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Toyota wants to resurrect the four-wheel drive Celica

The Celica could return as a four-wheel drive performance model.

Having brought Toyota’s vision for an affordable sports coupe to life in the shape of the 86, before moving on to develop the just released, fifth-generation Supra, Toyota’s chief engineer in charge of excitement, Tetsuya Tada, has confirmed he is evaluating a new generation Celica or MR2 as possible next projects.

When asked by CarsGuide if he was thinking about a new MR2 program, Tada-san said, “Not just MR2, but Celica. Many specifications are known, and we are studying, doing every single thing for every car.

“I don’t know whether it will go to production. It’s a small chance, priorities are changing all the time, and it depends on the market demands on which one is strong,” he said.

Tada says there is strong demand from Europe for a new Celica, and he believes the model’s heritage in world rallying positions it as a four-wheel-drive (4WD) performance model.

In a move likely to unsettle die-hard fans, Tada has confirmed the second-generation version of the 86 cult coupe will not be his responsibility.

And after seven years on the Supra program he freely admits he’s ready for a holiday, quickly adding that he’d “love to make a mid-ship”. The MR2 name stands for ‘Mid-ship Runabout 2-seater’.

But before he’s completely finished with Supra, Tada-san says he’s focusing on regular, likely annual, upgrades to the new car.

“Engine, body, suspension updates. I’m thinking about next year’s line-up and constant changes, much like Porsche, we need to do that.”