Top 10 Best Toyota Sports Cars of All Time

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

For most folks, Toyota definitely isn’t the first automaker that comes to mind when you think of performance cars, but the Japanese manufacturer has a steep history in making some incredible sporty machinery.

Names like Supra, Celica and 2000GT have all weaseled their way into the hearts and minds of enthusiasts all over the world. But what is the best of best? What are the Top 10 best Toyota sports cars of all time? After taking things like performance, historical importance and overall appeal into account, we have ranked our 10 favorites below.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Hypercar Coming Based on GR Super Sport Concept

Do you agree with our picks? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

10. Toyota S800

The S800 was Toyota’s first proper sports car. Power for the S800 came from a 0.8-liter, two-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. Making a modest 44 hp, the car weighed less than 1,300 pounds. It was a two-seat targa that featured a lift-out roof panel.

Good looking and fun to drive, the S800 would start a long legacy of sporty Toyotas.

9. Toyota GR86

Introduced in 2012, the Toyota 86 is also sold as the Subaru BRZ. Built as a back-to-basic sports car, the lightweight GR86 is a rear-wheel-drive two-door vehicle with an emphasis on driving fun. Now in its second generation, power comes for a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 228 hp.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Toyota GR86 First Drive Review: Old-School, Evolved

8. Toyota Soarer Turbo

Although there were four generations of Soarers, it was the turbocharged versions that set new standards in performance and luxury. In 1988, two turbocharged engines were offered in the Soarer, but it was the inclusion of the 1JZ 2.5-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine in 1991 that really made this car a rocket. Best of all, it could be had with a manual transmission.

7. Toyota Sprinter Trueno and Corolla Levin (AE86)

The inspiration for the Toyota GT86, the AE86 versions of the Toyota Sprinter Trueno and Corolla Levin have become legends in the compact tuner world. Used as a basis for everything from drift cars to time attack monsters, the AE86 in stock form came with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that made between 112 and 128 hp depending on region and year.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Japanese Sports Cars of the 90s

Available as a coupe or a hatchback, the lightweight rear-wheel drive-car was the definition of budget motoring fun in the mid-1980s.

6. Toyota Celica AWD Turbos

The Celica is a nameplate that was around for a long time. Available at times with rear-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, it’s the all-wheel-drive models that were something special. Called the GT-Four, in 1986, the first all-wheel-drive turbocharged Celica came to be powered by 190 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The next year it would come to North America as the Turbo All-Trac.

SEE ALSO: Review: Mud Bogging the Updated 2019 Toyota TRD Pro Lineup

The GT-Four would continue for two more generations of Celica, with the final Japanese versions making 251 hp in the late 1990s.

5. Toyota MR2

A mid-engine, two-seat sports car is always intriguing, but the MR2 took things to another level because it wasn’t some high-priced exotic, but rather a car that was attainable for the average consumer. Initially available with naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines and one with a supercharger bolted on, when the second-generation MR2 came along, things got serious. In North America, the MR2 could be had with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produced 200 hp. In Japan, that same powerplant could make as much as 241 hp out of the factory.

4. Toyota GT-One

Only two of these road-legal race cars were ever made, but the GT-One showed just what Toyota was capable of. Needing to be built to serve homologation purposes for competition at the 24 hours of LeMans, the GT-One road car features a mid-mounted 3.6-liter turbocharged V8 engine that makes upwards of 600 hp. Of course, the rest of the specs are equally stunning, like a 10.7-second quarter-mile time and all the downforce you could ever wish for. But, with only two cars ever made, neither of which are on the road today, it’s hard to give this car anything higher than a fourth place finish.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Debuts ‘Track-Tuned’ Camry TRD and Avalon TRD

3. Toyota 2000GT

Could this be the best-looking Toyota ever created? Quite possibly. Built in low numbers and demanding insanely expensive prices today, the 2000GT showed the world that Toyota could build a seriously good sports car in 1967.

The 2000 in the name refers to the 2000-cc six-cylinder engine that made 150 hp. Weighing just under 2,500 lbs, the 2000GT wasn’t the fastest car on the road, but it was a joy to drive and sure looked good no matter what speed it was traveling at.


