Toyota engineer promises company will release Supra sports car within five years

Toyota's Supra successor has been rumored for a long time, but now, an engineer at the Japanese auto giant maintains the plan is to develop a halo sports car as soon as possible. At the same time, another sports car that would slot in below the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/ Subaru BRZ triplets is also in the cards.

The tidbits of information came from Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer of the GT 86, during an interview with AsiaOne. The engineer was told by Toyota president, Akio Toyoda, to bring out the Supra successor as soon as possible. But because the GT 86 took five years, it would be about that long again before it arrives. A passenger car, in comparison, takes only about two to three years.

"The 86 is in the middle but we don't know when the other two will be ready," Tada said.

The top-rung car will arrive first, however. It's also possible that the smaller of the two may sport a less-powerful engine than the GT 86 and sit behind the driver, with a powertrain layout that mirrors that of the late MR2 and MR-S.

The three sports-car approach is part of a strategy to create a bond with buyers.

"So this is a new business model," Tada added. "When customers buy a car, it creates a new bond between the manufacturer and the owner - we do not just profit from selling the car."

The FT-HS concept car pictured above is said to inspire the look of the next Supra.