It may explain why the second-generation 86 hasn't been shown yet.
Following the reveal of the 2022 Subaru BRZ, we expected the 2022 Toyota 86 would follow close behind. The two cars looked pretty similar in the first generation, so we have a good idea of what to expect from the new 86. Much to our surprise, though, Toyota had no news to share on the 86 front, and the reveal was reportedly delayed by several months. Based on a new filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we may know why the car is delayed.
Previous rumors speculated that the 86 could undergo a name change to fall under Toyota's Gazoo Racing sub-brand, like the GR Supra. The new name was rumored to be "GR86" but a recent trademark for the name "Celica" suggests this could be used for the upcoming 86 replacement. The filing was made on January 15, 2021, and covers "Automobiles and structural parts thereof."
The patent filing could be purely speculative so that Toyota can retain the rights to the name. Still, if the Japanese automaker plans to bring back this historic nameplate, we can think of no better model than the upcoming sports car co-developed with Subaru. The Celica name first appeared way back in 1970 and lasted for seven generations across various convertibles, liftbacks, coupes, and hatchback coupes, even coining the term "liftback" in 1973 to describe the fastback hatch model.
The second-generation model spawned a Celica Supra performance variant, which was later spun off into its own model called the Supra. The Celica's final iteration was a front-wheel-drive liftback coupe model that left production in 2006.
Toyota could have deployed the Celica name on the Supra 2.0 but decided it might cause confusion having the same car use two different monikers. Likewise, when Scion was shut down and the FR-S was renamed the 86, Toyota thought the Celica name deserved an all-new product. Well, now an all-new product is on the way, so perhaps we will finally see the Celica name reemerge. Toyota has previously expressed interest in reviving the Celica and MR2 names, so this may not be the last trademark we see from the Japanese automaker.
CarBuzz has reached out to Toyota for comment and will update the story accordingly.