However, is it too much of a bargain? I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but there are a few reasons why this claimed coupe may not make the cut.
Toyota – or any automaker for that fact – isn’t in the business of losing money hand over fist on a car, regardless of how popular or affordable it could be. If such a car does exist, there has to be enough meat on the bone for profit, or else it has no chance of passing the accounting department.
The second roadblock? Its own older brothers. Whether you call it GT86, FR-S, or BRZ, the current Toyota-Subaru sports coupes maintain a key price point and position in the entry level sports car market. Undercut those higher-margin entry models, of which US sales have begun to wan, and you risk cannibalizing those cars altogether.
Then there’s the Supra. For the most part, buyers of a sub-$20k coupe will differ vastly from consumers of higher performance models, but with the expected entry of a next-gen Toyota Supra in the coming years, this third model might spell too much sales competition and crossover under one roof.
These issues aren’t Toyota-specific either, most marques would love to build a rear-drive budget sports car. Fans hooted and hollered over Nissan’s IDx two-door concepts, which would appear to be on permanent hiatus, as well as Chevrolet’s sub-Camaro Code 130R concept, which has since been ruled out for minuscule profit margins. There just isn’t enough wiggle room for development and production in most cases.
Would Toyota like to revive its iconic Sports 800 with a modern day equivalent? For sure, more than you might think. But at the end of the day, someone has to make money, and at the report’s claimed price point, I’m not sure this would. It can’t hurt to cross your fingers though.