4 March 2004

There’s a revolution underway at Toyota, borne of a single purpose: to make Toyota’s line-up more attractive to more people in more countries around the world. Autocar can exclusively reveal that this revolution will be crowned by the launch a flagship supercar, which will look like this.

Codenamed TXS, the new V10-powered supercar is being developed in Japan and is a clear signal that Toyota is readying itself for a major shift in philosophy on its performance cars.

This is no pie-in-the-sky project like the Toyota-badged, but Italdesign-Giugiaro penned, hybrid MTRC concept car revealed at this week’s Geneva Motor Show and first shown in our news pages last week.

Instead, this is a proper Toyota-developed machine, a striking rear-wheel-drive mid-engined supercar in the classic mould. Autocar’s sources say the TXS has already been granted provisional production car status to take on rivals like the Honda NSX and Nissan Skyline, as well as the Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari 360 Modena. Toyota bosses are waiting for the F1 programme to provide success before commencing production. Details about the new two-seater remain scarce, but it’s likely to receive a new, naturally aspirated V10 engine from the company’s production car division. Using the same cylinder bore spacing as the 4.3-litre V8 used in the Lexus LS430, the modular alloy-block unit displaces 5.4 litres and is thought to run the VVT-i variable valve timing system used on a variety of Toyota engines to allow a red line over 8000rpm. Given Toyota’s reputation for delivering engines with high specific outputs, it’s entirely probable the TXS will end up with a Lamborghini Gallardo-challenging 500bhp.

This would make it the most powerful roadgoing Toyota ever and, along with an estimated 370lb ft of torque from the new V10, help provide the basis for similar levels of performance to Sant’Agata’s mid-engined star. With a weight of ‘under 1350kg’ and a manual six-speed ’box, expect spectacular performance – as in 0-60mph in sub-4.0sec and a 190mph-plus top speed.

Good news for British enthusiasts is that the Toyota supercar’s Japanese origins mean right-hand drive production is assured. Obviously, it is too early to talk prices, but, unlike most Toyota models, affordability won’t be among the TXS’s strong points. Predictions range anywhere from £70,000 all the way up to £120,000.

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