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When Toyota is brought up in conversation today, thoughts turn to the Prius and Camry. But not long ago, the Toyota brand struck a chord with automotive enthusiasts — it produced the Celica, MR2 and the 'King of the Hill' Supra. Though it's been two years since Toyota produced its last sports car — and arguably longer since the brand was last considered a sports car maker — the Japanese automaker is reportedly preparing to throw its hat back in the ring.
Last summer we revealed that Toyota was co-developing a new sports car with Subaru, but at the time, it was reported that the car would only be for Japanese consumption. However, a new report by Japan's Best Car finds that Toyota will bring the car stateside.
The report also indicates that the new model — which will be built in Gunma, Japan — will be available in two trim-levels: GT and GT-Four.
The base GT model will be reportedly powered by a 200 horsepower 2.0L Boxer-four — sourced from Subaru — which will send power to the car's rear-wheels. Additionally, Toyota has set an internal price target for the GT at under $20,000.
The up-level GT-Four will use the same 300 horsepower Boxer powerplant found in the Subaru Impreza STI, and — as the name implies — will use an all-wheel drive system. The turbocharged powerplant will also be set back in the car's chassis to improve handling.
Moreover, a hybrid variant could be in the works that uses Toyota's i-MEV electric inter wheel motors to drive the front wheels.
While the new model will share ties with the Subaru Impreza, Toyota doesn't want to go head-to-head with Subaru. Instead, the car will be offered in two-door coupe and three-door hatchback configurations.
It remains unclear if Toyota will sell the vehicle under the Toyota brand or its youth-oriented Scion brand. Whatever the case, the new model should hit the market in 2011, or even slightly earlier.