A new lightweight, mid-engined Toyota sports car? Yes please.
The 1990s was a golden era for Toyota sports cars – specifically, a trio affectionately known as the ‘Three Brothers.’ The Toyota Celica and Supra are both fondly remembered, but if you wanted a lightweight sports car that was immensely fun to drive, Toyota offered the glorious mid-engined MR2, which was discontinued in 2007. In an interview with Evo, Toyota hinted at the possibility of the MR2 making a comeback as part of a new trio of sports cars.
Currently, the Toyota GT86 fills in the role of the original Celica, and there is a new Supra also on the way being co-developed with BMW. That just leaves a lightweight sports car to fill the void of the MR2. Gazoo Racing chief and Toyota engineer Tetsuya Tada told Evo that the Three Brothers will return “as soon as possible,” hinting at a possible spiritual successor to the MR2 in the form of a new lightweight sports car. Combined with the recent reveal of the rally-inspired Yaris GRMN hot hatch, Toyota certainly seems keen to revitalize its image as a performance car maker – a stark contrast to some of the bland and forgettable cars we’ve seen from the automaker in recent years.
It isn’t clear how Toyota will position its MR2 successor, but the GT86 and the upcoming Supra certainly leaves room for a lightweight roadster to rival the Mazda MX-5. Evo also speculates that Toyota could incorporate hybrid technology developed for its LMP1 racecars, in which case the MR2 successor could adopt a similar mid-engine setup to the original as battery storage is easier. We certainly wouldn’t complain – particularly as the industry is crying out for an affordable, mid-engined sports car right now.