Rumors out of Japan say that Toyota and some of its partnered companies are working on a lightweight, mid-engined, hybrid sports car. That, plus the fact that in 2021 Toyota showed a purported electric midship sports car concept, has the gossip mill swirling. Obviously, a small midship runabout conjures images of the dearly departed MR2.
The rumors have it playing out like this: Toyota supplies the chassis, using the front suspension of the Yaris. Suzuki provides the engine, a 1.0-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder currently found in the Swift, good for 118 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. It’d be mated to a 5-horsepower mild hybrid electric motor and either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Daihatsu contributes its panel-swapping technology found on its Copen roadster, allowing each marque’s variant to sport a unique body.
Best Car says the wheelbase will be about 100 inches long, about 5 longer than the MR2 Spyder. Dimensions are spec’ed at 165 inches long, 68 inches wide 48 inches high. That’s about a foot longer, an inch wider, and an inch shorter than the MR2 Spyder. Curb weight is targeted at a feathery 2200 pounds.
Incredibly, Best Car says the price will come in between ¥2.2 million and 2.8 million. Normally that would translate to about $22,000-$28,000, but at current exchange rates very favorable to the U.S. dollar, it’s equivalent to an even more unbelievable $16,400 to $21,000.
Even if this car is built, we think it’s unlikely that it’ll make it to U.S. shores. That would be a shame, though, as the MR2 is now a bona fide and beloved classic, and it would be great to see its spirit live on in a fourth generation.