2025 is the deadline set for the new mid-engine sports car.
If there’s a hero-to-zero-to-hero story of the modern automotive world, it has to be that of Toyota. Once the pioneers that brought us the 2000GT, AE86, Supra, and the MR2, the brand became an insipid manufacturer of the Prius and other automotive appliances that put you to sleep quicker than a shot of NyQuil. But after Akio Toyoda apologized to the world for producing boring cars, the brand has turned itself around. Not only have we seen the revival of the Supra, two generations of the Toyota 86, and a Corolla that looks good and drives even better, but we’re even on the verge of getting a hot hatch in the new GR Corolla. But there’s one modern revival fans have been clamoring for that has yet to come to fruition. Toyota still doesn’t have a modern successor to the famous MR2. That could all change as a report from Japan’s Best Car Web suggests Toyota is enlisting the help of Suzuki and Daihatsu to build a mid-engined sports car.
It’s a rumor at this stage, and the publication doesn’t want to name its sources, so it could be nothing more than speculation. But apparently, Toyota, Suzuki, and Daihatsu are aiming to bring the mid-engined sports car to market by 2025. The choice of partners seems strange, as Suzuki builds nothing but front-drive-based commuters and SUVs for most markets. We’ve seen several badge-engineering exercises between Toyota and Suzuki in the last two years, but Suzuki’s closest thing to a real sports car is the Misano Concept we saw back in May that will not reach production. Toyota owns a percentage stake in Suzuki, but has been working with Daihatsu for far longer, with that partnership dating back to the late 1960s before Toyota bought a controlling stake in the 90s and then the remaining assets in 2016 to make Daihatsu a full Toyota subsidiary.
The publication doesn’t reveal much more about it, but if it were to come true, it would likely be badged as a GR model. The timeline is what confuses us, however. If it were to arrive by 2025, that would mean development was already well underway. It would be a last gasp for the combustion engine, as Toyota has already committed to an electric future, and it would need to coexist with the GR86, Supra, and the all-new electric GR sports car that Toyota previewed earlier this morning. What also doesn’t make sense is that earlier this year, Toyota was rumored to be working with Porsche on an MR2 revival.If I were a betting man, I’d say this was nothing more than a rumor, a desire for the MR2 to be revived. Unfortunately, my hopes aren’t high that this is the case. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if the MR2 is revived, however.