29th Oct 2018 5:00 am
Toyota is considering the reintroduction of a rear mid-engine sports car with a possible electric power train.
The Toyota MR2 was originally released back in 1984 and was a compact, 2-door, rear mid-engined sports car that provided a superb sports car experience at a very affordable price point. The MR2 gathered a lot of appreciation from the enthusiasts for providing a great driving experience at a very attainable price.
At the Paris Motor Show the European head of Marketing Matt Harrison, said that talks to bring back the MR2 were underway though it was only in the ‘discussion stage’. He did, however, go on to say that the idea was generally favored. Harrison also went on to say, the company head Akio Toyoda would like to see the return of the brands ‘Three Brother’ (the trio of sports cars which include the Celica, Supra, and MR2) return to the current lineup. As the Toyota Supra is going to be launched shortly and the GT86 is the modern equivalent of the Celica, the only car left to bring back is the MR2.
At this stage, most signs point towards the new MR2 going electric. The electrification of the MR2 has a few advantages right off the bat. Firstly the compactness of the electric motor would lend itself well to the rear mid-engined layout of the MR2. Secondly, the batteries can be placed under the floor to provide a lower center of gravity, which in turn will help the handling characteristics of the car. Thirdly the instant torque provided by electric motors will allow the car to be very usable around town as well as provide a thrill factor with the instant pick up. Lastly, the electric MR2 can become the Halo car for Toyota’s range of electric vehicles, this will be all the more relevant as the MR2 isn’t going to be released before 2020, by which point Toyota would have a range of fully electric cars in the market or on their way. This also means that battery technology would have improved quite a bit by the time the car is launched which should provide better range and charge times and aid with the usability of the car, especially in the urban environment.