Toyota Reportedly Wants To Bring Back The Celica And MR2

The Toyota Supra is continuing its slow march to production and a new report is suggesting it could eventually be joined by a new Celica or MR2.

According to Road and Track’s Bob Sorokanich, Supra assistant chief engineer Masayuki Kai made the revelation last week during his test of the highly anticipated sports car. During a discussion, Kai said “We want to have [the] Celica back, we want to have the MR2 back.”

Kai went on to say the company decided to bring the Supra back first because it had the “biggest demand from the market.” Now that the model is almost here, it’s possible that a new Celica or MR2 could be launched.

Kai suggested nothing is set in stone, but hinted a modern-day Celica could be an all-wheel drive performance coupe. The MR2, on the other hand, could keep its mid-engine layout.  However, the company still has to figure out if a business case can be made for the models.

Sports cars sell in relatively small numbers and Kai noted they use a lot of components which can’t be shared with more mainstream models. One solution would be to team up with another automaker like they did with BMW for the Supra and Subaru for the 86.

It’s unclear if another company would be willing to work with Toyota on a new sports car, but Kai praised Mazda and said he believes there are a “lot of things we need to learn” from the company. Kai also suggested that without the BMW and Toyota partnership, there probably wouldn’t be a new Z4 or Supra.

While it would be interesting to see a new Celica or MR2, both models went out of production in the mid-2000’s. The MR2 wasn’t a huge hit in the United States as Carsalesbase data shows sales peaked at 32,309 units in 1985 and dropped to a few thousand units towards the end of its production run. The Celica did significantly better as Toyota was selling more than 50,000 units as recently as 2000. However, sales quickly dropped off from there.

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  • Six_Tymes

    Great news, make driving Fun again!

  • Tabs Luther

    SWEET!! I will start saving my pennies for the new MR2, as it should be coming out when I have grandchildren in 2027!!!

    SO PUMPED!!!

    • ThatGuy

      And your grandkid will be like” my grandparents are the coolest”.
      oh wait sorry, they will type it my gps r da clst. LOL

  • Honda NSX-R

    Key word here people, “want”.

    • MonkeyRider

      People want to see.
      Want to buy is a different story though..

      • Nordschleife

        You sir deserve a gold star. There is clearly a distinction.

  • Brian Regan

    I’ve never been a huge Toyota fan but I can’t argue with more fun cars. Need a partnership for a mid-engine MR2? Call Volkswagen. We can get a Toyota MR2, VW Bluesport, Audi R4, and Porsche 914.

    • Eythan Aldrich

      some people won’t like that idea

    • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

      Preferably it will be Mazda

  • ace_9

    Better not after what they did with supra…

  • no25

    took them how long to bring back the Supra? and it’s STILL not technically out yet. we’ve dealt with spy shots way longer than we should have. even if the MR2 and Celica come out again, we won’t see them for years maybe a decade.

  • NupeSquare7

    Basically the GT86 next gen model would be the next Celica. Hmmm? They should’ve called it a Celica in the first place. Now a new MR2 could be promising. I like where this is going. A 3 tier-performance model scenario.

    • Merc1

      Bingo! The GT86 is nothing but a Celica in everything but name.


      • Larry Qualls

        Except that the Celi is front drive!

        • ThatGuy

          And had more room in the rear, was way longer. For me i think the GT86 was more a MR2 replacement that was changed from mid-engine to front engine. But im basing it totally on vehicle size though

          • Larry Qualls


      • pidginTM

        LOL, GT86 is a subaru in everything but name. In a word, garbage.

    • Larry Qualls

      As long as its more of the second gen and not the weird Porche wannabe design.

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      But the GT86 was built to inspire the AE86. In other words, it’s the spiritual successor to that car.

  • Joe E

    I like the spirit of this line of thought, but it’s about 10 years too late. Nobody associates Toyota with performance vehicles of any kind anymore. Sad that they have to outsource anything performance related these days. In-house Toyota performance seems to top out at “S” body kits on Corollas these days.

    • ThatGuy

      Correct the last warm(not hot car) i remember was the Corolla/Run-X TRD, with the 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder supercharged car back in like 2004/5

      • Joe E

        Agree completely. That’s the last model I remember from Toyota that was remotely warm. I believe we got it here as the Matrix XRS. And from what I remember it wasn’t very well executed.

        • ThatGuy

          I agree as well. We did not get the warm matrix unfortunately, however it was not like many missed out and it was a terrible thing. Here my thing though if toyota by some miracle wants to fo that route they will have very stiff opposition to take on

  • ▶️ ProtectOurHeritage ◀️

    Let’s hope they’ve moved on from their mistakes with the GT86.

