Toyota seems to be heading in the right direction at long last. Everything started with the GT86, arguably the best cheap sports car of the century. We recently got a whiff that a Hybrid Supra successor is in the making, exciting us beyond every measure. Well, it seems Toyota isn’t done with the surprises. Remember the Toyota MR2? That small, mid-engined roadster everyone held so dearly? Well, get ready for its successor. Tetsuya
Well, it seems Toyota isn’t done with the surprises. Remember the Toyota MR2? That small, mid-engined roadster everyone held so dearly? Well, get ready for its successor. Tetsuya Tadam, Toyota 86 project chief, has announced Toyota’s plans to create a third sporty model in their performance lineup.
What It Was And Where It’s Heading?
The MR2 was never that powerful, but it was a joy to drive. The challenge of managing its mid-engine layout and mastering its unique driving dynamics is what made it so exciting. More than a decade after its original introduction, enthusiasts still continue to buy and modify these rare but popular vehicles. The aftermarket sector is huge with the Toyota MR2. Anything from coil overs, wheels to superchargers and body kits. Though nothing is official, and hence we don’t have any images of the possible MR2 successor, we can speculate about what direction Toyota will take.
Kei cars are popular in Japan due to their high fun for horsepower factor. Inexpensive, light vehicles designed to make you smile. Currently, the only real modern Kei car is Honda’s S660. Powered by a 0.66-liter three-cylinder and weighing as much as a large motorcycle, it embodies everything the Kei car stands for. Seeing as how there’s definitely a space in the market for it, Toyota could very well order their small-car subsidiary Daihatsu to produce an S660 rival.
The second possibility is that Toyota takes an already existing platform, such as the Daihatsu Copen Roadster, changes its styling and calls it the MR2. Would the enthusiasts get mad at such a prospect? Probably not. Overseas it gets a larger 1.3-liter engine, so it’s more powerful than it needs to be. We just really wish it doesn’t turn into a rebadging job like most small sports cars wind up these days.
Yes, the S-FR concept showcased a front engine rear-wheel drive layout which doesn’t stick with the MR2’s original ideals, but bear with us. Toyota has the GT-86, a sports car with an almost exact configuration as the S-FR. If they are to share platforms, it will decrease production costs of the new MR2 substantially. The question is, would we rather see a more compact, less powerful front-engined GT-86 sibling or a true mid-engined MR2 but at a premium? Either way, we’re excited that Toyota is even considering going back to its roots.