2. Toyota GR Corolla

It isn’t all wistful daydreams and rose-tinted glasses on this list. Toyota’s Gazoo Racing turned its attention to the humble Corolla hatchback in 2022, dropping in the made-for-motorsports 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine and adjustable AWD from the GR Yaris. Not content with the straight swap, the team also boosted power to an even 300 hp, with 273 lb-ft of torque. The limited edition, two-seat Morizo Edition bumps the latter up to 295 lb-ft.

SEE ALSO: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Review First Drive: Sporty Toyota International

With a mean widebody kit and coming only with a six-speed manual transmission, the GR Corolla is an everyday hero, the sort of approachable yet practical car that makes the hot hatch one of our very favorite vehicles out there. It’s even a relative value—technically, if you can find it at list price.

1. Toyota Supra Turbo

The Supra is easily Toyota’s ultimate halo car. It’s the sports car most associated with the brand and the one everyone wants Toyota to revive. First introduced in 1978, despite featuring some unique sheet metal, the Supra was more of a sporty model option on the Celica than its own model.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Ford Mustang vs 2022 Toyota GR Supra Comparison

In 1986, the Supra would become a standalone model and performance would receive a major boost, thanks to more powerful six-cylinder engines in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged form. But it’s the 4th generation Supra that would cement its icon status in the minds of enthusiasts. Available with a 320 hp 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine, the Supra performed as well or better than a lot of cars costing much more than the Toyota. Reborn recently, we are blessed to have the Supra back in our lives.

Honorable Mention: Lexus LFA

So this technically isn’t a Toyota. But the Lexus LFA was an incredible feat of engineering that, at the end of the day, was built by the corporation known as Toyota. With a front-mid engine setup, the LFA’s 4.8-liter V10 engine was an absolute screamer and unleashed 552 hp.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Century GR is Akio Toyoda’s Dream Come True

There isn’t enough space here to describe every technological wonder stuffed into the LFA, but the uber-expensive, uber-fast Lexus has an exhaust note and driving experience matched by very few other cars ever made.

Recent Updates

November 5, 2021 – updated Toyota 86 image and text for accuracy. Updated Toyota Supra text for accuracy.

April 20, 2023 – Added GR Corolla, updated multiple entries for accuracy.

Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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  • Beardman84 Beardman84 on Dec 10, 2015

    Bug s Bunny is a probably muscle car fanatic. For them sports car = muscle/pony car, because of RWD and V8... and drag racing (against small Hondas). But that's obviously a bullshit. But either way, one of the TRUEST sports car, is an AE86, this is the ultimate entry-level sports car. It doesn't matter if it's Corolla, the low price, the small engine etc. This car has been used on so many races and racetracks, there are so many amazing builds, the community is so advanced when it comes to performance mods. This car is more sporty than some more expensive and advanced sports cars. Great entry-level sports car. Supra is an another great example of a true sports car. Before stupid american F&F state of mind, this car was successful in japanese GT racing, in addition it was great option for any track racing. Then, after 90s, the americans started to build drag oriented Supras. If Toyota Celica GT4 is not a sports car for you, then you are a poor car enthustaist (probably muscle car fanatic). Homologated for FIA WRC, this is a rally legend. True sports car. Period. Soarer JZZ30/31 should be not confused with UZZ31/32 or Lexus SC400. I mean, sure, it's also a grand tourer, but definitely more "sporty". RWD, 5-speed manual, twin turbo and turbo 1JZ-GTE, more "sporty" suspension than UZZ32/SC400 etc. There is no point of being so narrow minded. All these models are great sports cars, some of them are the icons with a soul. Look, the alfa romeo is considered as "sporty car maker", but that's completely bullshit since 60/70s. Toyota created a lot great sports cars since then. More by usage and purpose, which is more important, than definition. (sorry for my english)

  • Innertrader Innertrader on Mar 11, 2017

    Loved both my 84 Toyota Supra and my 87 Toyota Supra Turbo, they were great, kept current on the maintenance and never a problem!!! Great cars! Looking forward to Toyota getting back into this "space+++"!