Not all that long ago, Toyota relaunched the GR Supra to great fanfare. Still, at least a small segment of enthusiasts have been clamoring for Toyota to revive another sports car: the MR2. Toyota's mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seater sports car went out of production in 2007.
But according to a Japanese rumor, the MR2 may be in line for a return — with the help of some unexpected friends.
Motor1 found a report on the Japanese site Spyder7 claiming that Toyota is looking to partner with Porsche or Lotus on a new MR2. The vehicle would stick the rear mid-engine layout and be powered by either a 2.8-liter or 3.0-liter V6 PHEV that puts out 345 to 395 hp. Spyder7 says the new MR2 would resemble Toyota's Alessandro Volta concept and would come in a bit pricier than the Supra with a base price above $50,000 and arrive in 2024.
A Porsche x Toyota PHEV sports car collab sounds incredibly cool; indeed, it's arguably — dare we say it — cooler than partnering with BMW on the Supra. But Toyota is pretty much the most rational, conservative automaker out there regarding product planning. And even if someone at Toyota wanted to do this, one could see it being a hard sell.
Very few people buy two-seater sports cars, and Toyota already has two, with the new GR86 and the Supra. Toyota also has the GR Yaris in other markets and may have a Corolla-based hot hatch coming too. It's hard to see where another impractical Toyota sports car would fit in unless the company plans to race it.
However, the Supra has not been a tremendous sales dynamo since it debuted. There has been some speculation that the automaker may drop it from the lineup rather than make it a hybrid by Toyota's self-imposed 2025 deadline. Porsche could be interested in an entry-level PHEV version of the 718 to run alongside the electric model. A mutually beneficial collaboration between the two brands that yields a new MR2 sometime this decade is not inconceivable.