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.