Toyota’s planned revival of a “three brothers” sports car lineup may finally come to pass.
The three tiers originally included the Celica, the MR2 and the Supra. The Toyota Celica has been absent from global markets, however, since the seventh generation T230 platform went out of production in 2006, ending a 36-year-long run.
But recently, a search for “Celica” in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s public archives yields four results. Two are for software, one is for Toyota’s original USPTO trademark filing in 1973 (now expired), and one, the most recent, dated August 31, 2017, is another application by Toyota for the “Celica” trademark.
With the Toyota 86 in production rather than the MR2, however, the lineup of three may have to be changed to Celica-86-Supra. That said, rumors of a new MR2 persist, and Toyota may have to either axe the runt of the litter or make room for one more.
That’s not to mention the S-FR concept shown off in 2015 either, though by the lack of news on it since, we may be safe in assuming it’s dead.
So, what could we expect of a new Celica? Well, a four-cylinder engine seems like a given. As for which engine of Toyota’s would fit the bill, well, none, really. Toyota has no in-house performance engines at present. Their 86 is powered by an outsourced Subaru FA20 unit, and the upcoming Supra is expected to use BMW engines.
Some considered the ill-fated Scion tC the Celica’s successor, though the tC lacked the Celica’s low weight and nimble handling, never mind the Celica’s motorsport heritage, which includes one of history’s greatest motorsport controversies.
Gone for more than a decade, it was starting to look like Toyota had abandoned the Celica as a has-been. Last month’s filing by Toyota with the USPTO could be evidence of renewed interest in reviving Celica production, however.
Should the Celica come back, it will hopefully feature a brand new rev-happy, naturally aspirated four-pot, like the 2ZZ-GE from the T230 Celica GT-S. Why? Just listen to the video below. You’ll understand.