This is what the future of the electric sports car looks like.
Considering Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda's harsh words for the push towards EVs, the last thing we expected was for the man himself to show off more than a dozen new electric Toyotas and Lexus all at once, previewing the electric future of the company. But that happened this morning when Toyoda outlined the automaker's vision for an electric future including 30 full battery electric vehicles (BEVs). But when Akio Toyoda is the man responsible for Toyota not making boring cars anymore and has proven himself to be a true gearhead by dishing out donuts from behind the wheel of a Toyota GR Yaris, you can be sure that those future EV plans will include something for the enthusiast. The big bombshells hidden in the presentation were two sports car concepts, one from Toyota and one from Lexus. The best bit though, was that the latter will act as a spiritual successor to the Lexus LFA.
We'll start with that since the world has been pining for a successor since the LFA went out of production in 2013. Hidden deep within the press material, a simple statement from Toyoda reads "Lexus will develop a next-generation battery EV sports car that inherits the driving taste, or the secret sauce, of the performance cultivated via the development of the LFA."
He continues to mention that the engineers can position batteries and electric motors anywhere they want in the new EV platforms, allowing them to tailor the feel and balance of a car.
Koji Sato, President of Lexus International gives us a little extra info, telling us the LFA successor will have solid-state batteries, a range of more than 435 miles, and that it will accelerate to 60 mph in "the low 2-second range." Speaking of the sports car, he says, "With bold proportions and low ride height essential to a sports car, it will showcase the unique driving performance of a Lexus and become a model that symbolizes the future of the brand."
The concept that previews this car looks spectacular, and would definitely be befitting of the LFA name. Sharp styling includes an all-black greenhouse, a cab-back design, and a long, shapely hood. Short overhangs front and rear and a broad, low stance make the new EV extra intimidating.
Information on the electric Toyota sports car is a little scanter, leaving us with only a few images to pore over. These reveal a small yellow sports car with a removable targa-style hardtop roof panel, blistered arches, large wheels, and a GR badge on the front bumper. This tells us it will be a true Gazoo Racing-developed model in line with the GR Supra, GR Yaris, GR 86, and forthcoming GR Corolla. Placed alongside several other small Toyota models, the two-seat sports car looks remarkably tiny. Given its two-seat nature, the new sports car could preview an MR2, as that mid-engined sports car only had two seats. By positioning the batteries behind the cockpit, Toyota could emulate the mid-engined feel of that car, and give it the proper low-slung seating position a sports car deserves.
The proportions look right, and in the video below with Toyota senior designer Simon Humphries, we get a 3D visual of its compact proportions.
Both models will arrive before 2030, but more likely around 2025.