What Is a Halo Car?

Now and then, automakers roll out a vehicle that doesn’t match what they typically make. Is it by accident, or did they feel like doing something different? Actually, neither of those is true. Manufacturers build what’s called a halo car for, believe it or not, advertising purposes. For instance, the Supra is considered Toyota’s halo car. Sometimes, you might even see a brand promote a pickup as a halo. 

But what does it mean to be a halo car, and what other vehicles are considered halos?

What exactly is a Halo car?

Automakers often use ads to help consumers remember the brand when they’re car shopping. Though advertising certainly can be successful, it isn’t always as effective as automotive companies would like.

Sometimes, a better way to promote a brand is to produce a show-stopping vehicle, not so much for daily driving but fun and thrills. A halo car is that vehicle. It’s designed to entice car enthusiasts to buy it, thereby keeping the brand name fresh in the consumers’ minds. 

These vehicles offer top-of-the-line equipment, technology, and even luxury. However, according to AutoNation Drive, they’re typically sold in limited numbers because it usually costs too much to produce a large number.

Examples of halo cars

Automakers have produced a handful of halo cars over the years. One example is the Audi R8, a supercar that isn’t necessarily meant for daily driving. But it can sometimes make you think you could. According to AutoNation Drive, other popular halo cars are the Ford GT, Dodge Viper, and Toyota Supra. 

Ford’s GT was designed to resemble the famous GT-40 used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans racing event, which the car won from 1966 to 1969. The GT came out in 2005 and is a more modern version of the old race car. Ford eventually dropped the GT-40 name in favor of the simpler “GT.” 

The Viper, which debuted in 1992, was the first generation of what became an iconic car. Dodge continued to improve and perfect the Viper’s performance until 2017, when production ceased. After that, this halo car became even more valuable. 

What makes the Toyota Supra a halo?

RELATED: The 2020 Toyota Supra 3.0 Is Just Unbearably Cool

The Toyota Supra is one of a few halo cars still being made today. This sports car is quite a stretch for a company known for practicality and utility (hello, Carolla, Camry, and Tundra) rather than frivolity.

The Supra is a refreshing sporty-styled ride that looks like a BMW and performs like a race car. Under the hood is an inline-six engine that produces a whopping 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. 

It also boasts an eight-speed transmission and a rear-wheel drivetrain, along with a stainless-steel exhaust. Then there’s the infotainment system, offering tons of high-tech features to make driving the Supra a thrill. 

This two-seater catches many car enthusiasts’ eyes. And that’s exactly what Toyota designed it to do.

Halo cars are fun and flashy diamonds in automakers’ crowns. Once that shining jewel grabs your attention, you might take home one of the brand’s other gems.