Sport Cars

Possible return of the Toyota MR2 boosts Japanese sports compact segment

As the 2024 calendar year draws to a close, rumors continue to circulate in the automotive industry about the revival of the legendary “Toyota”MR2‘ Type label.

We’ve been gifted with a number of decent renders over the last few years that have certainly kept the discussion relevant among enthusiasts. There’s nothing official about this in itself, assuming these creations were very skillfully and faithfully crafted – but they were more a talented artist’s dream than a Toyota reality.

Rendering of @Halo oto via YouTube

Things start to get real

At the start of this season it looked like an MR2 revival – if there was to be one – was likely to go the electric vehicle route given the times we’re in now. In contrast, Toyota’s FT-Se concept car left a lot open to interpretation, as its mid-ship design cues certainly beg the question of why a petrol (or hybrid) engine would not Sit flush behind the cabin.

The FT-Se concept (above) was marketed as one of Toyota’s future electric sports cars, with a design that also appears to be considering a possible rebirth of the gasoline-powered MR2

While millennials in particular would certainly welcome its return, an electric version literally foregoes the essence that gave the MR2 its name. Official records state that “Midship runabout 2-seateris the nomenclature behind this famous Toyota acronym, although it is more commonly interpreted as a reference to the sports compact cars MID engine and REar wheel drive arrangement. A smaller group kindly refers to it as “Mr. two“, in a sort of dad joke.

Recent rumors in the industry now seem to suggest that the MR2 is more likely to maintain a closer connection to its heritage, and out of the chaos two schools of thought are emerging. First, the new MR2 will feature a few iterations the 1.6 liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine used in GR Corollawhich honestly seems like a reasonable marriage.

Teamwork makes the dream come true

Recent news suggests the development could become a syndicated venture involving Toyota and two subsidiaries:Suzuki and Daihatsu– with a previous reputation for building both compact cars and compact engines. With this latest news, it also looks like there will be an option to offer the platform with a manual transmission. Pretty.

These elements will be crucial in terms of both emissions and performance, as Toyota will aim to approach both sides of the equation with equal passion. Daihatsu is said to play a key role in the overall design process, while some speculation suggests a partnership with Porsche is also planned. Well, wouldn’t The be interesting?

Rendering of Car shovels – Nothing official yet as to what it might look like, but here is a wonderful interpretation of the upcoming MR2, complete with all the GR fittings

The future is what they will make of it

At this point we can say that the probability is quite high that the “MR2The nameplate will return for a 5th generation edition, with certain sources saying it could arrive as early as the 2025 model year. It’s a little harder to seriously predict how exactly it will embody the spirit of the past MR2, but the latest news suggests we can expect good things from Toyota. The above-mentioned collaborations leave the door open for a variety of engine and equipment options. Also, don’t be surprised if there’s a Lexus spin-off coming soon.

Can the new Toyota MR2 be as charismatic as its predecessors? We’ll just have to wait and see…

After all, sports car enthusiasts have been longing for the return of an accessible mid-engine performance car since the last MR2. Some would say the MR-S should be part of the conversation, but it was never a hit back then and never managed to usurp the MR2 and its timeless stature.

If anything, the Pontiac Fiero should get an honorable mention here as a pioneer in the field, and it wasn’t until Toyota brought its reputation for build quality to that goal that we could truly witness remarkable mid-ship performance at an affordable price – those days seem to be over soon if everything works out as it should. Stay tuned!

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