Toyota to have a Trifecta of Sports Cars Once Again
Did someone say MR2? A successor is likely on the wayby Robert Moore, on
Remember the good old days when Toyota actually had a presence in the sporty performance segment with cars like the Toyota Supra, the Toyota Celica, and the Toyota MR2? All three have since died a sad and emotional death among those that loved them, but there’s new hope for the future, and Toyota just might have three performance models in its lineup once again. We already knew about the Supra, which is being designed in part with BMW, and the GT86 is, by all rights, a successor to the Celica, so the brand is just missing the MR2, and we could see its successor in the very near future if reports from Evo are correct.
Speaking to Evo at the Geneva Auto Show, Tetsuya Tada – a Toyota engineer and the Chief of Gazoo Racing – kindled the fire, saying, “We hope to have the three brothers in place as soon as possible.” All but confirming that a third model succeeding the MR2 is in the works is big news, and while details are still under wraps at this time, we know it’s coming fast, and we may have already seen some hints as to what it might look like thanks to the Toyota S-FR Concept that debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show. Ideally, it should maintain the same general dimensions to take on models like the Mazda Miata.
And, the best part about all of this is that the third sports car will, of course, have Mr. Tada’s hands all over it, so that means light-weight and simple – a true competitor in the compact sports car market. According to Evo, Toyota is even working on bringing the hybrid technology from its LMP1 racers so it could still end up being mid-engined. There’s no guarantee that it will be hybrid from the start, but Tada told Evo that Toyota is “Working very hard” and making a hybrid sports car a reality.
It Could be the Late 80s and Early 90s All Over Again
So, this is really big news for sports car and Toyota enthusiasts everywhere, and if the GT86 is any indication, brands like Mazda should be worried, because Toyota is about to dominate if this trifecta of sexy performance becomes a reality. As to what would power the MR2 successor is a complete mystery and, at this point, Toyota probably doesn’t even know. But, you better believe a six-speed manual gearbox will be in the works (a DCT might be an option,) and the engine could be a retuned version of the 2.0-liter from the GT86. That thing puts down 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet in the 86, but could probably be pushed to somewhere in the neighborhood of 245 horsepower and 190 pound-feet for the MR2 if Toyota goes that way. Then again, it’s also got that 1.5-liter in the current Yaris. It’s only pushing 106 ponies and 103 pound-feet but could be tuned to deliver much more. Or, another possibility is the 1.6-liter found in the Yaris WRC which pushes upward of 300 ponies and could be de-tuned a bit to slot between the 86 and the Supra in the lineup.
Oh, so many possibilities, and so much time before we find out for sure. But, at least we can sleep comfortably at night knowing that Toyota could have a trifecta of sports cars on the market in the next few years. Now we wait, but we’ll be looking out for rumors and the like, so be sure to check back with us regularly for updates. Until then, what would you like to see in a successor for the MR2? How much power, hybrid or not, and should it be based on that S-FR concept? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.