  • MarkoS

    A New Celica would almost need to be a very well done 4/5 door coupe these days. A mid-engine could be shared with Lexus. Slot a MR2 just above a MX5 and it could work, think a minimal tech, hands on the wheel, eyes on the road car. A modern MR2 could also be electric.

  • Merc1

    It’s really good to see Toyota bringing back the Supra and now contemplating a new Celica and MR2. That is a sign of a healthy company. They can build whatever they like and not give up on sedans like the Domestics. I don’t even really like Toyota itself, but you have to respect their competence. Sedans, soon to be coupes, SUVs and trucks. Why can’t Ford and FCA do more than one thing at a time?


  • Mr. EP9

    Will they do it, though? Probably not, but if they do I hope they don’t take as long as they are currently with the Supra.

  • 2 legends going back to life by Toyota!

  • Jason Miller

    Toyota GT86 = Pretty damn close to a new Celica as it is. (before it went FWD)

    • Nick

      Yep. I would hope they realize this and focus more on the MR2 instead.

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      It’s more of the spiritual successor to the AE86, so that’s pretty debatable.

    • europeon

      Well, not in terms of design. GT86 is an abomination.
      I had a MK7 Celica 15 years ago and girls were literally flashing me thinking it was a Ferrari or some other exotic.

  • Mind Synthetic

    an all trac celica with pop up headlights, loved that car

    • Larry Qualls

      Regulations won’t allow but I totally agree!

    • atomicbri

      I had one of these! Loved that car.

  • ejd1984

    I hope they draw design inspiration from the third gen, 1981-85

    IMO – This best looking Celica

  • ejd1984

    I hope they draw design inspiration from the third gen, 1981-85

    IMO – This best looking Celica

  • ErnieB

    Can’t wait for the 2090 Celica!

  • Larry Qualls

    I’ve said this before when this was mentioned. An MR2TURBO would make my decade! I had a 95′ turbo snow white w/peanut butter leather & t-tops! OMG….I just got pissed at myself all over again! Gave it up for a POS 98′ Mercedes SLK. So stupid….

  • Archknight77

    Toyota could just position the Celica like they did with the last gen model, but with AWD as its advantage on the TGNA platform or reinvent it as a 2+2 four door coupe positioned above the Corolla. Instead of a traditional trunk make it a liftback with a few upscale touches from the Avalon. It would be in a unique position, leaving the FRS as the entry level RWD model of the lineup.

  • SteersUright

    Awesome news. But in Toyota fashion, will they come out in the next 13-17 years?

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      That’s a lovely looking GT86, but your point is?

  • Justin Spencer

    If Toyota could come up with a new Celica in a way that’s like the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, they might have a good business case for one…..perhaps using the Lexus IS platform, engines and all-wheel drive system. They could essentially use the IS’s guts and put a Celica wrapping on it! I think that would be an exciting car if they priced it right and it would give the IS a business case for staying around!

    • ThatGuy

      I agree with you, and they can use a gen back of the Lexus, the IS 250(2006) engines and chassis as that was a great with decent handling. Plus as its an old chassis productions cost can be way down.

    • Axel Cortez

      as a past owner of a BRZ the car only needed a tad more power which I added with a supercharger to give roughly 280hp (also own a Boss 302 with almost 500hp) with 300hp the BRZ FRS GT86 is honestly a perfect drivers car, is so damn fun.

      Also didn’t mind to drive it everyday I thought of using some dynamat to civilize it a bit, but then decided against it, it brought enjoyment and fun that little car.

  • john1168

    Yeah, bring em back! Just don’t make the MR2 look like a frog again. The one that looked like a poor mans Ferrari 348 was fantastic:)

  • Axel Cortez

    I don’t get toyota honestly…

    They didn’t need subaru for the GT86, they didn’t need bmw for the supra, they don’t need anyone for the celica/mr-2

    They just need to use their heads for a line up that makes sense within Lexus/Toyota… A FR platform could spawn the gt86/celica/supra and their counterparts in the Lexus brand

    • But it makes the total development cheaper. When sportscars cost so much, you need a viable case that makes them finacially available to as many people as possible. Joint programs reduce that development cost significantly.

      • Axel Cortez

        we are not talking about subaru, but toyota

        If you develop a VW MLB type of platform (but FR) you could have the whole lexus line up in it + the sports cars and you share the development cost among many lineups

        • I am talking about Toyota. Lexus’ development costs still come out of Toyota’s bank account, so partnering up with someone else means they can levy some of the R&D and manufacturing costs to them i.e. BMW, Subaru, Lotus etc… The whole process makes the development of a car cheaper. Considering the sportscar market is quite fragile (if growing), every bit of reduced costs here and there trickle down to the OTR price of the vehicle. Making sportscars more affordable means higher sales, thus better profitability and sustainably of the sales from a long-term strategy. Think MX-5 – one of the reason it’s the best selling sportscar of all time is because it can be had for £21 000. Name me one other sports car on the market which is that practical and versatile for less money? You won’t.

