UPDATE: This story has been revised to correct our sincerely wishful thinking that we’d spotted a new Supra prototype testing. We didn’t.
Our staff photographer caught a suspiciously anonymous coupe out for testing on public roads in Michigan, and it seemed like what we spotted was camouflaged mule for the oft-rumored Toyota/BMW sports car mashup.
Our shooter Patrick Hoey spied this prototype in the regular grind of Ann Arbor traffic, not too far removed from Toyota’s local R&D center. He snapped a few photos of the car’s rear before the light changed, and the coupe escaped. He wasn’t able to catch a clear shot of the car’s front view from behind a lens, but he did get a healthy glimpse on his own. “Based on what I saw of the front end, it looked very Lexus/Toyota, but without a spindle grille and hockey stick turn signals,” he said. “The squinty-eyed front end looked decidedly more Toyota than Lexus.”
Turns out it was just some extra-high-quality trickery. Other sources have informed us it’s just an old Lexus LC prototype running around Metro Detroit.
We only caught a brief glimpse of the camouflaged exterior, hoping what was hidden under the hood was a hybridized BMW powertrain. As we have covered before, the upcoming shared platform it rides on will utilize BMW engine and transmissions technology, and will additionally give rise to the next generation of BMW Z5 roadster. For Toyota, it means a return of a performance icon most recently previewed by the Toyota FT-1 concept.
As for the name, a Toyota engineer linked to the project wants the legendary Supra badge to return.
Too bad we were fooled, and this skinned sports car wasn’t it. We’ll keep our eyes out for more prototypes on the prowl, but for now what we can tell you is that even in camouflage, the Lexus LC looks wicked on the street.