The Toyota MR2 is Probably Coming, But Not As Soon As We Hoped
Wait for the next-gen 86, then watch what Toyota moves onto next!by Robert Moore, on
Rumors of a new Toyota MR2 go back as early as at least 2010 but they really came back to life after Toyota launched the new 2020 Toyota Supra and Tetsuya Tada (the head engineer behind the Supra) said he wanted to bring the three brothers back. Since then, there have been a number of developments, including rumors that it could be an electric sports car and that Toyota wanted to partner with Porsche to build it. Now, however, it looks like all your hopes and dreams were, well, a little premature.
Toyota Has Priorities That Go Beyond Reviving the Toyota MR2
Before I completely spill the beans, let me just point out that these revisited priorities don’t come from the mouth of Tetsuya Tada, so we’re taking them with a grain of salt. In an interview with Autocar, Toyota’s Executive Vice President of Sales in Europe, Matt Harrison, said that the new MR2 “is not a priority” for the company right now. The reasoning behind the statement is that the company is currently focusing on the next-generation Toyota 86, aka, GR 86.
This is a far cry from Tada’s wishes to bring back both the MR2 and the Celica. The former would sit below the Supra, while the latter would serve as the entry-level sports car. The good news, however, is that we’re pretty sure that Tada has a little more pull than a regional VP of sales (after all, Tada’s the man behind the Supra) and there’s also the fact that the MR2 still hasn’t been ruled out anyway.
For now, it sounds like we might have to wait a little longer than 2021, but that might be a silver lining.
There’s no way around it, Toyota will partner with someone for the MR2. With Subaru and Toyota focusing on the BRZ and 86 twins, it’s not going to be Subaru – it would make the 86 and MR2 too similar on too many levels. Tada was pretty insistent that he wanted to work with Porsche, and that could be a major plus. Porsche is considering making the next-gen 718 an EV, and that’s the same territory the MR2 will try to conquer as well.
With the MR2 likely to be an EV, you don’t want Toyota to rush the research and development process.
If it’s going to do the MR2, it needs to do it right. We’re okay with waiting a few more years if it means the MR2 will be a worthy sports car, electric or not. If it can have some Porsche DNA built in, and the wait means the next-gen 86 will be that much better, then we’re more than okay with waiting.
|Toyota 86||Toyota MR2||Toyota Supra|
|Engine||2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, boxer, aluminum alloy block and heads||2.5-liter, 4-cylinder||3.0-liter twin-scroll turbo six|
|Horsepower||205 HP @ 7,000 RPM||200-250 HP||335 HP|
|Torque||156 LB-FT @ 6400 RPM||175 LB-FT||365 LB-FT|
|Transmission||6-Speed Manual/6-Speed Automatic||quick-shifting six-speed manual||8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters|
|0 to 60 mph||6.4 seconds||5.9-6.2 seconds||4.1 seconds|
|Top Speed||136 mph||150 mph||155 mph|