- Toyota and Suzuki are rumored to jointly develop a new sports car, according to a report by Motor1.com citing a Japanese magazine.
- The two-seat coupe will reportedly have a mid-mounted 120-hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder and weigh less than the Toyota GR86.
- The project is said to be inspired by the MR2, with prices likely to start between $16,000 and $20,000.
A spiritual successor to the mid-engine Toyota MR2 may be on the way—and it may have a traditional gas-powered engine. Rumors are swirling online about a possible new light sports car being developed jointly by Toyota and Suzuki (Daihatsu is also reportedly involved).
The new Toyota MR2?
Some of today’s reports stem from an article by a Japanese magazine, Best Car, which Motor1.com cited as claiming that the long-rumored “baby sports car” resulting from a partnership between Toyota and Suzuki is still happening. Of course, nothing was officially announced—no names or anything. All we have to do is speculate fueled by the latest concepts, like the Toyota Sports EV pictured above.
Toyota first spotted the visually appealing concept car in December 2021, among nearly 20 other concepts. Current rumors describe a different powertrain, though, one with an internal combustion engine instead of an electric motor. Reports claim it will have a mid-mounted 1.0-litre three-cylinder, with a possible hybrid system also mentioned.
Likely is Light
The sports car, whatever the name, is expected to be light. Reports suggest it weighs just 2204 pounds. By comparison, it’s lighter than the Mazda Miata, which hit our scales at 2345 pounds. That would also make it lighter than the 2838-pound Toyota GR86, a sporty front-engine, rear-drive coupe.
It’s a good thing that the Toyota-Suzuki-Daihatsu sports car is expected to be so light, because its small engine is not said to be very powerful. With half the displacement of a regular soda bottle, the three-pot is believed to produce just 120 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Toyota’s other three-cylinder engine powers the GR Corolla and produces a refreshing 300 hp, rocketing back-road entrances with a vengeance.
Suzuki is reportedly developing the engine, with Toyota pressured to adapt the suspension from the current generation Yaris for use in the new sports car. It’s unclear what platform the car will be built on, however, the overall length is said to be 165.3 inches with a 100-inch wheelbase. Perhaps coincidentally, those measurements match the GR86.
Sports Car Pipe Dreams?
Obviously, we can’t confirm if the rumors are true. Even so, we’re not sure if Toyota will sell it in America, especially since it might struggle to find success. Profit margins will be slim with reports claiming the car could cost between $16,000 and $20,000. Still, our fervent desire keeps us hopeful, even though we don’t expect to see it for at least another year or two.
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