Toyota Still Doesn't Have The Guts To Bring Back The MR2

Illustration for article titled Toyota Still Doesnt Have The Guts To Bring Back The MR2
Photo: Toyota

The last MR2 was built in 2007, when production stopped in the face of falling demand. Since then, we have heard rumorsbut nothing solid—about a potential comeback. Toyota also took in $272 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year. I can only conclude based on these two facts that Toyota is simply too scared to make a new MR2.


Now, listen, I’m not even suggesting that Toyota spend all $272 billion on the development of a small, affordable, mid-engined sports car. No, that would be the talk of a madman. Instead, I’m merely suggesting that Toyota call its MR2 people and tell them, “We’ll have the MR2 again now.”

Let’s quickly go live via Autocar to what Toyota is actually doing at this very moment, when it could be working on a new MR2:

Relaunching an MR2 is “not a priority” now for Toyota, according to European vice-president Matt Harrison. The MR2 was understood to be under consideration as an EV, but that is now less of a priority for Toyota as it focuses instead on developing a next-generation GT86 under its GR performance brand.


An electric MR2? Love it. But instead we must, for some reason, get a new 86, as one of the two biggest car companies in the world suggests that it can’t do two things at once.

The MR2 was light, lovable, and chiefly straightforward. The design took a front-wheel-drive Corolla drivetrain and stuffed it into the middle of a small sports car chassis. It was part of the golden era of affordable midengine cars, and it was an absolute joy even if no single individual part of it was particularly desirable or expensive. The suspension wasn’t novel, the design wasn’t groundbreaking, and the engines, while we love a few of them in retrospect, they were just well-designed four-cylinders. Nothing MR2 was exotic, other than the layout.

I’m tired of all the excuses, Toyota, all the misinformation, all of the evasion. It’s time for us to stare this outright cowardice in its face. We’ll all be better off when you do.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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Toyota totally has the guts to bring back the MR2. The problem is that BMW and Subaru don’t have a mid-engine car to build it from.