Toyota fans have been drooling over a Celica comeback for years. Along with its Supra (and Acura’s NSX), the Celica is probably one of the most-dangled comebacks of any nameplate, with years of rumors and speculation met mostly by silence from Toyota.
Carbuzz reports that could soon change, given a recent trademark filing.
The trademark was filed on January 15th for “Automobiles and structural parts thereof.” While this may be an all-new model (to be clear, the Toyota sketch at the top of this post is the seventh-generation Celica), it could also indicate a name change for an upcoming revision of the 86, which is expected to continue as a badge-engineered version of the BRZ. But the new 86 isn’t supposed to make its debut until later this year.
How a revived Celica would fit into all this remains to be seen. When the FR-S made the name change to 86 at the time Scion was discontinued, it was thought that the Celica nameplate might come to the Subaru-based sport coupe. But a Toyota spokesperson said the Celica needed to be its own all-new model:
“The 86 was not called the Celica because that nameplate needed to be a new product and there wasn’t much enthusiasm for it.”
This makes sense. In 2016, Scion, a relatively young brand (it existed for only 13 years), was being discontinued. The FR-S had been on the market only three years. A nameplate with the history of Celica would’ve been wasted on a model like that.
There was also talk of using the Celica name on the base Supra 2.0 before that model debuted. But Toyota felt that it would cause confusion with customers.
So we’re back to speculation. Maybe this filing is just keeping the trademark on the name in play. Perhaps the 86 is undergoing a name change with its redesign. Or — this is a stretch — it could be that a new model specific to the nameplate is coming. Whatever is going on, it’d be good to have the Celica back.