Toyota wants to reunite its fabled “Three Brothers” trio of sports cars to help jumpstart the company’s heart.
Once upon a time Toyota was cool: Takumi Fujiwara delivered Tofu and decimated Japanese performance royalty in a Hachiroku, the mid-engine MR2 was untouchable in Japanese Super GT racing, Paul Walker walked Ferraris on the silver screen in a twin-turbo tangerine MKIV Supra, while the Celica had gotten itself banned from the WRC with one of the most brilliant cheats in the history of racing.
After a strange period where Toyota only wore brown loafers and ate at moderately priced chain restaurants, the global giant is about to get its edge back.
Tetsuya Tada, the father of the new GT86 and boss of Toyota Gazoo Racing, seems to have confirmed a new MR2 is in the works. With the Supra on the way and the GT86 already on sale as the Celica’s spiritual successor, Tada-San told EVO the “three brothers” would be in production together “as soon as possible.”
SEE MORE: 2017 Toyota 86 Review
It’s believed Toyota is looking at a hybridized mid-engine layout, not dissimilar from its almost-Le Mans-winning-LMP1 racecars. The mid-engine layout offers advantages in terms of battery storage and packaging—it’s possible that not all new MR2s will be hybrids—but Tada-San says Toyota is “working very hard” to make the hybrid powertrain a possibility.
The new MR2 could slot in below the current 86 if it follows the form of Toyota’s S-FR and S-FR Racing concept which was smaller than a GT86 but larger than a Miata. However, the pair were also front-engined four-seaters.
Tada-San also dropped a hint or two regarding the upcoming Supra, telling the British publication “the car should be lighter than its rivals,” before gushing about the Porsche Cayman, which isn’t exactly a bad rabbit for the new Supra to chase. Unfortunately, it leaves the 86 stuck in a strange place between a childhood icon and an LMP1-fueled two-seater.