Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese auto manufacturer that is part of one of the largest conglomerates in the world. Toyota boasts an extensive portfolio of automobile models, under the Toyota name as well as the Scion youth brand and the Lexus luxury brand. Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in 1937, although its first car was produced a year earlier, in 1936. In addition to Toyota’s own brands, Toyota has expanded its reach by developing stakes and partnerships in several other automotive manufacturers, as well. Throughout the years, Toyota has designed, produced and sold a wide variety of passenger vehicle models, including several Toyota sports cars. Toyota sports car models are something of a niche product for the company, although certain older Toyota sports car models are still very desirable to collectors and enthusiasts.
One such example of a Toyota sports car is the Toyota 2000GT, which was produced jointly between Toyota and Yamaha Motor Corporation. Yamaha actually built the vehicle for Toyota, under contract. Over the four years of the 2000GT’s production, from 1967 until 1970, just 337 of this Toyota sports car were built. The Toyota 2000GT was a two-door fastback body style that featured a front-engine layout and a rear-wheel-drive configuration. The Toyota 2000GT was available with a 2-liter inline-six engine or a 2.3-liter inline-six engine, and came with a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. This two-seat hardtop coupe Toyota sports car attracted a lot of attention from the competition, especially the European auto manufacturers, who did not expect Toyota or other Japanese auto manufacturers to be capable of producing a car that could seriously compete against German and Italian sports cars.
The next Toyota sports car to make waves was the Toyota Supra, which was introduced in 1978. Like the 2000GT, the Supra was a two-door fastback coupe, although unlike the two-seater 2000GT, the Supra’s cabin had a 2+2 layout, with a little room for occasional backseat passengers. All four generations of the Supra were powered by inline-six engines, like the 2000GT. Despite the similarities to the Toyota 2000GT, the Toyota Supra was based on the Toyota Celica, and was originally considered a variant of the Celica. In 1986, at the beginning of this Toyota sports car’s third generation, Toyota began treating the Supra like its own model, and made more distinction between the Celica and the Supra. Toyota stopped exporting the Supra to the United States in 1998, and canceled production entirely in 2002. However, Toyota is reportedly working on a successor to the Supra, and in 2010, applied for the trademark to be able to use the Supra name once more.