Rumor: Toyota and Suzuki Developing Another Lightweight Sports Car
Toyota and Suzuki are rumored to be collaborating on another lightweight, mid-engine sports car with some help from Daihatsu. While nothing has been confirmed, the model is presumed to be a successor to Toyota’s MR2 (pictured) – as the automaker has offered numerous hints in the past that the little two-seater (or something inspired by it) would eventually enter into production.
Following the joint development of the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86, the latter brand suggested it would eventually offer a trio of sporting options that paid homage to some of its most iconic performance models. It was suggested that one would probably slot in beneath the Toyobaru twins. Considering we already have the Supra and 86 on sale, the MR2 feels like the obvious choice.
A report by Motor1 has cited numerous Japanese outlets claiming the three companies were actively developing a two-seater equipped with a centrally mounted 1.0-liter three-cylinder motor producing somewhere around 120 horsepower. Best Car magazine has said the car is basically being designed with Toyota in mind.
The Japanese magazine claims the three domestic automakers are working on an affordable mid-engined Toyota sports car with a turbocharged 1.0-liter engine. The three-pot is said to produce nearly 120 horsepower and 200 Newton-meters (147 pound-feet) of torque. It is believed the ICE will have a mild-hybrid setup to provide a small boost and improve fuel economy.
While the rumored output is not exactly impressive, the "Midship Sports" mentioned by Best Car is said to weigh just 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds). That would make it just about as light as the base Mazda MX-5 with the 1.5-liter engine, which has 129 hp and 150 Nm (111 lb-ft). It's said to be significantly bigger than the Miata and the third-generation MR2 by measuring 4,200 millimeters (165.3 inches) long, 1,720 mm (67.7 in) wide, and 1,220 mm (48 in) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,550 mm (100 in).
Suzuki is reportedly developing the engine while the front suspension will be adapted from the current-generation Yaris. The styling is said to take cues from the Daihatsu Copen although the rendering published by Best Car shows a sleeker sports car that takes itself more seriously. It would be strictly a two-seat affair and carry the Toyota badge.
While your gut is correctly telling you that’s probably not going to fly in North America without the mystery model seeing a bump in power, keep in mind that the base MX-5 produces significantly more oomph on our shores than it does in Japan. It’s not inconceivable that Subaru could spice up the powertrain when-and-if Toyota ships the model our way. However, it’ll probably cost a bit more than what’s being suggested right now.
Motor1 stated that the new model would cost between 2.2 to 2.8 million yen on the Japanese domestic market, depending on trim level and options. That’s just $16,500 to $21,000 when converted to U.S. dollars. But it also warned that these are just rumors and rumors often don’t make it into the world of facts. As things currently stand, we don’t even know how far down the path of development the hypothetical MR2 happens to be or if it has any real chance of making it to the finish line.
[Image: betto rodrigues/Shutterstock]
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-darts eyes- imagine one one of these with a tune and tires that are the equivalent of gum erasers. Casual Friday and weekend car. My local coffee and cars is across the street from Wallyworld.