So where does that leave a potential MR2 revival?
Now that Toyota has revived the Supra, we’re eager to see what other potential new sports cars the brand has up its sleeves. According to a report from U.K. buff book Evo, any new sports car from Toyota will likely be bigger than the GT86, or the 86 as it’s known in North America.
It turns out Toyota is having a hard time making a business case for a small sports car right now. “I believe most people are looking forward to the smallest of the ‘three brothers,’” Toyota Gazoo Racing boss Tetsuya Tada told Evo. “And when people say the smallest they expect it would be the most affordable. But in reality coming up with a compact small sports car is quite difficult.”
Tada explains that a number of factors make it hard to turn a profit on small sports cars. He said smaller cars have about the same number of components as larger ones, and safety and emissions regulations remain the same at all points in the market. Plus, there’s the fact that a small new sports car would compete with inexpensive, used GT86s.
The new report says Toyota still wants three sports cars in the lineup, but perhaps not the ones that were originally envisioned. Pretty recently, Toyota mentioned plans for a “Three Brothers” strategy for sports cars, with the GT86 in the middle of the lineup, and the Supra as the big brother. We were hoping Toyota would bring back the MR2 to serve as the little brother, but now, it seems like any potential revival would be bigger—or at least more expensive—than we expected. It would have to sit between the current GT86 and Supra.
It’s not even clear that the GT86 will return for another generation. Tada didn’t address rumors of the model’s demise, but what he says is pretty telling. “GT86 was a car to remind our Toyota customers of the fun of driving sports cars, and we also hope that these drivers would improve their skills in driving a sports car,” he said. “In the aircraft world it’d be equivalent to a training aircraft. There have now been many years of ‘training,’ and we’ve been receiving feedback from these customers that they’re now ready for new horizons, so Supra is an answer to these questions.”