Will this rumor become reality?
When it comes to performance models, Toyota already has a few in its lineup – the GR 86, the GR Supra, and the GR Yaris. But if there's one vehicle that's been missing, it's a proper mid-engine sports car. The last mid-ship model from Toyota was the MR2/MRS, which was discontinued in 2007. But a wild rumor from Japanese site Spyder7 claims that the automaker is preparing to revive the MR2.
The report says Toyota is looking for a partner to build the new MR2, similar to the 86 with Subaru and the Supra with BMW. According to the report, the Japanese automaker could be negotiating with Porsche or Lotus for the development of the MR2 revival project.
But wait, there's more. It will supposedly use a hybrid powertrain, and it could be rated to produce around 345 to 395 PS. Meanwhile, a production model could arrive as early as 2024.
No doubt the rumors of an MR2 revival sounds too good to be true, especially with the possible 2024 arrival date. However, Toyota collaborating with another automaker to bring back the MR2 isn't impossible. In fact, this won't be the first time we're hearing about it.
In 2019, our editor-in-chief spoke with the Supra's chief engineer Tetsuya Tada during a drive in Japan. When asked which company he wanted to work with should Toyota revive the MR2, he said Porsche. At the time, we had to take his answer with a grain of salt because its difficult to confirm whether Tada was serious or not. This new report somehow suggests Tada was serious about the collaboration.
But why Porsche? The German automaker has been very successful when it comes to mid-engine, rear wheel drive (MR) cars with the 718 Boxster and Cayman models. By collaborating with Porsche, Toyota could share the financial and engineering burden of developing a low-volume, mid-engined sportscar.
As for Lotus, Toyota did supply the British company with engines for a very long time; that's why the Elise, Evora, and Exige used a variation of Toyota's 1.8L engine and the 3.5L V6 engine commonly seen in the Camry.
What do you think of the possible Toyota MR2 revival? Is the Japanese auto giant really working on a new mid-engine sports car, or is this gossip we can dismiss? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.