Toyota's influential sports car deserves a new lease of life.
There's a lot of buzz surrounding the Supra's long-awaited return, and there are even talks of bringing back other legendary Toyota sports cars for the 21st century like the Celica and MR2. But these cars may never have happened if it wasn't for the iconic Toyota 2000GT that launched in 1967 as Japan's first ever supercar.
Arguably best known for starring in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, the rear-wheel-drive fastback coupe put Japan on the supercar map at a time when the country was best known for producing small hatchbacks. It's long overdue a comeback, particularly as we're starting to see a resurgence in Toyota cars designed to appeal to enthusiasts.
We can easily imagine a new 2000GT slotting above the 86 and Supra as a new Toyota halo car. Taiwan artist Li Yulin clearly has a similar vision and has designed a render showing what a modern interpretation of the Toyota 2000GT could look like in the 21st century.
Influences from the new Supra are abundant, as the render features a similar double-bubble roof and sculpted sides seen on pre-production models. That said, there are still plenty of styling cues that pay tribute to the original 2000GT such as a long sloping hood, short front overhangs, and the signature quad-headlight arrangement with slim integrated lights replacing the original's pop-up headlamps.
Sadly, the chances of Toyota reviving the 2000GT seem slim. A Toyota engineer recently said the new Supra would never have been given the green light without BMW's involvement. Alas, collaborating with other automakers is the only way Toyota can make a business case for developing niche sports cars and supercars these days.