Toyota's performance revolution is set to continue, with reports the brand will revive the iconic MR2 nameplate to take on, well, everyone really – from the incoming Subaru WRX STi to the Nissan Z and everyone in-between.
The rumours, published by Japanese scoop site Spyder7, suggest work on a new MR2 could be underway to complement the GR Yaris, GR Supra and incoming GR Corolla performance range.
Earlier stories had pointed to Toyota prioritising the new 86 ahead of the MR2, but with the former now complete, Japanese outlets are pointing to the MR2 as being next to go.
Read more about the Toyota MR2
And if the rumours are to be believed, the two-door performance vehicle will be a member of Japan's burgeoning almost 300kW club, with a 2.8- or 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine complemented by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery to produce around 298kW.
And as the new MR2 will be a plug-in hybrid, according to the reports, then silent EV driving will also be on the cards, though no site has yet detailed battery size or range predictions.
Those outputs put it right in the cross-hairs of the new Nissan Z, with the Japanese brand's reborn performance car fitted with a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, outputting 285kW/475Nm to the rear wheels, paired with a six-speed manual with rev matching as standard and available with a nine-speed automatic transmission as an option.
That should be enough to push the Z to 100km/h in around 4.5 secs, but with the instantaneous torque of a PHEV powertrain, the MR2 could even be quicker still.
Rumours abound that the new Subaru WRX STi – which should be revealed around March next year – will be fitted the turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer currently found in the US-only Ascent SUV. According to multiple reports from Japan the new engine is tipped to make as much as 295kW.
That would put it above the Toyota GR Supra (285kW), and on-par with a new MR2. Still, the MR2 appears to be only at rumour stage at this point. But it's not as crazy as it sounds.
Toyota executives have been touting a return of the MR2 nameplate since as far back as 2018, part of the brand's "three brother" strategy that would see the Toyota 86 and Supra joined by a third dedicated performance vehicle.
And that comes from Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, who told Evo in 2019 that the move would mirror the MR2, Celica, Supra line-up of the 1990s.
So watch this space.