Forget for a second that Toyota’s President and CEO Akio Toyoda is a media shy executive who doesn’t really come out of his cocoon to answer questions about the company’s massive recall woes. Before taking up the high ranks at the company founded by his grandfather, Toyoda had a lot of training and mentoring under a man named Hiromu Naruse. Naruse, a certified master test driver, sneered at the young executive’s claim to be a true car guy.
“He told me, ‘I don’t want to hear what you have to say about cars until you really know how to drive one,’ ” Toyoda said on the sidelines of this month’s Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race.
Now all that “true car guy” talk is trickling into future Toyota models, whether they be gasoline models or hybrid models.
Toyoda has ordered his engineers to make sure each vehicle produce has the fun-to-drive factor. He said that cars like the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept (pictured above) are the kind of cars you can expect to see under his reign at the company.
“I wanted a car that shows what we are aiming for, something affordable, fun to drive and good for the environment,” Toyoda said.
The concept is a two-seater, four-wheel-drive that gets a 3.3L V6 mated to Toyota”s THSII hybrid system. That system allows it to produce “more than 392-hp,” allowing for a 0-60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.
We look forward to it Toyoda.
Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept:
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)