Hoping to put the fun back into Toyota cars, CEO Akio Toyoda popped out of a bright orange sports car which will be called the “86,” at the Fuji Speedway on Sunday.
In an unusual departure from the usual methodology of launching new car models, the 2-liter engine car, called the “86” (Hachi-roku) in Japan, or the GT86 in Europe, was sprung on the public at the foot of Mount Fuji instead of at the Tokyo Motor Show, which is due to open later in the week.
Toyota Motor Corporation unleashed its highly anticipated latest sports car model with the hope that its release will lead to a renaissance in Toyota’s development of a reputation as a producer of “fun” cars for the general market, which it hasn’t had in many years.
“We’ve made you wait a long time for this,” said Toyoda, dressed in a racing suit, addressing the crowd as he emerged from an orange 86. “At long last, here is a car for car lovers.”
Fun to Drive
Toyoda has seen his mission since he took the reins of the company in 2009 to lose Toyota’s boring image as a reliable, but not-too-exciting, car. Advertisements for Toyota have used slogans like “Fun to drive again,” and “Reborn,” asserting that the 86 is the vehicle to reach those goals.