No sub-GT86 model in Toyota’s ‘three brothers’ sports car range

A three-strong sports car lineup may still happen, but any new Toyota MR2 looks likely to slot in between the GT86 and Supra

Toyota Supra TRD parts - lights

Driving enthusiasts hoping for an even smaller sports car to sit below Toyota’s GT86 will have to wait for a ‘dramatic breakthrough in technology’ if it’s to happen, according to Toyota Gazoo Racing chief Tetsuya Tada.

Speaking to evo at the 2019 Geneva motor show, Tada confirmed that while he’s still keen to give Toyota the three-strong “three brothers” sports car lineup first mooted a couple of years ago, current market conditions make it very costly to develop smaller cars – particularly when those cars are niche products like sports cars.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> Click here for our first drive of the new Supra

‘I believe most people are looking forward to the smallest of the “three brothers”’ said Tada. ‘And when people say the smallest they expect it would be the most affordable. But in reality coming up with a compact small sports car is quite difficult.’

Tada explained that because safety and emissions regulations remain the same at all points in the market and that the physical number of components that make up a smaller car are very similar to a larger one, the chance of making a profit on such a car is low. 

That, unfortunately, makes a production version of Toyota’s S-FR concept from the 2015 Tokyo motor show highly unlikely – and means that any revival of the MR2 is likely to sit above the current GT86 in Toyota’s lineup, rather than directly replace the MX-5-rivalling third-generation MR2.

Incidentally, the GT86 itself is one reason Toyota may struggle to supply a smaller, more affordable sports car. 

‘In the actual market there are now plenty of second hand GT86s that are fairly compact,’ he said, ‘so in order to compete with these second-hand cars it’s difficult to come up with a smaller version.’ The subtext? If you want an affordable Toyota sports car, then GT86s start from about £10k…

Tada wouldn’t elaborate on rumours the GT86 itself wouldn’t see a second generation, but did express that he sees it as an important product for Toyota – not least as a springboard to the Supra.

‘GT86 was a car to remind our Toyota customers of the fun of driving sports cars, and we also hope that these drivers would improve their skills in driving a sports car,’ he said.

‘In the aircraft world it’d be equivalent to a training aircraft. There have now been many years of “training”, and we’ve been receiving feedback from these customers that they’re now ready for new horizons, so Supra is an answer to these questions.’

Recommended

Visit/toyota/gt-86
Toyota GT 86 coupe

Toyota GT86 review

7 Apr 2020
Visit/toyota/gt-86/202104/toyota-gt86-v-mazda-mx-5-v-abarth-124-spider-lightweight-sports-car-shootout
Toyota GT 86

Toyota GT86 v Mazda MX-5 v Abarth 124 Spider – lightweight sports car shootout

14 Jan 2020
Visit/toyota/gt-86/201795/next-generation-toyota-gt86-and-subaru-brz-confirmed
Toyota GT 86

Next-generation Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ confirmed

27 Sep 2019

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m3-saloon/20529/all-new-bmw-m3-competition-revealed-an-icon-reborn
BMW M3 saloon

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn

This is the all-new BMW M3 Competition saloon which will join the M4 Competition coupe in BMW M’s new M3/4 family
23 Sep 2020
Visit/honda/civic-type-r/203112/honda-civic-type-r-gt-2020-review-still-king-of-the-hot-hatch-crop
Honda Civic Type-R hatchback

Honda Civic Type R GT 2020 review – still king of the hot hatch crop?

Subtle tweaks have made the Type R an even more formidable hot hatch, but we’re keen to try one again soon to understand fully the changes to the susp…
22 Sep 2020
Visit/bmw/m4/22869/all-new-bmw-m4-competition-revealed-next-generation-super-coupe-debuts
BMW M4

All-new BMW M4 Competition revealed – next generation super coupe debuts

The new BMW M4 Competition applies its war paint, but there’s no manual coming to the UK
23 Sep 2020
Visit/hyundai/202950/updated-hyundai-i30-n-revealed-with-optional-dual-clutch-box
Hyundai i30 N

Updated Hyundai i30 N revealed with optional dual-clutch ‘box

It was the hot hatch that upset the status quo, and now the i30 N is back with more power and tech
24 Sep 2020