Gecko

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Toyota believes in a three-car sports car philosophy and has flirted with the MR2 and Supra ideas for 20 years now. Supra is here and there's a rumor that an A100 is in development. GR 86 has replaced the Celica as the "mid" level sports car.

That leaves the spot for an MR2 open, and if you want my opinion, there have been so many rumors, ideas and concepts that I think it's something Toyota is seriously considering, but they've been understandably conservative.
 

Smychavo

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Toyota believes in a three-car sports car philosophy and has flirted with the MR2 and Supra ideas for 20 years now. Supra is here and there's a rumor that an A100 is in development. GR 86 has replaced the Celica as the "mid" level sports car.

That leaves the spot for an MR2 open, and if you want my opinion, there have been so many rumors, ideas and concepts that I think it's something Toyota is seriously considering, but they've been understandably conservative.
I see, if they want to completely develop a sports car by themselves I would imagine they'd want to get it right the first time and not repeat A80 sales figures. Whatever that means for Lexus in the interim still feels like it's up in the air to me at least.
 

Levi

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With the coming electric Alpine/Lotus duo and possible electrification of the next generation Porsche 718 (see Porsche made a 718 GT4 RS, can only be a final), Toyota may very well have an electric "MR2" (MRE? MRZ?) in plans, they also presented a far fetched concept. TTV6 is obviously fantasy, or at the very most an abandoned project.
 

Smychavo

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If solid state batteries end up being the revolution everyone says they'll be then I think an electric MR2 would be a really awesome piece of work.
 
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Toyota believes in a three-car sports car philosophy and has flirted with the MR2 and Supra ideas for 20 years now. Supra is here and there's a rumor that an A100 is in development. GR 86 has replaced the Celica as the "mid" level sports car.

That leaves the spot for an MR2 open, and if you want my opinion, there have been so many rumors, ideas and concepts that I think it's something Toyota is seriously considering, but they've been understandably conservative.

This. Toyota has been insanely consistent with their story throughout the past several years. It shocks me that people think Toyota's reasoning for codevelopment is because of a lack of their own ability. However the MR2 story is one that puzzles me, and in order to have an idea, I think it's fitting to go back on Toyota's sports car history and why they codeveloped some of their cars.

They've resorted to codeveloping for the given reasons (in chronological order):

1) The A80 Supra was a sales flop, despite it being an absolute masterpiece of a car. The painful demise of the A80 put Toyota's willingness to build sports cars into question, especially after the advent of the bubble popping in Japan in the 90's.

2) The Lexus LFA buried the notion of Toyota building their own sports cars (at least for the foreseeable future).

3) But given the two above points, Toyota was going to get back into their groove of making unique sports cars in the late 2000's with the FT-HS Concept and a solely-developed 86. It would have been a partner to the MR2 Spyder and the Celica. But we had the Great Financial Crisis...

4) So now you have a very risk-averse Toyota that is hesitant on building sports cars on their own. With the rise of enthusiast-minded executives at Toyota (like their own CEO who has become a legendary figure worldwide, Akio Toyoda) who sought to revive Toyota to their former glory in excitement while still maintaining their reputation of quality, dependability, and reliability. He mandates that there are "no more boring cars", and is responsible for an onslaught of things, like their newer sports cars.

5) Remember, the 86 was going to be a complete Toyota-only project. The idea was initially green-lit by everyone in Toyota, except for company accountants. At the time (we're talking late 2000's), the supposed "old guard" who stubbornly put the company's financials first, rightly worried if Toyota will be able to even make any money on the car or at the very least not have the project be a complete flop. They had a point, as their last few sports car projects were madly expensive and also ended up being flops sales-wise. Subaru came in the picture and the project was green-lit (after a lot of attempts in convincing Subaru).

6) Lo and behold, the 86 and the BRZ became a thing and they sold like nothing else out there. The people were finally buying a Toyota sports car in insane numbers, even if it wasn't a fully Toyota project. The customers were especially happy because this was an offering that no other company offered bar Mazda with the Miata, but this was more practical, and less expensive. This gave Toyota a huge rejuvenation boost with their sports cars, and people started asking for a certain legendary nameplate to return.

