Toyota may be developing a hot-hatch variant of the Aygo compact car in honor of Hiromu Naruse, the automaker's chief test driver who was killed in a car crash in Germany this past June.
The new hot-hatch will be a rear-wheel drive with a front-mounted engine, unlike most others in its class.
Based on the Aygo, as well as taking inspiration from the GRNM (Gazoo Racing Master of Nurburgring) Hot Hatch Concept which premiered at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year, the car will feature a 1.5 liter engine sourced from sister brand Daihatsu and a double wishbone rear suspension. Weight will be kept down to less than 1,000 kg.
The model will be slotted beneath the FT-86 in the Toyota lineup and its base price will be around 1.4 million yen (£10,250/€12,326). To keep costs down, Toyota may build the car at the Daihatsu plant in Osaka. The car could debut sometime in 2012.
The idea for a low entry-price, rear-wheel drive hot hatch was Hiromu Naruse's own. Naruse was killed while testing a Lexus LFA in a crash with another test vehicle, a BMW 3-Series, on a road near the Nurburgring circuit in Germany. The two BMW test drivers survived the collision.
Naruse was 67 years old and had been with Toyota since 1963.