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Toyota Unveils Lightweight High Performance 'XYR' Sports Coupe Concept

4 January 1999

Toyota Unveils Lightweight High Performance 'XYR' Sports Coupe Concept

DETROIT, Jan. 4 -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc., today unveiled the XYR sports coupe, a lightweight high-performance concept vehicle styled by Toyota's CALTY Design Center in Newport Beach, Calif.

"The XYR was designed to offer a strong hint to Toyota's future direction in the high performance sports car segment," said Don Esmond, TMS group vice president and general manager at the car's world premiere press conference at the North American International Auto Show. "Success in the small sport specialty segment requires equal parts of flash, dash and affordability, in a package geared specifically to the tastes of younger buyers. The XYR concept pushes all those buttons."

The front-wheel drive XYR is powered by an all-new aluminum alloy 1.8- liter twin-cam engine. The engine was co-developed with Yamaha, who also assisted in the development of the two-liter inline six-cylinder engine for Toyota's first true sports car, the 1967 2000-GT. The engine employs an all- new VVTL-i induction system to produce 180 horsepower at 7,600 rpm. The newly developed system combines continuously-variable valve timing and continuously- adjustable valve lift, depending on engine rpm. The system provides an exceptional blend of power, fuel economy and reduced emissions over a broad rpm range.

The aggressively-styled XYR rides a 102-inch wheelbase and weighs in at 2,500 pounds. Its front-drive platform is fully independent, featuring MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone suspension in the rear, with 17-inch wheels and tires and four-wheel disc brakes.

The interior of the XYR was designed to convey the look, feel and simplicity-of-operation of a race car cockpit. Instrumentation is large and legible. Controls are simple and easy to operate, and the sport seats are heavily bolstered for good lateral support.

The XYR is one of three vehicles to be unveiled at this year's Detroit and Chicago auto shows that are aimed specifically at young new-car buyers. All three vehicles offer a strong conceptual indication of future Toyota products aimed at establishing an impression and a lasting connection with this important consumer group.