the next S2000 will be a hybrid. Unfortunately, details are being held for Car's forthcoming print issue, so we still don't yet know exactly what flavor the hybrid will come in. If Honda's too-good-for-this-life Accord Hybrid is anything to go on, it could be something special.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Areitu Areitu on Aug 28, 2008

    What about the Subaru-based coupe they're supposedly working on? A lot of people seem be getting on Toyota's case about not producing a sports car. I chalk it up to a good business decision, like canceling the GS-F, for example. Maybe if Toyota was in GM's shoes, they'd be building 538hp Lexuses and a 604hp coupe that costs $109,000. The LFA as an R&D platform, mentioned by others, might even be reducing R&D costs across the company.

  • Argentla Argentla on Aug 28, 2008

    Well, Toyota abandoned the MR2, Supra, and Celica mostly because they weren't selling well. The last Supra was pretty hardcore, but it arrived just as the bottom was falling out of the high-end Japanese sports car market. The Celica died because its price got out of control for what it offered (a well-equipped GT-S approached $25K, which was just silly) and because it didn't sell well enough to justify keeping its styling fresh. I assume Toyota would have been more willing to keep investing in those lines if their sales hadn't tanked. The MR Spyder was a weird case. It wasn't user-friendly enough to seriously rival the Miata, but not really sporty enough for the people who like S2000s or Integra Type Rs. And it was funny-looking. I'm not really sure what they were thinking with that one.

  • Ingvar Ingvar on Aug 28, 2008

    Maybe the phenomena of halo cars has turned a tide? Isn't the Prius and the LS600h worth more as halo cars for Toyota than any sports car could possibly offer? The r&d for the Prius could be written off on pr-value alone. The LS600h rivals the Mercedes S-Class as the default presidential limousine all over the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_limousine

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Aug 28, 2008

    No offense to all the people who love supercars and high performance sports cars but Celica>Supra>LF-A Toyota needs an affordable sporty coupe.