Bloomberg News

Toyota to Begin Sales of New Sports Car in Japan From April

February 01, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. will begin selling its new 86 sports coupe in Japan from April 6 as part of President Akio Toyoda’s push to widen the Japanese automaker’s appeal beyond the Camry family sedan and Prius hybrid.

The rear-wheel-drive 86 will start from 1.99 million yen ($26,140), the Toyota City, Japan-based company said in a statement today.

Toyoda, as part of the “Fun to Drive, Again” campaign, is reviving production of sports cars to help Japan’s largest automaker attract younger consumers. Toyota, outsold by General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG last year, plans to regain lost market share after recovering from last year’s natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.

Toyota’s newest sports addition extends the lineage of racing machines that dates back to the company’s first supercar, the 2000GT, which was featured in the 1967 James Bond movie, “You Only Live Twice,” starring Sean Connery.

The 86 gets its name from the AE86 Corolla Levin sports car it was based on, and aims to be a car that “evolves with its owner,” Toyota said in November. It accelerates from zero to 100 kilometers (63 miles) per hour in six seconds, with a top speed of 230 kilometers an hour, according to the company.

The model features a horizontally opposed D-4S engine, co- developed with Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., which will sell it as the BRZ.

Other sports cars that Toyota has discontinued include the Supra, built between 1986 and 2002 that was featured in the “The Fast and the Furious” 2001 racing movie, the MR-S roadster that ended production in 2007, and the Celica, made between 1970 and 2006.

-- Editors: Chua Kong Ho, Young-Sam Cho

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Mukai in Tokyo at amukai1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net


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