We hear that the MR2, a lightweight mid-engined sports car that Toyota sold in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, could make a comeback.
It's possible that the new MR2 will make the transition to being either a purely electric model or a hybrid, given Toyota's push toward electrification.
If it comes to fruition, the revived MR2 is still pretty far off. We expect it to arrive in 2024 with a starting price somewhere around $45,000.
The Toyota MR2 could return as a light, agile sports car—quite possibly with a pure-electric powertrain. Toyota sold three generations of mid-engined MR2s in the U.S. between 1985 and 2005. Akio Toyoda has spoken of his desire for "three brothers" to replicate the brand's triumvirate of sports cars from the 1980s. We've got a new Supra, the 86 is standing in for the Celica, and that leaves one opening on the roster: the MR2.
Our crystal ball remains cloudy on what will be under the hood. Although committed to hybrids, Toyota is beginning to develop pure-electric models as well. And both of the company's current sports cars have been co-developed with other automakers—the Supra with BMW and the 86 with Subaru—so another alliance is possible.
Whether it has a gasoline, electric, or hybrid powertrain, we can safely anticipate any future MR2 will try hard to stick to the lightweight ethos of its predecessors. The third-generation car sold in the early 2000s weighed 2200 pounds and used a 138-hp inline-four engine; that's a good weight-to-power ratio to target.
Unless Mazda decides to build an electric Miata, there's not much competition for a battery-powered MR2. Porsche appears to be keen on EV Boxsters and Caymans within five years, but the MR2 will be less expensive. If it happens, it won't be before 2024 or for less than $45,000 in 2024 dollars.
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