7) We all know the story of the GR Supra. No available platform made sense for Toyota to use on their GR Supra, be it the RC or the LC platform. Toyota lacked an inline-six, which was the biggest request that focus groups made. Toyota was already in a relationship with BMW from a few years back. BMW wanted to codevelop a 2nd generation i8, Toyota wanted something more organic. Toyota ended up getting what they wanted and BMW revived the Z4. I delve into the GR Supra codevelopment story in other posts. But there I address people's woes about the GR Supra not being a fully-fledged Toyota. If you wanted Toyota to build an inline-six it would cost them a least half a billion dollars or dare I say more. To not be able to amortize that engine among other cars would then be idiotic, and you'd have a car that costs more than TWICE than what it costs now. And that's just the least of it. Toyota asks people to trust them and to try it out and that it's a Toyota in its own right. In my opinion, Toyota was right to go down this direction. It made the most logical sense after seeing the A80 literally languishing, and the GTR and NSX being overpriced to high hell, and Toyota did try making it their own with what they were codeveloping with, and god damn it's a good sports car.

8) Now the GR Supra happened to be a sales success, because Toyota was again, right. But this time, it was more serious, because people were buying these in massive numbers. The A90 sold more units in approximately 2 years, than the A80 did in 8. If the 86 wasn't a sign that people wanted Toyota sports cars wasn't a fluke, then the GR Supra proved that people were craving more enthusiast-oriented Toyota products. With Toyoda-san and the enthusiasts at the helm, Toyota looked to become a bastion for fun.

9) With the success of the 86 and GR Supra, it was looking like the argument of the bean counters started to weaken. Before they were worried that there wouldn't be a business case for a Toyota sports cars, but now people want to buy them. There is a visible customer base that don't want a Ford or a Chevy, they didn't want a Porsche, nor did they want a Mazda. They wanted a Toyota. Toyota is not the kind of company that would want to codevelop everything, it's obvious, but even when they had to codevelop their sports cars, they made it as unique to Toyota as possible, and delivered. As Toyota moved to make more enthusiast-oriented products across Toyota and Lexus, you'd have the company accountants interjecting, as well as members of the old guard. Toyoda-san did something completely unorthodox in Japanese tradition, and straight-up fired these people, some of them who had worked there for many decades. At the end of the day, it was his name that was being put on his cars, and his vision was something that was right, and everyone was a winner. The internal power struggle was over.

10) Just almost a year after the GR Supra was released, there was talk of an A100 GR Supra being in planning stages. A70TTR from SupraMkV.com even asked users what they wanted. Some wanted Toyota to build the GR Supra on their own, some liked the idea of codeveloping with Mazda, and some were okay with the BMW platform. I was the in the latter camp, as I love the B58 engine, but wouldn't mind if Toyota built it on their own with their own reworked version of the B58 and call it something like G30E-GTS. Most people however, wanted a manual transmission, which the A90 lacked at launch, and it is going to be here in late 2022. Toyota asked customers to buy it and give feedback, and they did, and they wanted a manual. This is evidence that Toyota puts their words into actions.

11) All in all, after the success of the 86 and GR Supra, you then had the release of the following products, which were like the GR Yaris, GR86, TRD Camry and Avalon (yeah I know not as crazy as the others) the soon-to-be-released GR Corolla (and a GR C-HR), and the GR Super Sport hypercar which admittedly is in limbo. The 2nd generation LFA looks to be a thing, and we have promises of more RWD products, even if they aren't sports cars. Then we have a whole host of REALLY cool BEV, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid products like the RAV4 Prime and other future products. Finally, they released the GR GT3 which they've even dispelled the Mazda rumors. These are just a few products, and I haven't even mentioned the LC500, IS500, and the RC F soldiering on.

Given this rundown, we now ponder about the MR2.

The rumor of the MR2 having that 2.8 or 3.0L TTV6 is a really weird one because we have seen absolutely zero indication that this engine is even a thing. However if it does happen to be real, and Toyota does use that engine across multiple products, then I may see it become a thing. Next is the question of the platform. I can see future GR86's, GR Supras, and Lexus products be on ONE big RWD platform family. The MR2 completely goes against all of this. Does Toyota think that it makes sense to invest in a mid-engine platform, given that a ton of people are buying their cars? Or is this an even tougher case to make than the GR Supra and GR86? It remains to be seen. If it goes EV, I could see them building it on their own, but maybe with Porsche going EV with their next generation 718 Boxster and Cayman they could codevelop? I hope that Toyota does build it on their own, but I can understand the need to codevelop a MR2. However I expect for Toyota to start putting sports cars on their own platform in the future.
 
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Take a look at the sales data for both models & you'll figure it out.

They're selling really well?! The GR Supra is the 6th best selling sports car and the 86 sold a LOT, but it started slowing down in the last year and a half because we knew another one was coming, and the first generation was too long in the tooth.
 
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ssun30

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MR2 rumors have been wild. We have an electric concept. Rumors of collab with Porsche. Rumors of mid-engine super car with V6TT hybrid. Then we have reports of a 1L-class mini car.

