Toyota’s Trademarked The Celica Name, But What For?

The Supra may not be the only Toyota sports coupe to make a comeback in the near future. A trademark filing suggests that the Celica name could return as well.

The application, discovered by Car and Driver, doesn’t give any indication as to how Toyota intends to use the name, if it does at all. But its surfacing does pique a certain level of interest.

Toyota produced seven generations of Celica from 1971 through 2006. The first three generations were based on a rear-drive platform before the latter four (including those we remember best) switched to front-drive. All-wheel drive versions were offered as well, along with both convertible and three-door liftback versions to accompany the core two-door coupe.

These days the place once occupied by the Celica is largely taken by the 86, begging the question as to what role a revived Celica would fill in Toyota’s lineup. One possibility could see the automaker revive the nameplate for the next model, and “deep-six” the 86. It could, however, try to fit both a hardcore 86 and a softer Celica into the lineup, much as it has with models like the Highlander and 4Runner, Yaris and Yaris iA, Corolla and Corolla iM, or Lexus ES and IS, tackling the same essential market segment from different angles. Or it could, as C/D points out, apply the Celica name to a different model altogether, like Mitsubishi has with the Eclipse Cross.

In the end, though, it’s as least as likely that the nameplate will remain in retirement – albeit legally protected should Toyota want to resurrect it again at some point in the future.

Photo Gallery

  • Evo45

    It would be nice with Yaris GRMN engine if it becomes a new FWD (or RWD) coupe.

    • fgclolz

      The 2000 car was a great design IMO, should’ve been built with a RWD. Could’ve been the 86 of that era.

      • Archknight77

        The 2000 car was a great design and it was a quick little ride for it’s time. It was like driving a go-cart and felt faster than it was, but it was a harsh little car. If they did a new version with the same layout on the new platform it would be a far better car. With the 86 about to be remodeled and the Supra on the way, a cheaper sport coupe is needed on the entry side that can move into a “Touring” space.

      • Squall Kitsune

        I agree. I’ve had my 2000 GTS for 10 years, and it handles great and still looks pretty decent IMO, but I really wish it was RWD. I feel like it wants to be. Hoping if the name returns it’s something RWD (if it were up to me it would be retro styled based on the 1st gen) – if it’s an SUV…then I’d rather they let the name die.

        • fgclolz

          It was my low hanging fruit of a dream car at the time. The styling is unique, yet graceful and proportional. It almost has super car aspirations in the looks department. If they resurrect the car I don’t think it will look this good based on Toyota’s current design language.

  • Kash

    to protect their assets like Ferrari was doing with the Testarossa trademark.

  • Six_Tymes

    it wasnt trade marked before?

    • Six Thousand Times

      Trademarks expire.

  • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

    GM still holds the trademarks for Pontiac and Oldsmobile AFAIK, not like they are producing anymore. Probably like the conclusion says it’s just for trademark protection, or even merchandising.

    • Six Thousand Times

      Probably Cutlass and Firebird, too.

  • Kenneth

    The first Celica was a smaller, Mustang Fastback-like RWD coupe. It would be interesting, considering how big and heavy the Mustang and Camaro have become, for Toyota to once-again introduce a more-economical competitor to those cars – kind of like Nisssan’s IDX concept. Times have changed, though, and I’d guess the projected sales numbers just might not be large enough for Toyota (though probably larger than those of the more limited-appeal 86).


  • Ilbirs

    Celica could be a great name for the production version of the S-FR Concept. For sure it’s way better to say a proper name than an acronym, specially an iconic one accepted in every part of the world.

    • Squall Kitsune

      I would be so happy if this was the case. I love the S-FR concept, and Celicas (this being my 10th year with my 7th gen GTS) 20 years driving Celicas.. A big part of me wanted the 86 to be named “Celica” but it is also more Subaru than Toyota, so it also wouldn’t have been entirely fitting.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Companies usually hold onto their iconic brand names whether they plan to use them again or not.

    • John

      just imagine one day Kia naming their car Veyron or Huracan…. “I drive a Veyron”

  • smartacus

    many wondered that Scion tC stood for Toyota Celica.

    BTW, S-FR will NEVER come here.
    Toyoda said so last month 🙁

  • Shobin Drogan

    Is it gonna be just another fwd 2 door corolla?

    • Archknight77

      It will probably use the Corolla platform as it’s basis, but it will be far more than a Corolla. Toyota has the 86 as it’s entry RWD model at almost 27K, so why not make a FWD model that starts at 20-22K. This allows them to take on Honda’s Civic coupe, while still allowing them to have something that’s distinct in case the Corolla’s design isn’t to everyone’s liking. The last gen Celica was a nice liftback that could have been amazing if it had Toyota’s new 8AT and 2.5L engine. I remember hearing awhile back that Toyota would add more sports cars to it’s lineup, I guess they are going to actually keep that promise. If they incorporate AWD into a package some premium features, then they have a lineup of mainstream sports cars for everyone.

  • cat

    I think it’s for a new suv called celica, like mitsubishi did with the eclipse! (eclipse cross)

    • fabri99

      That’s what I thought too. But it made me sad, so I decided to forget about it.

  • fabri99

    The Celica is still so cool and desireable nowadays. I’d love if Toyota considered moving the GT86 a little upmarket (30k, 250 – 280 hp) and create some space for a small, superlight sportscar like the Celica. Either RWD or FWD, with 180-200 bhp and weight not over 1100 kg…

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    “Toyota’s Trademarked The Celica Name, But What For?”

    Hmmm…I don’t know! WHAT could they possibly want that name for??

  • supermanuel

    Always had a soft spot for the Celica. My best mate had a mk1 when we were lads and my mum had a mk3 fastback a few years later.

  • FoxJ30

    I figure the next generation Scion tC will probably take the name.

  • atomicbri

    If anything, I predict the next gen GT-86 becomes the Celica. Otherwise it is just to protect their trademark.

  • Squall Kitsune

    Um, haven’t seen it mentioned but since the story has a picture of each generation of Celica except the 4th gen (86-89) I’m guessing the AE-92 Corolla pic was supposed to be an ST16x? I suggest an ST165…