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    William Maley

    Rumorpile: The MR2 Might Make A Return to Toyota's Lineup

      Return of the 'Three Brothers'

    Toyota appears to be building out their sports car lineup with the 86 and the rumored Supra coupe. There is now talk of third sports that would mark the return of the 'Three Brothers'; MR2, Celica, and Supra.

    Evo reports that Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota 86 and head of Gazoo Racing revealed that a spiritual successor to the MR2 is in the works. The successor would act as the starting point for the 'three brothers,' with the 86 serving as the successor to the Celica and the Supra as the top dog. Tada said the company hopes to have the trio in production together, "as soon as possible."

    Details are slim, but Evo expects the model to be smaller and lighter than the 86 coupe. There is the possibility of a hybrid powertrain, using tech from Toyota's Le Mans prototype race car.

    Source: Evo

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    Pretty Dead Market, I would be surprised if the ultra conservative board would green light this. I honestly see no reason to bring back the MR2 or even the Celica. 

    Supra, yes, I can see that if done right.

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    Loved the originals, especially fond memories of opportunities I had to drive the second gen... As much as I like the idea, they are better off making "performance" trims of their CUVs.

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    13 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    More coupes would be nice to see instead of more CUVs....

    I see no sense in this, Yes some people love to have the top down, or smaller auto to drive, but the market show spoken that 2 door 2 person coupes are not what the bulk of people want. They have limited use and honestly the market is not supporting them. Why waste R&D money on 3 variations. I can see having 1 model and in this case make it the Supera with a stripped, mid and top end model.

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    Not sure there's enough room to position this below the 86. That car is underpowered as is, and is already very light and small. Unless they have plans of taking it upmarket, which they seem to have no interest in, and which would also overlap with the base model Supra, I don't see how they could make a business case for having 3 sports cars.

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    26 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Not sure there's enough room to position this below the 86. That car is underpowered as is, and is already very light and small. Unless they have plans of taking it upmarket, which they seem to have no interest in, and which would also overlap with the base model Supra, I don't see how they could make a business case for having 3 sports cars.

    Yeah, there does seem to be a lot of overlap.  When they separated the Supra from the Celica line and introduced the MR2 it made sense.  Celica was FWD with NA 4s for the must parts, Supra RWD with NA and Turbo I6s, , and MR2 rear drive/mid engine with NA or turbo 4s (or supercharged on the 1s gen). 

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    Sadly, the three brothers will be related to other cousins with platform sharing if the trend continues.

    The 86 (Celica) already is the twin with the Subaru BRZ.

    The Supra (when?) will be developed in partnership with BMW.

    Who will Toyota join to make the MR2 come back?

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    To be a true MR2 it would have to be mid engined and I don't see Toyota doing that.  And as mentioned sales of 2 seat cars are drying up fast.  And I don't see how you build it at a low price point given the cost of developing a mid engine hybrid and I don't think anyone would buy it.

    With Scion dead it would be easy as can be to take the Corolla and make a 2 door version with different front and rear fascias and call it the Celica.  That gets the fwd Celica back on sale with virtually no development cost.

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    Here is the trouble the segment is thought to build in and make money at a low price and volume.

    just look at the history as most small sports cars and most have 10 years or less life.

    The Miata only lives because of the global marketing and limited sales in each market. Even then it was tough to pay for the development of the present model. They even shared it with Fiat to cut cost. 

    To make a MR2 work they really need to raise the price and go global.

    otherwise it will be short lived if it even goes production.

    Note too the C8 will be much cheaper than many thing in base trim. This will shake up the segment.

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    15 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

    Here is the trouble the segment is thought to build in and make money at a low price and volume.

    just look at the history as most small sports cars and most have 10 years or less life.

    The Miata only lives because of the global marketing and limited sales in each market. Even then it was tough to pay for the development of the present model. They even shared it with Fiat to cut cost. 

    To make a MR2 work they really need to raise the price and go global.

    otherwise it will be short lived if it even goes production.

    Note too the C8 will be much cheaper than many thing in base trim. This will shake up the segment.

    you contradicted yourself.  Stating Toyota would have to raise prices on the MR2 while bragging how cheap the C8 is going to be.....   Not that anyone actually buys a base model/no options Corvette.......

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    37 minutes ago, Stew said:

    you contradicted yourself.  Stating Toyota would have to raise prices on the MR2 while bragging how cheap the C8 is going to be.....   Not that anyone actually buys a base model/no options Corvette.......

    First off the MR2 has been a low price car so it will have to climb in price from where it was. Before it was a $20K car max.

    The Corvette on the other hand will go up in price from where it is but all version are not going to cost $200K like some idiots predict.

    Both models are just opposing ends of the price that both need to meet in the middle on. No contradictions just a  point that they can both get closer to the $80K mark and survive.

    I assumed most people were smart enough to consider the pricing but I guess I missed one.


    Lets put this into terms you would understand. If they did this car for $30K or less it will live 5-10 years at best. The MR2 models we have seen neither lived. The Vette needs to go up in price from where it is but that does not mean it has to be $200K to survive as they still need a cheaper model to go with the high end model. $80K would do that.

