According to reports out of Japan, Toyota is reportedly working on a new sports car to be released sometime in 2026, around the time the current GR Supra is scheduled to sunset. The next version will allegedly be an electric sports car, at least in the Toyota-badged version. A rumored Mazda-badged variant will be powered a hybrid rotary drivetrain.
The rumors come from several articles by Japan’s Best Car, compiled and translated by Australia’s Drive. Starting with Toyota, they claim to have on pretty good authority that a new Toyota sports car project is under full-scale development. If that wording is accurate and nothing was lost to translation, that means the project has been approved and engineers are actively working on it – a more significant step from a concept car or an executive off-handedly saying, “It’s something we’re considering.”
The unnamed sports car will be an electric vehicle, but not the bronze concept with mid-engine proportions that Toyota revealed last year as part of a larger EV showcase. That was merely a mock-up to show the flexibility of Toyota’s EV platform and, in our opinion, a hastily cobbled press conference to counter the vast number of articles criticizing Toyota for not going all-in on EVs.
More importantly, Best Car’s source says this sports car will feature Toyota’s solid-state battery, which do away with the flammable liquid electrolytes found it typical batteries. They’re lighter, more energy dense, and can charge faster. It’s considered the next big step in automotive tech, and Toyota has more patents on it than any other carmaker. Because the SSBs will be “special and expensive” according to Best Car‘s source, Toyota has chosen to debut it on this sports car. The battery’s compact dimensions will allow for a shorter profile as well.
The source also says that the car will measure about 4400mm long and 1900mm wide, or about the dimensions of the GR Supra. An output of around 500 horsepower has been targeted, and an entirely new dual-motor AWD system is being developed with the help of the GR Yaris WRC team. The line-off date (when the car is supposed to roll off the assembly line) is 2026, around the time the current GR Supra is supposed to sunset, prompting speculation that this will be a Supra replacement.
As for Mazda’s half of the equation, it appears engineers from Hiroshima have been spotted at the sports car’s development site. However, Best Car is quick to note that the base development is being done by Toyota, and while they respect the Mazda engineers and are occasionally asking for their input, the project does not rise to the joint-development level (like with the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ).
This aligns with JNC‘s own understanding of the Toyota-Mazda relationship. As we’ve heard, Toyota is impressed with Hiroshima’s ability to engineer consistently sporty cars despite their size, a guppy to Toyota’s whale. If we had to guess, Toyota is seeking input on chassis dynamics from Mazda.
Best Car says that Mazda’s own take on the car would have a rotary engine as part of a series hybrid. The battery and electric motor would drive the car, while the rotary would serve as a range extender. This would allow the Mazda version to be lighter than Toyota’s, and it might also be RWD as opposed to AWD.
It’s important to point out that these cars will not be based on the Mazda FR platform or the RX-Vision show car. If that spawns a Lexus coupe or Toyota GT3, it’s a separate project altogether.
Toyota seems to be coming out with guns blazing on all sorts of wild projects these days. An entirely different Best Car article claims Lexus is coming out with a twin-turbo V8 making 660ps for an LS-F. That same V8 might find its way in to what Best Car is calling the LFA II as part of a 950ps PHEV drivetrain underneath a carbon body. However, a recent Top Gear says the LFA successor will be entirely electric, but that Lexus is working on a manual transmission for EVs.
In our opinion the LS-F and LFA II seem pretty far fetched, but stranger things have happened. The Supra successor and rotary twin seem more legit, as they’ve been able to obtain such detailed information. Although we don’t have to warn you that just because they’re in development doesn’t mean they’ll see the light of production day. Best Car reports some crazy items but they’ve also been right many times before, like about the look of the J300 Land Cruiser and the Crown’s sedan variant when everyone else, including us, thought the crossover would be the only version.