Nowadays we are overwhelmed by the amount of rumors on TMC vehicles to the point it's doubtful how they could possibly pull off so many projects when most car companies struggle to launch 2 products a year. They have no fewer than 50 products (not counting refreshes) under development.

ICEV/HV: Prius, Sienta, Alphard, Crown, Crown Cross, Crown Majesta, Tacoma, Hilux, Fortuner, Innova, Grand Highlander, Prado, 4Runner, RX, TX, GX, BX, LM, ES, LFA II, at least 5 new GRs (Corolla/C-HR/Hilux/Fortuner/GT3), 25 total.
PHVs: Prius, Harrier, C-HR, Avalon, UX, RX, ES, 7 total.
BEVs: 12 E-TNGA for Toyota, 7 E-TNGA for Lexus, Sienta, Estima, sedan collab with BYD, 22 total.
H2 ICEV: Prius, GR Corolla, LC300, 3 total.

Even spread out to 8 years that's 7 products per year, but over half of these are actually coming before 2025!

And these are just projects we know that are under development, and at current rate BestCar reports one new Toyota project scoop every 2 months.
 

Smychavo

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This. Toyota has been insanely consistent with their story throughout the past several years. It shocks me that people think Toyota's reasoning for codevelopment is because of a lack of their own ability. However the MR2 story is one that puzzles me, and in order to have an idea, I think it's fitting to go back on Toyota's sports car history and why they codeveloped some of their cars.

They've resorted to codeveloping for the given reasons (in chronological order):

1) The A80 Supra was a sales flop, despite it being an absolute masterpiece of a car. The painful demise of the A80 put Toyota's willingness to build sports cars into question, especially after the advent of the bubble popping in Japan in the 90's.

2) The Lexus LFA buried the notion of Toyota building their own sports cars (at least for the foreseeable future).

3) But given the two above points, Toyota was going to get back into their groove of making unique sports cars in the late 2000's with the FT-HS Concept and a solely-developed 86. It would have been a partner to the MR2 Spyder and the Celica. But we had the Great Financial Crisis...

4) So now you have a very risk-averse Toyota that is hesitant on building sports cars on their own. With the rise of enthusiast-minded executives at Toyota (like their own CEO who has become a legendary figure worldwide, Akio Toyoda) who sought to revive Toyota to their former glory in excitement while still maintaining their reputation of quality, dependability, and reliability. He mandates that there are "no more boring cars", and is responsible for an onslaught of things, like their newer sports cars.

5) Remember, the 86 was going to be a complete Toyota-only project. The idea was initially green-lit by everyone in Toyota, except for company accountants. At the time (we're talking late 2000's), the supposed "old guard" who stubbornly put the company's financials first, rightly worried if Toyota will be able to even make any money on the car or at the very least not have the project be a complete flop. They had a point, as their last few sports car projects were madly expensive and also ended up being flops sales-wise. Subaru came in the picture and the project was green-lit (after a lot of attempts in convincing Subaru).

6) Lo and behold, the 86 and the BRZ became a thing and they sold like nothing else out there. The people were finally buying a Toyota sports car in insane numbers, even if it wasn't a fully Toyota project. The customers were especially happy because this was an offering that no other company offered bar Mazda with the Miata, but this was more practical, and less expensive. This gave Toyota a huge rejuvenation boost with their sports cars, and people started asking for a certain legendary nameplate to return.

7) We all know the story of the GR Supra. No available platform made sense for Toyota to use on their GR Supra, be it the RC or the LC platform. Toyota lacked an inline-six, which was the biggest request that focus groups made. Toyota was already in a relationship with BMW from a few years back. BMW wanted to codevelop a 2nd generation i8, Toyota wanted something more organic. Toyota ended up getting what they wanted and BMW revived the Z4. I delve into the GR Supra codevelopment story in other posts. But there I address people's woes about the GR Supra not being a fully-fledged Toyota. If you wanted Toyota to build an inline-six it would cost them a least half a billion dollars or dare I say more. To not be able to amortize that engine among other cars would then be idiotic, and you'd have a car that costs more than TWICE than what it costs now. And that's just the least of it. Toyota asks people to trust them and to try it out and that it's a Toyota in its own right. In my opinion, Toyota was right to go down this direction. It made the most logical sense after seeing the A80 literally languishing, and the GTR and NSX being overpriced to high hell, and Toyota did try making it their own with what they were codeveloping with, and god damn it's a good sports car.

