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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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Gazoo shows off 295kW MR2 hybrid

2010-01-18 07:28
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Toyota
Model MR2 Hybrid Sports Concept
Engine 3.3l V6, electric
Power 295kW
Transmission CVT
Zero To Hundred 4.6 sec
Toyota’s MR2 is a legendary little mid-engined performance car, serving as a critical example of just how neatly the Japanese manufacturer can conceive properly entertaining cars when the mood takes it.

MR2 ran out towards the end of 2007, which left a perceptible absence in Toyota’s product portfolio.

Quite surprising then, to see Nipponese tuner Gazoo turning out a striking Sports Hybrid Concept at the Tokyo auto salon based on the MR2.

Proving there is some life left in the MR2 concept, Gazoo (which shares a close relationship with Toyota) has taken the MR2 to a level of performance parent company Toyota never had in mind.

All-wheel drive MR2?

The Gazoo MR2 sports all-wheel drive and a significantly larger engine (still mounted amidships).

Toyota’s 3MZ-FE 3.3l V6 has been shoehorned into the chassis behind the seats and sends drive to the rear axle via a continuously variable transmission.

At the front axle Gazoo has implanted an electric drive system, gifting the MR2-based Sports Hybrid Concept all-wheel drive and a total drive system power output of 295kW…

Mental MR2 lift-off oversteer quelled by front-wheel drive electric motor.

Not such a lightweight - but quick

Although the electric drive system and much larger petrol engine transplant exact a significant mass penalty (adding 270kg to the stock MR2’s lithe 980kg mass), the surfeit of power and all-wheel traction produce some startling performance numbers.

Gazoo claims the MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept rushes from 0-100km in 4.6 seconds, whilst the all-wheel drive traction should ensure the additional weight does not undo the MR’s classic mid-engined handling agility.

Beyond the garish tuner graphics, swollen bumper and fender bits and inconsequential cooling vents this Gazoo MR2 is one pretty neat – and environmentally defendable – Japanese performance car.

Could it perhaps be an inkling of where Toyota’s thinking is with regards to future high-performance drivetrain systems?


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