A few months ago we were jazzed when we heard that Akio Toyoda might be taking the reins at Toyota, succeeding then-President Katsuaki Watanabe. Why? Because after spending the last 10 years killing off all the sporty coupes and GT cars in its lineup, here was a guy who actually loved donning a helmet and fireproof longjohns to take a Lexus out for a lap or two around the Nürburgring. And they’re actually promoting him to President! Of course, it does help when your last name is on all the buildings.
But see here, in a recent interview in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport (which JNCer RoadsterViking took the liberty to translate for us — danke!) Toyoda-san was asked about Toyota’s sports cars past and answered: “You’re probably refering to the 2000GT. We have neglected our sportscar heritage for a long while, but we’re going to start cultivating it again.”
Great! There have long bee rumors about an AE86 spiritual successor, the on-again-off-again “Project 086a” though when the economy turned south even the most faithful stopped holding their collective breath. But check it: “For this crisis not to become too long, we must start creating dreams again. This is most easily accomplished through good, emotional products.”
The man loves his cars. He was only a wee 11-year-old tyke in the Toyoda clan when the 2000GT was introduced, but now he’s driving them in vintage rallies and slinging prototype LF-As around the Green Hell. While we wouldn’t advise Toyotaku to resume breath holding, this is still the brightest ray of sunshine we’ve seen in years.