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Toyota is studying the possibility of a smaller rear-wheel drive sports car to sit below the Toyota 86 as part of its three sports car family.

Speaking to CarAdvice at the one-year anniversary event of the Toyota 86 in Canberra, Tatsuya Tada, the program’s chief engineer and the man in charge of Toyota’s sports car division, confirmed work on the smaller and larger sports car has already started.

“Akio Toyoda always says to me, Toyota sports car [family] should be three sports car brothers. 86 is in the middle.” Tada said.

According to Tada, Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s CEO and president, is in favour of both models going into production but neither has yet got the official green light. Tada has been put in charge of the Toyota Supra resurrection project while another chief engineer has taken the smaller sports car project.

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Speculating about potential names, such as Toyota MR2 or Celica, Tada said it’s still far too early but was adamant the smaller sports car will still be on an all-new rear-wheel drive platform.

“Yes it is rear-wheel drive and that’s Toyota’s strong position – Toyota sports car must be rear-wheel drive.” Tada said.

Additionally, Tada hinted that the car might be built in collaboration with another car company, in the same way that the Toyota 86 is a joint project between Subaru and Toyota while the Toyota Supra-sized sports car is an ongoing partnership between BMW and Toyota.

Questioned over the financial viability of a rear-wheel drive platform just for a smaller sports car, Tada said that Toyota has the expertise and efficiency know-hows to make the project work.

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“[The rear wheel drive smaller sports car] sounds like it’s very difficult to do [on a] new platform. However, Toyota has learnt a lot from 86 project and Toyota has much experience in terms of technology and development in the way we develop vehicles efficiently and cost effectively. We have all these experiences and skills”.

Tada admitted that it’s a big challenge and one that other manufacturers can’t do due to the high expense, but was confident in Toyota’s ability to produce a smaller rear-wheel drive sports car.

Given the positioning of the smaller sport car below the 86 and if it was to go into production in the next few years, it would likely be the most affordable rear-wheel drive sports car in the world.

Additionally, given its rear-wheel drive and all-new platform nature, it’s unlikely to share much with any existing Toyota.

What should Toyota call their smaller sports car?




  • Andy

    Bring back the MR2!

    • Phil

      sure, as long as they don’t just mid-mount a FWD Corolla drivetrain like they did last time. Plain vanilla 103kW motor did no favours, the sequential manual even less.

      • Igomi Watabi

        The first MR2 was widely praised by the motoring press around the world and is credited as the car that finally (sadly) killed the FIAT X1-9. The second generation MR2 was slightly criticised for it’s tail-happy handling. I think the car you’re thinking of is the third generation car, known as the MRS.

        • Phil

          correct, known as the MR-S in Japan. In Australia and the US, it was marketed as the MR2 Spyder. It’s this one I don’t want to see a repeat of.

          • Alastair Stell

            The MRS was a terrible car. No storage and the worst paddle shift gear box I have EVER encountered. The shape was a disaster too. Given the way power on modern cars is going and the inevitable weight increase due to crash protection requirements, the new MR2 needs around 300 hp in my opinion.

      • Ed

        The MR2 Spyder was actually the fastest of all the MR2s by only a 10th of a second in the 14 Mile. Many people just looked at the Horse power numbers but did not think about its super light weight. I owned a 1993 for 10 years and I have had my 2000 Spyder for almost 7 years, but I did swap out the drive train out of a Lotus Elise and that made all the difference. it now leaves S2000s and older Mustangs in the dust!

        • Phil

          The Spyder was a mid 15′s car in the qtr at best. The MR2 turbo was into the 14′s, the post 1993 Japanese spec model having a 180kW 3S-GTE and turning in easy 14.5 sec qtr times. Power to weight of the turbo cars is significantly better. You would be the first person I’ve heard claim the MR2 Spyder was quickest.

