After reviving the 86 and Supra, Toyota could reportedly be bringing back two other iconic sports cars.
Reports out of Japan indicate the company could revive its mid-engined MR2 sports car with turbocharged three-cylinder power, while Toyota’s chairman is pushing for a Celica revival.
Japanese news outlet Best Car Web reports word from a “reliable source” that Toyota will release a “pure [petrol]” mid-engined sports car in 2026.
Due to tightening emissions regulations, such an effort would likely be the company’s last non-electrified sports car.
In the GR Yaris, the G16E-GTS 1.6-litre turbo three-pot makes 200kW of power and 370Nm of torque, enough to propel the little hatch from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds.
The GR Corolla has more power (221kW) but the same torque figure, except in the Morizo Edition which has 400Nm.
It’s unclear what transmission the new mid-engined sports car will use, as the hot hatches from GR are currently only available with manual transmissions.
An eight-speed automatic is, however, being tested and could find its way into the hot hatches.
Toyota is also reportedly looking to bring back the Celica, with the possibility of a revival being mooted a few times.
Most recently in an interview conducted by Toyota Times magazine at Rally Hokkaido, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda said he was pushing for a new Celica.
“Well, I have [put in a request for a new Celica], but I don’t know what name it will come out under,” he said.
The conversation then centred around Juha Kankkunen, an iconic rally driver that found success driving Celicas.
“I’m not just saying this because we’re at a rally event, but Kankkunen is Mr. Celica. He was champion four times in the Celica. Now you can all have a think about why I’m using Kankkunen so much,” Toyoda-san said.
He then reportedly looked directly down the camera lens and said: “See if you can guess!”
The chairman, along with Toyota president Koji Sato, talked about the Celica earlier this year at the Shinshiro Rally.
In response to the chairman talking about his passion for the Celica, Sato-san said, “I want to bring back the Celica.”
There haven’t been many clues regarding what powertrain a hypothetical Celica could use.
Given Toyota now intends to launch 30 EVs by 2030, it’s possible an affordable electric sports car could be part of its plans.
Last week it teased an electric sports car concept called the FT-Se, set to be revealed at next week’s Tokyo motor show.
In December 2021, it also previewed an unnamed GR-branded concept with electric power and what appears to be a two-seat layout.
The brand last floated the idea of a petrol-powered MR2 successor when it unveiled the S-FR concept at the 2015 Tokyo motor show.
That car had a mid-mounted 110kW/148Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, with drive sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
While the S-FR’s engine outputs weren’t amazing, the concept was said to weigh just 980kg and was under four metres in length.
The MR2 lasted for three generations between 1984 and 2007, while the Celica was even longer-lived.
Debuting in 1970, the Celica was sold until 2006 across seven generations.