Honda may think it has a sporty hybrid with its CR-Z, but Toyota's showing one at the Toyko Auto Salon that looks a little more fun. The GRMN Sports Hybrid, built in partnership with Gazoo Racing, stuffs some eco- (and enthusiast-) friendly hardware into a last-generation MR2 roadster.
The Sports Hybrid makes use of Toyota's hybrid technology to give the little ragtop both four-wheel-drive and a combined output of approximately 392 hp. The crazy rear fenders help to make room for a 3.3-liter V-6, which is paired with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. From what we can tell, the system seems to be the inverse of that used on all-wheel-drive Highlander Hybrids -- the rear axle is powered by both the gasoline engine and an electric motor, while the front wheels are driven solely through electricity.
The ability to keep the car running in EV mode in urban traffic helps make the Sports Hybrid a clean machine, but once you stomp that accelerator to the floor, the roadster may quickly turn mean. Toyota claims the concept can rocket from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is quite impressive for a 3300-pound car.
Although this iteration of MR2 is dead and gone, the GRMN Sports Hybrid does give us some hope for the future. Not only is Toyota increasingly looking to develop sporty cars (like the FT-86), but Autocar claims the company is considering a similar vehicle for production in the next 2-3 years. Check out the video here.
Source: Toyota, Autocar, YouTube