Toyota Wants To Revive MR2 Or Celica To Join Supra, GT86
Rumors continue to run rife that Toyota might add another sports car to its range and the new vehicle could be a potential revival of its heritage models like the Celica or MR2.
Masayuki Kai, Assistant Chief Engineer of the Supra Project, said: “We want to have Celica back, we want to have the MR2 back. Now that we have brought the Supra back, what will come next will depend on market needs.” According to Kai, the new Celica could be an all-wheel-drive coupe which references previous AWD variants like the All-Trac and GT-Four. The first two generations of the Supra were based on the Celica. If Toyota wants to maintain a link to the past, the company could use the current Supra’s platform to produce a less expensive, more basic machine.
The new Supra and GT86 are born of collaborations with BMW and Subaru respectively. Kai says that such alliances are the only way for Toyota to make a dedicated performance car possible. “Sports car are becoming more and more expensive to develop, so a single company cannot afford to invest in all the tooling for parts and components because the volume of sports cars is quite small. A sports car requires a lot of specific components that you cannot share with other cars.”
Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada also confirmed that Toyota has looked into the possibility of adding a third sports car to its lineup. He specifically talked about the return of the MR2, calling the strategy which would include the Supra, Celica, and MR2 as “The Three Brothers”. Toyota and Subaru have already started work on the second-generation GT86/BRZ. The updated cars will reportedly bow in 2021 and would come with a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine. The same engine does duty under the Subaru Ascent’s hood, making 260hp and 376Nm in its FA24 guise.
Toyota is also working toward entering the hypercar with a road-legal version of the GR Super Sport concept. It would have a powertrain developed using the Toyota TS050 race car’s 2.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with hybrid assistance which would produce 986hp.
To conclude, these are testing times for the supercar. Development, production, and marketing a unique model puts a heavy load on a manufacturer’s finances, not to mention the diminishing popularity of such cars which makes proprietary development impractical. Toyota might be attempting to capture the imagination of today’s performance car enthusiasts using its famous names in the olden days. What remains is to team up with another manufacturer to bring the old nameplates back to life in a modern avatar.
Source: Road & Track