5 Times Toyota Built Cars That Were Actually Exciting
29 May 2017 - Carbuzz
Who says Toyota always builds boring cars?
Toyota has been in the news recently because the company wants to change the perception that it only builds boring cars. The company's CEO even told his employees that he wants to start building cars that people will love. Even though Toyota has been in a bit of a rut, we know that the company is perfectly capable of building cars for enthusiasts. The 86 twins were a good sign that Toyota i still capable of building enthusiast cars, but we wanted to look back on the best cars that Toyota ever built, and pick our five favorites.
The Lexus LFA has to be the greatest car that Toyota has ever produced. Even though the car didn't wear a Toyota badge, it did show that the company was capable of engineering one of the most exciting cars of all time. Next to the Porsche Carrera GT, the LFA has one of the best sounding engines of all time.
The LFA was certainly impressive, but it wasn't the first time that Toyota built an amazing car that was under-appreciated when it was new. Back in the 1960s, it was almost unthinkable that a Japanese car company could build a sexy sports car. In 1967, Toyota released the 2000GT, which came with a 2.3-liter Yamaha straight-six producing 150 hp. This may not sound like much, but the car only weighed 2,500 pounds. The car was so cool, that a convertible version even featured in the Bond film "You Only Live Twice." A good 2000GT can be worth over $1 million today, which proves how amazing it was and still is.
The Toyota Corolla is one of the most boring car nameplates in the world, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, there was a time where the Corolla was the perfect choice for enthusiasts and drifters. We are referring to the AE86, which was the chassis code for the fifth generation Corolla. The car was sold as the Corolla Levin or as the Sprinter Trueno as a coupe or hatchback. The car never had a lot of power, but with RWD and a light curb weight, it was remarkably fun to drive. Toyota even decided to name its new RWD sports car after the AE86, so it obviously has some historical significance for the company.
Toyota's luxury division Lexus had a similar problem as the main brand. Lexus cars were always comfortable and well built, but they lacked the excitement and driving dynamics of their German rivals. Lexus first tried to beat the BMW M3 with the IS-F, and it was a decent attempt. Unfortunately, the IS-F has since been forgotten and the second attempt at a performance sedan from Lexus was much more noticeable. The GS sedan already had great balance and the GS-F took it to a new level. The GS-F is powered by a 467 hp 5.0-liter V8, which may be less powerful than German rivals, but has a wonderful sound that is much more exciting than a turbocharged engine.
No list of exciting Toyota models would be complete without the Supra. The fourth generation A80 Supra is many people's favorite thanks to its high tunability and staring role in The Fast and the Furious. The twin-turbo 2JZ engine in the Supra produced 320 hp when new, but can easily produce over 1,000 hp with some modifications. Good examples of the Supra can sell for around $100,000, which would have been unthinkable back in the '90s. Toyota is rumored to be building a replacement for the Supra, which we hope will live up to its predecessor's legend.