Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Toyota Finally Shows Signs of Life, Yet Haters Gonna Hate

Images courtesy of  Toyota
In the past I have argued that Toyota has killed off its soul as an automaker because it stopped producing exciting models like the Supra, MR2 and Celica and instead has been pumping out quite a few uninspiring vehicles in bland colors. This is why I was shocked when Toyota revealed it was co-developing the Scion FR-S (or Toyota GT) with Subaru. The Lexus LFA was another surprising move by a company known for its body rolls and numb steering.

It now seems that Toyota is not finished with its attempts to produce more exciting vehicles, even if it continues to produce massive amounts of Camrys for people who do not want to feel like they are driving when they are driving. And of course there are quite a few irrational haters out there who will continue to hate Toyota even as the automaker starts to break away from the thing these people supposedly hate it for.

One huge surprise was the recent reveal of the Toyota Hybrid-R, a high-powered and more aggressive-looking Yaris that is outfitted with a hybrid powertrain. I saw quite a few people gagging that Toyota used a Yaris for a performance concept as they complained that the Yaris is gutless or "too small." The gutless argument is irrelevant considering the car's powertrain has been swapped out. As for the "too small" argument, I'm sure plenty of these people would not have any qualms about getting behind the wheel of an MR2, Pontiac Fiero or something like that, which was a completely tiny car.

There were even some who still accused Toyota of being "boring" because their performance car was a hybrid and, as all of us who did not even get our GED know, hybrids are automatically slow, boring cars that are driven by "tree huggers" who care about not breathing in a bunch of carcinogens. These people irrationally fight against progress in the automotive industry and likely were on the forefront of letting everyone know why electronic fuel injection was ruining cars back in the day.

So what's to hate about the Toyota Hybrid-R Concept? It's styling is a little wild, but it's a concept vehicle. I'm not a huge fan of the look of the Yaris, but the big gaping air intake in the front fascia, larger wheels and side skirts actually make it look better. But the real exciting thing is Toyota has produced a hybrid vehicle that could spank the hell out of most pure gasoline-powered vehicles. The Hybrid-R's powertrain pumps out an impressive 414 horsepower. The car is outfitted with a motor that will send power to the rear wheels as needed so slippage does not occur during hard cornering maneuvers.

I would think people would welcome a Toyota hybrid that can whip around a track, instead of yet another version of the Prius. Maybe some people are, but there are plenty of whiny little fanboy racers who are taking to social media to roast Toyota when the company finally is showing some signs of life once again. Because haters are gonna hate irrationally no matter what.