The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, as a spinoff from his father’s company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and, in 1936, its first passenger car, the Toyota AA.
Toyota Motor Corporation produces vehicles under 5 brands, including the Toyota brand, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Scion. It also holds a 51.2% stake in Daihatsu, a 16.66% stake in Fuji Heavy Industries, a 5.9% stake in Isuzu, a 3.58% stake in the Yamaha Motor Company, and a 0.27% stake in Tesla, as well as joint-ventures with two in China (GAC Toyota and Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor), one in India (Toyota Kirloskar), one in the Czech Republic (TPCA), along with several “non-automotive” companies. TMC is part of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
When you think of Toyota these days, the phrase “sports car” isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But back in the day, Toyota was actually dabbling in sports car technology a lot more than you’d think. Nobody would have mistaken them for Porsche or Ferrari, but it was more prevalent than today.
At the behest of their CEO, Akio Toyoda, Toyota has been slowly but surely getting back into the sports car game, as evidenced by the outstanding Scion FR-S and some future cars in Toyota’s pipeline. Here, we’ll give you a brief history of Toyota’s sports cars, as well as a quick look to the future.
The Supra is the most iconic of Toyota’s line of sports cars, even having its very own logo until 1991. Initially based off the Toyota Celica, the Supra actually traces a lot of its design back to the 2000GT. The engine is an inline 6-cylinder engine, which was very similar to the 2000GT’s.
The American turbocharged version had an upgraded engine that upped the power output to 320 hp, which could go 0-60 mph in a blistering 4.6 seconds. Unfortunately, despite its rank as one of the iconic sports cars of its time, its high price tag of around $70,000 made it the least popular. Despite this, a lot of enthusiasts are waiting and hoping for the next iteration of the Supra to arrive.