There's finally an answer.
It was back in 2018 when we learned from a Toyota official the company is interested in bringing back either the MR2 or Celica sports cars, at least that's what the Toyota Supra Assistant Chief Engineer, Masayuki Kai, claimed. Thing is, Kai is not in a position to make major future product decisions. He can only offer his advice and expertise. That being said, we know Toyota has been toying around with the idea of launching a smaller and probably more affordable sports car for some time now.
For example, there were the S-FR and S-FR Racing concepts from 2015 and 2016, respectively. Both previewed a lightweight, fun-to-drive, entry-level sports car with a front-engine/rear-wheel-drive layout. It was back-to-basics at its finest. But since then, Toyota has not provided any clear updates regarding either concept's status.
The folks at Autocar recently spoke to Toyota's vice president of Europe, Matt Harrison, and now there's something new to report. Unfortunately, it's not the news we all want. For now, a new MR2 is "not a priority" for Toyota, even if it were to be revived as an EV.
Instead, Toyota is focusing its sports car efforts on developing the already confirmed next-generation Toyota 86, which will be launched under the GR performance brand. We can't say we're entirely surprised by Toyota's decision on this one. Remember, sports cars are generally hard sells. They simply don't have anywhere near the same mass-market appeal as crossovers, trucks, and SUVs.
All three are huge money-makers. Toyota has made sincere and successful efforts to be a more emotional brand, as cars like the new Supra and GT86 prove. Harrison's statement also confirms there won't be the so-called "Three Brothers," a reference made by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, consisting of the MR2, GT86, and Supra. For whatever reason(s), Toyota has now determined a reborn MR2, even a fully electric one, is not happening, at least for the foreseeable future.