Toyota readying Lotus Seven-inspired sports car?

Good things could be coming from Toyota.

Determined to break its stigma as a maker of bland automobiles, Toyota is said to be prepping a radical open-wheel sports car concept for this year's Tokyo Motor Show.

We'll have to wait until October to see if the concept actually comes to fruition, but it is being reported that Toyota is developing a light-weight sports car in the same vein as the Lotus Seven. The open-wheel sports car is reportedly being championed by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who also spurred development of the Scion FR-S and Lexus RC.

According to Australia's Motoring, the dedicated sports car will stretch about 12-feet in length and will weigh just north of 1,500 pounds. The unnamed sports car, which will use carbon fiber for most of its construction, is also tipped to feature a unique 1+2 seating arrangement not unlike the McLaren F1.

Power for the three-seater will be provided by a 1.5L four-cylinder paired with an electric hybrid drive. Total output will be around 100 horsepower, which should scoot the lightweight car around just fine. Unfortunately, a continuously variable transmission might be the only gearbox on offer.

If the reaction to the concept is favorable, a production version of the car might launch as soon as 2018. A price point of $30,000 has been mentioned, but it's a little too early to nail down a specific figure.

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