      • Alastair Stell

        Phil, only Phil-istines want an automatic transmission in a sportscar. I run a 6 speed blacktop motor in mine after converting from a sad automatic supercharged model. The difference is like night and day. I might accept an 8 speed paddle shift box if it can be made light enough and cheap enough.

  • Angelo

    WHO CARE

    • jhghj

      Obviously you in some way, since you clicked on the article.

      • AndyGF

        I think hes answering the last question asked within the said clicked article… “What should Toyota call their smaller sports car?”

        • Phil

          Toyota Whocare doesn’t have much of a ring to it. But I suppose it is no worse than Yaris or Auris or Kluger ;)

  • matt

    so cheaper then the 86 (hopefully) and rear wheel drive? wow, Toyota is getting its mojo back. RWD celica please, and yes stick with no turbo and a high redline :):)

    • Jones

      And then use that platform as a base for the next Corolla.

  • F1orce

    RWD. The way it was intended to be.

  • 3pipes

    GT80.

  • $29896495

    Those Mustang Celicas were pretty cars. Wouldn’t really want to go much smaller than an 86, Westerners will never fit.

  • Jake

    Thankyou! For taking the leap and bringing back the true drivers cars that everyday people can afford. I’m sure a few other brands will follow, just, thankyou!

  • Tone

    The two possible names that spring to mind are Celica or Sprinter.

    • Norm

      Sprinter! Bring back the AE86

    • Phil

      Smaller than the 86, they might call it Sera. I am hoping they won’t put on the rose tinted nostalgia glasses, I’d rather something completely new. With all those Mercedes Sprinter vans around, I would not count on Sprinter being revived.

  • altezza

    Revive the legendary 2000GT.

  • marc

    80pc market have forgotten how much fun RWD is.

  • SierraM363

    Needs to reduce weight to make up for a smaller engine. Maybe get rid of the doors and roof?

  • Alex

    Revive the supra!! am i the only supra fan here wth :o

    • Igomi Watabi

      yes

  • Charles

    Sport 800 would be a good name.

  • Ivn

    “Additionally, Tada hinted that the car might be built in collaboration with another car company….”

    I hope it’s BMW!!!!

  • Gianni

    If production goes ahead, hopefully Toyota revives and updates the 2ZZ-GE (albeit in RWD format;) a smaller, RWD high revving sportscar for under 30K brand new would be a pretty good proposition.

  • GTuck

    85?

  • lolwut

    Its going to be MR2 GT revival :-)

    hopefully!

    I miss my MR2 GT SW20 Gen 3!! awesome car!

  • Harrison

    Has to be another W chassis car! Let it launch under scion as the MR. Dont let it be convertable. Make it bare bones. No air con, let it have LSD. If at all possible have a curb weight of 1800-2200. And maybe bring back the 1.6 4age style engine. That is all.

    • $29896495

      I think you need to look again at your kerb weights. You want the weight around 1000 to 1200 at most. Your suggestion and a 1.6 will barely move.

      • Phil

        unless Harrison is talking pounds, not kilos… which would mean between 820 and 1000kg.

        • zombie_freak_rw

          He mentioned Scion, which is the brand the GT-86 is sold under here in the USA. So, yeah, he’s likely talking pounds.
          The GT-86 is 2800 to 2900 pounds, with a 2.0L. So anything under 2300lbs with a 1.6L should have the same weight to power ratio.

  • Doogs

    Long live the MR2! Man this has me excited, Toyota are starting build cool cars again.

  • Josh

    Im calling it now…the 86 convertible concept was dropped in favor of bringing back the MR2 Spyder

  • Alastair Stell

    MR2 but not the Gen 3 disaster. The new MR2 must have a hard-top and a boot equivalent in size to the original Mark 1 MR2. The new MR2 must look distinctive and instantly eye catching (not the saloon body shape of the Mark 2 or the blob nondescript shape of the Mark 3).

    Remember this; I get more attention in my Mark 1 MR2 than you’ll get in any Ford except a GT40, any Honda except an NSX and ANY Toyota.