Reborn Toyota MR2 to take on MX-5: Toyota's Compact Sports Car Revival

Reborn Toyota MR2 to take on MX-5: Toyota's Compact Sports Car Revival

Toyota is preparing to launch a small, affordable sports car aimed at rivaling the Mazda MX-5 within the next two years. This new model, tentatively named the Reborn Toyota MR2, is expected to feature pure-combustion power, following the successful formula of the GR Yaris, GR86, and GR Supra sports cars.

Development and Inspiration

The forthcoming sports car is reportedly an evolution of the never-produced S-FR concept. According to Japanese magazine Best Car, this 2+2 model has received the green light for production after being showcased over a decade ago. Toyota aims to build on the popularity of its current driver-focused models, like the GR Yaris and GR86, and capitalize on strong sales.

Leadership and Vision

Toyota's chairman, Akio Toyoda, has long expressed a desire to revive the spirit of Toyota's 'Three Brothers'—the MR2, Celica, and Supra. With the Supra revived in 2019 and the GR86 filling the Celica's niche, the stage is set for the MR2's comeback. Although Toyota has not confirmed specifics, the clues suggest a new compact sports car is indeed in development.

Potential Specifications

The original S-FR concept, unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, was a small, front-engined, rear-wheel-drive vehicle powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter engine. It delivered 133 bhp and 111 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. Measuring 3990mm long, 1695mm wide, and 1320mm tall, it closely matches the dimensions of today's MX-5, positioning it as a viable entry-level sports car in Toyota's performance lineup. The production version is expected to maintain a lightweight build, potentially weighing just 1050kg.

Innovative Technology

The decision to pursue the S-FR's production may be linked to Toyota's commitment to developing synthetic fuels and hydrogen-combustion technology. GR boss Masahito Watanabe recently emphasized the potential of internal combustion engines in sports cars, highlighting hydrogen combustion as a future zero-emission solution.

Related Developments

Adding to the speculation, Toyota-owned Daihatsu recently unveiled the Vision Copen concept, which shares dimensions and technical attributes with the original S-FR. This suggests that the two cars could be developed on the same platform, reinforcing the possibility of the Reborn Toyota MR2's imminent arrival.

Future Announcements

With the anticipated launch just two years away, Toyota may reveal more details or even stage a full unveiling at the Tokyo Motor Show next October. As excitement builds, the Reborn Toyota MR2 promises to reignite the legacy of one of Toyota's most beloved sports cars, challenging the Mazda MX-5 in the compact sports car market.

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