Toyota says it wants to build another sports car to join the upcoming fifth-generation Supra and the 86 in its lineup.
The public confirmation of Toyota’s desire to build a third sports car comes after years of speculation the MR2 was gearing up for a fourth generation. The company also continues to protect the “Celica” name; most recently, it renewed its trademark filing in March 2017.
Masayuki Kai, Assistant Chief Engineer on the Supra project, told the Supra was the biggest name to bring back to reinvigorate the company’s performance credentials, but MR2 and Celica are also important.
“We want to have Celica back, we want to have the MR2 back. Now that we’ve brought Supra back, what will come next depends on the market needs,” he said.
Kai suggested if Toyota moves forward with a new Celica, it could return as an all-wheel-drive sports car to balance out Toyota’s rear-wheel-drive offerings. Both the lightweight 86 and high-performance Supra send their power to the rear wheels.
Another mid-engine MR2 is also possible with the right business case, Kai told the magazine.
He also reiterated that partnerships will likely be the only way Toyota brings new sports cars to market. Toyota joined forces with BMW to bring the Supra back to market and he noted BMW probably couldn’t have made a new Z4 without the Japanese automaker’s commitment. He said sports cars are becoming more expensive to develop since many of their components can’t be shared with volume models and they require specific tooling.