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Will the 2026 Toyota MR2 be the Japanese giant's last pure internal-combustion sports car? Mid-engine mini-supercar to borrow turbo-petrol power and all-wheel-drive tech from GR Yaris and GR Corolla: report

The overall design leans towards gentle aero-influenced curves rather than sharp transitions. (Image credit: BestCarWeb)

In line with Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda's drive to add more exciting, driver-focused product options to the brand's global line-up, the new-generation MR2 mid-engine sports car appears to be on track for a 2026 release.

And latest reports from Japanese publication Best Car Web point to the new stablemate for the GR 86, GR Supra (and likely GR Celica) being powered by a version of the 1.6-litre turbo-petro, three-cylinder engine currently residing under the bonnet of the GR Yaris and GR Corolla hot hatches.

According to Best Car Web, after initially toying with a mid-engine hatch design, similar to iconic Group B rally specials like the MG Metro 6R4, Peugeot 205 T16 and Renault 5 Turbo, the need to differentiate from the GR Yaris (which so far hasn't met domestic market sales expectations) became a factor.

Now 'single-deck' and 'double-deck' variations on a mid-engine sports car theme are in development.

According to Best Car Web's inside source, the design variation is confined to the rear of the car only with the low front hood, slender guards and “surprisingly tall” A-pillar the same for both.

The single-deck car is said to be closer to a two-seat Ferrari or Lamborghini treatment with no rear luggage space, while the double-deck approach takes its inspiration from the first (AW10) and second (SW20) generation MR2s from the 1980s and '90s, featuring a separate engine bay and boot compartment.

The overall design leans towards gentle aero-influenced curves rather than sharp transitions with pronounced ducts in the rear guards directing air to the engine and/or rear brakes.

The double-deck approach takes its inspiration from the first (AW10) and second (SW20) generation MR2s from the 1980s and ‘90s, featuring a separate engine bay and boot compartment. (image: BestCarWeb) The double-deck approach takes its inspiration from the first (AW10) and second (SW20) generation MR2s from the 1980s and ‘90s, featuring a separate engine bay and boot compartment. (image: BestCarWeb)

Dimensions are relatively compact (expected to be approximately 4400mm long, 1850mm wide and 1230mm tall), but Best Car Web's sources confirm the car's balanced proportions make it appear larger.

Estimated wheelbase is around 2600mm, the new car tipping the scales at a reasonably trim 1300kg.

Assuming GR Corolla outputs of 221kW/370Nm for the 1.6-litre inline turbo-petrol triple, matched with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or eight-speed auto transmission, the 'GR-Four' AWD MR2 should be good for 0-100km/h in the 4.0-second bracket.

Best Car Web's estimated 10-11 million Yen price point translates (on a direct currency conversion) to an Aussie dollar price of around $110-120,000.