Completing the old ‘three brothers’ sports triumvirate of the Supra, Celica (now GT86) and MR2 has been something Toyota engineers have been happy to admit in recent years. Things might be going somewhere, at last, with rumours surfacing that Toyota and Subaru are again teaming up to build a compact sports car. We reported on “discussions” two months ago.
There’s no hard information at this stage but Japanese Nostalgia Car references Toyota’s S-FR concept and what it calls ‘grapevine buzz’ about a mid-engined Subaru that’s in development right now. It’s now thought that this might be another joint project with Toyota, mirroring the GT86 and BRZ partnership.
With the next GT86 sticking to the same technical formula but with a 2.4-litre engine, according to unconfirmed reports, there’s room for a hybrid sports car; something light but fast and technologically advanced. The ‘new MR2’ fits the bill.
It could use the 1.6-litre turbocharged boxer engine from the Levorg in tandem with electrical assistance that could bump power to the 300bhp region. This is all perfectly believable, too, as in the GT86/BRZ project Subaru did most of the heavy lifting when it came to engineering and production, with Toyota fronting more cash to make it happen.
Japanese outlet Response has also reported that, if it were built, the MR2 for the 2020s would arrive no later than 2021. We’ll keep an eye out for more on this.
The MR2, named for its mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, was built across three generations. The first (W10), in 1984, set the bar for those that followed, displaying deft handling balance and engaging road manners. The second (W20) really took off in the west, offering a range of engines including turbocharged versions with 218bhp. The third-generation (W30) is one of today’s best driver’s bargains.