  • El de Ngaan

    Talking about ‘slow march to production’ of the Supra sums it up perfectly. From now on we’ll hear about the Supra and MR2 well into the middle of the next decade before we see the production models.

  • This rumor has been circulated for ages, all I see is one of the Toyota execs making personal remark on his wish to make Celica and MR2 return again, with GT86 sales that is rather sluggish and Supra future that are still unknown, it’s hard for the bean counters to allow it to happen.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Both were great cars.

  • ksegg

    They can barely release a “new” Supra/Z4, and they’re thinking about bringing back the Celica AND the MR2?

    Sure they are.

  • Vassilis

    Yes please!

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    It’s easy
    Miata for the next MR
    TNGA for the next Celica

    • Archknight77

      I said the same thing about the Celica and I think it should take the middle ground in the lineup as more of a sport tourer with cues taken from the Avalon (LED signature lights, upscale interior touches, panoramic roof, roomier interior, heated/cooled seats, etc.) . The Avalon has a Sport/Sport+ mode built in, why not transfer some of that over to a smaller model (72″Wx180″Lx55″H, 108″ or so wheelbase). The 86 is more of the “purest” sports car (next gen model will move up the ladder in price), along with the Supra being at the top of the range–having a model that splits the difference is in the companies best interests. Toyota has a new torque-vectoring AWD system that will debut on the RAV4, altering it for a lighter sportier model should be an easy task. TRD should have a hand in development of the model as well since the last gen Celica (180 hp version at least) was fun to drive. This new model would have over 200 hp and a substantial bump in torque if AWD is planned from the start.

      • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

        Totally agree
        Especially after the new AWD system which a lot of people said it will be another step up from the current systems

        • Archknight77

          Pairing it with a turbo version of the new 2.5L, could give them an advantage in power. Maybe a 250+hp/280+lb-ft entry level model and then a 300+hp/300+lb-ft top model. They wouldn’t need to partner with anyone, as all the components are already available, just let your engineers do what they do best.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      You do realize what the “MR” in MR2 means, right?

      • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

        and because of that I feel the most perfect match in the current market is the Miata
        Small mid engine rear wheel drive

        • Tumbi Mtika

          That’s not how this works…

          • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

            What do you mean?

          • Tumbi Mtika

            The MR2 is REAR Mid-Engine Rear Wheel Drive. Completely different set of characteristics. Every MR2 has the engine in the back. It’s not a Celica.

          • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

            So the MX5

            With sort of

          • Tumbi Mtika

            You are not getting this, so I’m just gonna give up.

          • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

            Got your point

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    I’ve heard they’re going to make them na 4 pot engines with no other assistance….

    *ᴸᶦᵍʰᵗˢ ᵇˡᵘᵉ ᵗᵒᵘᶜʰ ᵖᵃᵖᵉʳ ᵃⁿᵈ ʳᵉᵗᶦʳᵉˢ ᵃ ˢᵃᶠᵉ ᵈᶦˢᵗᵃⁿᶜᵉ.

  • DMax

    And who’s going to buy them exactly? People are more boring than ever these days, they just want a SUV that does it all. Even sports car staples like Miata or Mustang are not getting the numbers they once had.

  • fgclolz

    The 2000s Celica is one of the most beautiful/somewhat unique sporty cars made by Toyota. Heck, I wanted one back then.

  • charlotteharry57

    More models for Toyota to dangle over us for years without actually introducing them. I’m smelling a rat here.

  • The Terminator

    I owned a 1978 Celica GT & a 1982 Celica GT. Both really fun cars with a manual transmission plus the hatchbacks had room to store a lot of stuff. I currently own a 2016 MX-5 Club aka Miata & its a great car to drive. The vast majority of people though want trucks / SUV / CUVs. Toyota would be taking a BIG risk producing the Celica & MR2 again. The 86 is already in the lineup. Now sharing that platform for a new roadster MR2 would really be interesting. Competing against the Miata will not be easy. Mazda has done an outstanding job engineering that car.

  • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

    that one is also a beauty, a rally legend from early 90s 🙂

  • Krisnadi Imam

    let see… a rebadged honda s660 with 1L engine as the new mr2 and rebadged and shaved 2 doors off subaru wrx sti as the celica? why not? bring it on!

  • Liam Paul

    the GT86 is the celica

  • Tumbi Mtika

    New MR2…

    I’m gonna need a moment.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Can I say yes to all of them?

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