8) Now the GR Supra happened to be a sales success, because Toyota was again, right. But this time, it was more serious, because people were buying these in massive numbers. The A90 sold more units in approximately 2 years, than the A80 did in 8. If the 86 wasn't a sign that people wanted Toyota sports cars wasn't a fluke, then the GR Supra proved that people were craving more enthusiast-oriented Toyota products. With Toyoda-san and the enthusiasts at the helm, Toyota looked to become a bastion for fun.

9) With the success of the 86 and GR Supra, it was looking like the argument of the bean counters started to weaken. Before they were worried that there wouldn't be a business case for a Toyota sports cars, but now people want to buy them. There is a visible customer base that don't want a Ford or a Chevy, they didn't want a Porsche, nor did they want a Mazda. They wanted a Toyota. Toyota is not the kind of company that would want to codevelop everything, it's obvious, but even when they had to codevelop their sports cars, they made it as unique to Toyota as possible, and delivered. As Toyota moved to make more enthusiast-oriented products across Toyota and Lexus, you'd have the company accountants interjecting, as well as members of the old guard. Toyoda-san did something completely unorthodox in Japanese tradition, and straight-up fired these people, some of them who had worked there for many decades. At the end of the day, it was his name that was being put on his cars, and his vision was something that was right, and everyone was a winner. The internal power struggle was over.

10) Just almost a year after the GR Supra was released, there was talk of an A100 GR Supra being in planning stages. A70TTR from SupraMkV.com even asked users what they wanted. Some wanted Toyota to build the GR Supra on their own, some liked the idea of codeveloping with Mazda, and some were okay with the BMW platform. I was the in the latter camp, as I love the B58 engine, but wouldn't mind if Toyota built it on their own with their own reworked version of the B58 and call it something like G30E-GTS. Most people however, wanted a manual transmission, which the A90 lacked at launch, and it is going to be here in late 2022. Toyota asked customers to buy it, and they did, and they wanted a manual. This is evidence that Toyota puts their words into actions.

11) All in all, after the success of the 86 and GR Supra, you then had the release of the following products, which were like the GR Yaris, GR86, TRD Camry and Avalon (yeah I know not as crazy as the others) the soon-to-be-released GR Corolla, and the GR Super Sport hypercar which admittedly is in limbo. The 2nd generation LFA looks to be a thing, and we have promises of more RWD products, even if they aren't sports cars. Then we have a whole host of REALLY cool BEV, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid products like the RAV4 Prime and other future products. Finally, they released the GR GT3 which they've even dispelled the Mazda rumors. These are just a few products, and I haven't even mentioned the LC500, IS500, and the RC F soldiering on.

Given this rundown, we now ponder about the MR2.

The rumor of the MR2 having that 2.8 or 3.0L TTV6 is a really weird one because we have seen absolutely zero indication that this engine is even a thing. However if it does happen to be real, and Toyota does use that engine across multiple products, then I may see it become a thing. Next is the question of the platform. I can see future GR86's, GR Supras, and Lexus products be on ONE big RWD platform family. The MR2 completely goes against all of this. Does Toyota think that it makes sense to invest in a mid-engine platform, given that a ton of people are buying their cars? Or is this an even tougher case to make than the GR Supra and GR86? It remains to be seen. If it goes EV, I could see them building it on their own, but maybe with Porsche going EV with their next generation 718 Boxster and Cayman they could codevelop? I hope that Toyota does build it on their own, but I can understand the need to codevelop a MR2. However I expect for Toyota to start putting sports cars on their own platform in the future.
Heck, I feel like I want a Supra again thanks to you lol

I have alot of faith in the current Toyota leadership at the moment. The products they've been rolling out has been nothing but outstanding for what they are. People love GR86, and while some are still divisive online, Supra manages to garner a great share of fans from track rats to your average enthusiast alike. Fact of the matter is the numbers speak for themselves. These are in fact the most successful sports cars TMC has put out in its recent history, and their future prospects for sports cars has me un-believably excited for what's to come. Be it twin-turbo V8, or solid state batteries, or whatever else they're planning for the next 3-4 years, I'm here for it!
 

ssun30

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They're selling really well?! The GR Supra is the 6th best selling sports car and the 86 sold a LOT, but it started slowing down in the last year and a half because we knew another one was coming, and the first generation was too long in the tooth.
5 years from now when all the 'IT'S NOT TOYOTA ENOUGH' debate goes away, the A90 Supra and GT86/GR86 will be remembered as textbook examples of how to execute sports car programs under very restrictive conditions (low market interest and strong corporate opposition). They are proof the GR department could deliver impressive products with both hands tied in the back, which means when restrictions go away they build modern classics like GR Yaris and hopefully GR GT3.
 

