Toyota MR2 Revived As Electric Sports Car?

OCT 26 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 23

Don’t pull out your wallets just yet.

What would you say to an all-electric Toyota MR2? Though it wouldn’t reach dealers anytime soon, it appears as though the Japanese automaker is at least considering bringing back the nameplate to hang on a battery-power sportscar.

According to Autocar, the company’s European vice president of sales and marketing, Matt Harrison, Toyota is seriously considering adding it to its list of future product. Characterized as being in the “discussion stage,” battery power is firmly in the mix as a means of motivation. Were it to come to fruition, the publication muses it would take advantage of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), a modular unibody automobile platform that can accommodate a number of drivetrain configurations.

Speaking about the brand’s heritage, Harrison shared that the little two-seater was an important part of what Toyota President Akio Toyoda refers to as the “three brothers,” its traditional triumvirate of sportscars, which also included the Celica and Supra. The past is never perfectly recaptured, though, and today the GT86 stands in for the Celica of old. If reborn electric, the drivetrain would certainly make the MR2 quite a different beast from its predecessors.

The car was always a bit of an odd duck. In Toyota’s universe, it pointed to the company’s Supra North Star, but like the Big Dipper, it was its own separate entity.  Its proportions were unique and directly related to its mid-engine setup. If made in an electric format, Autocar muses the motor could again be situated behind the seats and ahead of the rear axle. While we here at InsideEVs are as sentimental about past vehicles as anyone, we think this setup unlikely.

Considering the dearth of electric vehicles in its product plan — something it appears it’s trying to counter with the creation of a dedicated zero-emissions division — we’d like to see a future Toyota electric sportscar be a technology demonstrator for the brand. Perhaps super-small-but-powerful motors for each of the four wheels, for instance. This is still rare in the electric vehicle performance world and could allow for the ultimate torque vectoring machine, with each wheel’s speed precisely controlled.

Autocar warns that while it may take the name of the MR2, its appearance might reach even further back into the company’s catalog. It points to the 2015 S-FR concept, itself a play on the 1965 S800, as a design starting point. However it plays out, it certainly won’t be available for sale anytime soon. The British publication suggests a green-lit MR2 would only become a reality in the early to mid-2020’s.

 

Source: Autocar

Categories: Toyota

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23 Comments on "Toyota MR2 Revived As Electric Sports Car?"

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Harold T

nah, It’s designed with old architecture and irrelevant. MR2 badge perhaps, but why do a limited 2 seater for an EV when you can get amazing performance and free to shape things however you want.

AJ

One word: weight. Sure, the Model S P100D is a monster and weights a massive amount, but take its powertrain and shove it in a lighter car and it turns into even more of a beast.

God/Bacardi

Why not just “EV” the new Supra?

Derek in TN

That would really make the return of the Supra something special.

Roy_H

I agree with the 4-motor, 4-wheel drive although it adds mass and complexity. And retain the mid-engine layout by putting the battery pack behind the seats like the original Tesla Roadster. Would end up being a little bigger and heavier than the original MR2.

G2

Dear Toyota…
Stop thinking about EVs and just get on with it!

Prsnep

They ARE getting on with it.

Vexar

Can’t do a mid-engine electric without a pointless transaxle or three axles.

Dave100e

I have a mk3 MR2 and it’s by far the most fun car I own. It gets that from being super lightweight, basic and having a simple yet for it’s time clever little engine. It is very specific in it’s purpose to have fun which I think might be difficult to replicate in an EV. To match that sort of character you will end up with a tiny battery capable of 80 miles and that’s just not enough anymore.

Maybe build a super light, super basic, hyperactive ICE MR2/MR-S with the new Yaris’s Lotus 1.8sc engine in the mould of the mk1 and mk3, but also build a larger, more relaxed BEV version in the mould of a mk2 and call it something different. Honestly, i’d like to see both.

REXisKing

You should drive a BMW i3, and then you’ll get why it being an EV would be greatly superior.

Dave100e

I have driven an i3s and I love them. I’ve driven a lot of EV’s, and as fun as they are I still think an analogous, super lightweight ICE with a manual gearbox is ten times more fun.

EV for the weekly runabout, ICE for weekend fun.

groingo

I never understood why they went to four door sports coupes anyhow, four is two to many for most us yet it’s what they keep cramming down our throats, we want a two door electric sports coupe!
Four doors means Family Truckster…..yuck!

Brian

Hear hear! My wife is happy to drive the family hauler, why can’t I have a two-door sports coupe for commuting and such?

Brian

MR2 is an odd choice for electric, but I’d take it if they made it. But it would have to be a lot more affordable than that other EV sports car, which will also be available sooner (new Tesla Roadster).

Victor Reynolds

the mr2 is a popular ev conversion car…you can easily buy a kit to convert one right now…just add batteries.

To me, this is a no-brainer for toyota.

mzs.112000

Yeah, Toyota doesn’t need to do any engineering work, just buy the kit from EVWest…

Viking79

I encourage them to make an EV Roadster/Small performance car, but MR2 stood for Midship (engine) Runabout 2 seater, so the name doesn’t really make any sense for what will be a front or rear motor or possibly AWD runabout, but who really cares. Call it the MR2 and make sure it has a frunk like 1984 MK1 and I would be good.

MR2 was great fun to drive. Earliest one used a lot of the Corolla and other Toyota parts already made to make an affordable yet really fun to drive mid engine RWD car. Keep that in spirit, essentially an electric version of the 86 or BRZ. It needs to be quick, and track worthy, but still fairly affordable.

Brian

Did R stand for Runabout? I always thought it stood for RWD.

Bob

Ew. No thanks. I’m not buying any electric car unless there are no normal gas powered cars left

Dave100e

You should try one, they’re not that bad, in some ways they’re even better. EV’s are ideal daily cars, somewhat similar to a diesel in nature. No reason to get rid of the ICE cars for weekend fun though.

Abi

Really toyota ! The last time Toyota made a great sport car was 1998. And now they having thoughts of making such a icon car into electronic vehicle. Come on!!!

Milfan

It will end up as a hybrid car, so that you don’t need to plug in.

QCO

Likely low volume, so would be a good candidate for a shared vehicle design with Mazda, given they are now cooperating. Maybe an e-Miata/MR2.