     

     

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    7 minutes ago, hyperv6 said:

    First off the MR2 has been a low price car so it will have to climb in price from where it was. Before it was a $20K car max.

    The Corvette on the other hand will go up in price from where it is but all version are not going to cost $200K like some idiots predict.

    Both models are just opposing ends of the price that both need to meet in the middle on. No contradictions just a  point that they can both get closer to the $80K mark and survive.

    I assumed most people were smart enough to consider the pricing but I guess I missed one.


    Lets put this into terms you would understand. If they did this car for $30K or less it will live 5-10 years at best. The MR2 models we have seen neither lived. The Vette needs to go up in price from where it is but that does not mean it has to be $200K to survive as they still need a cheaper model to go with the high end model. $80K would do that.

     

     

    Ok, i get what you are saying, but the MR2 was more expensive than that (particularly second gen turbos which crested mid 20s, maybe even low 30s.  That said you can't gleam a current price from a 1992 car with todays dollars.  25k in 1992 dollars is nearly 44k in today's dollars (http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=25000&year=1992  neat calculator)

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    7 hours ago, Stew said:

    Ok, i get what you are saying, but the MR2 was more expensive than that (particularly second gen turbos which crested mid 20s, maybe even low 30s.  That said you can't gleam a current price from a 1992 car with todays dollars.  25k in 1992 dollars is nearly 44k in today's dollars (http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=25000&year=1992  neat calculator)

    Stew the MR2 was a low $20's car back then in the first gen loaded and the first gen was around $17K. 

    The cars died early as while they sold in limited numbers the cost to redesign and retool them for a limited market was difficult. The third attempt was to do it as a convertible and try to make it cheaper like a Miata. That did not work either. 

    Even if the Fiero had gone right it would not have lived on too much longer. The RX7 did better but still died. The Z cars all did not last. Most two seat cars all have limited lives outside the Corvette and Miata. The Miata has wide appeal and great global markets and limited sales in each with special models to keep buyers coming back. The Corvette was built into an Icon like a Harley. It has also skirted with death more than once but Chevy has always found a way to keep it profitable and to bring buyers back. Hence their need to make a $79K model in the C8. 

    The cost of development is so much anymore it is nearly impossible to make a car that sells only 18K units at a price below $35K.  

    The Kappa cars were build and marketed globally and it was damn hard getting the base to $19,999 even using parts from an Envoy, Grand Prix and CTS.  As it was even if Pontiac had lived the Kappa was well on the way to death as they just sold too few to really make a case for a new model. It may have lingered on a couple more years. 

    Most two seat sports cars are expensive because they sell in small numbers and to make money you have to jack the price. The Corvette saves money suing and sharing parts with Cadillac, trucks and the Camaro. If not for these model sit would be even higher. 
     

    But because of the price it does add exclusivity to the image and that is how they market it. 

    If you could build and sell 150,000 458 Ferrari's with engines from a IVCO truck  you could price them to $75k too but Ferrari wants to keep numbers low for image as they already have secured the high price.  

    You can play your dollars this year and back then game but the trick is the cost of development today. Today's cars take billions to develop and that is not just inflation but the many things they need to design and they have to test anymore along with the man hours it cost. 

    The days of the cheap sports car are at an end as even the general passenger cars are now $35K as an average and trucks are even more. 

    It is possible unless Mazda does not leverage more sales for the Miata of sister cars or raise the price more  they could be in the last gen. 

    Stew this is big picture stuff and you have to take all aspects into this. You just can't cherry pick what ever you think you have to look at all the metric the automakers use to make a business case. 

    Things many fail to consider is Yes GM can make a cheap small sports coupe or car. Yes it would be cool and all that sh*t. But they also could build a small CUV that would cost as much to develop and it would sell in numbers of 150,000 units vs. 12,000 units the sports car would sell. Also you would get repeat customer daily because that CUV is going to be driven and worn out. If the customer liked it he will buy the new one. The sports car will see limited third car duty on weekends and remain in low miles even after 10 years. Repeat buyers will be limited and people who really want one will buy it in the first 5 years. Hence the short life of many sports cars. 

     

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    The MR2 isn't feasible because how are they going to make a mid-engine chassis used on one low volume model and sell it for an affordable price?  Won't happen.   I think Toyota is foolish for not having a Celica, which is a front drive car, it could be a mechanical twin to the Corolla in base trim, and offer a turbo engine for the Celica GT-S and you put a good stereo and flashy wheels on it, and you have a car the young people will gobble up.

    The Supra might be good, it has BMW underpinnings, it might be as good as a base Corvette, but cheaper.

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    The MR2 isn't feasible because how are they going to make a mid-engine chassis used on one low volume model and sell it for an affordable price?   

    They did it 30 years ago somehow..probably did it in a similar manner that GM did the Fiero through component reuse w/ other models....today, maybe do a JV w/ someone or repurpose Corolla/etc components? 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    It will certainly be more expensive and yes they could reach 25k for turbo models, so the adjusted 44k still stands.  I could see it happen for 44k, but my guess is, like the 86 and Supra, it will be in a partnership with another manufacture to amortize costs.  The Fiero's problems were that it was basically junk and had a bad rep for reliability and fires. 

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