LarryT

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They're selling really well?! The GR Supra is the 6th best selling sports car.

Which is modest for Toyota's "halo" sports car.

the 86 sold a LOT, but it started slowing down in the last year and a half because we knew another one was coming, and the first generation was too long in the tooth.

Sales of the Toyota 86 have been on the decline for quite sometime.

1644467577913.png

 
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Which is modest for Toyota's "halo" sports car.
It costs 57k USD. Let's look at the competitors like the BMW Z4, Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster, Jaguar F-Type, Nissan Z. All of these cars have a similar price point but really... what do all of these cars have in common?

They're all really niche sports cars. And the Toyota is selling the most. The 911 or the Miata are NOT niche sports cars. Neither are the Americans.
You're being disingenuous. Sales of the Toyota 86 have been on the decline for quite sometime.

View attachment 5516
Not sure how it's being disingenuous when what I said was correct. Sure, it declined, but the last two years were the most atrocious. Most of that being because it got too old and Toyota and Subaru didn't bother updating the car. The GR86 has none of the flaws that the 86 had, and that's going to fire up a lot of people to buy this thing.

Regardless, it still isn't a sales flop. It sold well for a sports car that it warranted a second generation. Customers will continue buying your product if you continue to make genuinely good improvements to the car, not pissing about, and STANDING by your product.
 
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5 years from now when all the 'IT'S NOT TOYOTA ENOUGH' debate goes away, the A90 Supra and GT86/GR86 will be remembered as textbook examples of how to execute sports car programs under very restrictive conditions (low market interest and strong corporate opposition). They are proof the GR department could deliver impressive products with both hands tied in the back, which means when restrictions go away they build modern classics like GR Yaris and hopefully GR GT3.

This is an excellent point. If anything, it truly explicates how much of a juggernaut GR has become within only such a short span of time.
 
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Heck, I feel like I want a Supra again thanks to you lol
Hah! I actually get similar comments like that a lot from people outside the Toyota and Lexus sphere. A lot of people want a solid car (that's used) and for example when I laud the now dead GS a lot they're convinced and want to give one a spin.

I guess I have the ability of convincing people. ;D

There's no way that I will ever become a dealership stealership salesman though.

I have alot of faith in the current Toyota leadership at the moment. The products they've been rolling out has been nothing but outstanding for what they are. People love GR86, and while some are still divisive online, Supra manages to garner a great share of fans from track rats to your average enthusiast alike. Fact of the matter is the numbers speak for themselves. These are in fact the most successful sports cars TMC has put out in its recent history, and their future prospects for sports cars has me un-believably excited for what's to come. Be it twin-turbo V8, or solid state batteries, or whatever else they're planning for the next 3-4 years, I'm here for it!
Amen. I too am also really excited for what GR has to bring.

Toyota has gone from being a brand that rests on its laurels to a juggernaut with a snap of a finger due to the right guys being at the top. Toyoda-san and Sato-san are important examples.
 
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Smychavo

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Hah! I actually get similar comments like that a lot from people outside the Toyota and Lexus sphere. A lot of people want a solid car (that's used) and for example when I laud the now dead GS a lot they're convinced and want to give one a spin.

I guess I have the ability of convincing people. ;D

There's no way that I will ever become a dealership stealership salesman though.


Amen. I too am also really excited for what GR has to bring.

Toyota has gone from being a brand that rests on its laurels to a juggernaut with a snap of a finger due to the right guys being at the top. Toyoda-san and Sato-san are important examples.
I also wanna see what else F has in store, I think whatever they might come up with later on might be the only real thing that might draw me away from a Supra at this point lmao. Unless, that is both GR and F happened to have integrated, which would render my point moot lol
REGARDLESS! If I'm ever buying a car I'm pretty dead set on it being from TMC 👌
 
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I also wanna see what else F has in store, I think whatever they might come up with later on might be the only real thing that might draw me away from a Supra at this point lmao. Unless, that is both GR and F happened to have integrated, which would render my point moot lol
REGARDLESS! If I'm ever buying a car I'm pretty dead set on it being from TMC 👌

Oh definitely. Toyota and Lexus have been knocking it out of the park and I've heard that F is cooking up some interesting things. Nothing in particular though, but good stuff are on its way.
 

Smychavo

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So if I've been following this series of news and rumors correctly, then whatever future high performance car TMC will debut in the near future will have some form of hybridization before it becomes all electric. Though there's also a chance that something like the GT3 concept might forgo that role entirely and get the long-rumored TTV8 that's been in development since forever. Or both. Is that right?