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New Toyota MR2 May Be a 1.0-Liter Mid-Engine Hybrid Sports Car: Report

The rumors will continue until morale improves.
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Rumors about a potential mid-engine MR2 successor from Toyota have been floating around for a few years now. If there’s any fire to go with the smoke, we should pay attention to a new report from the Japanese auto publication Best Car. It claims a new turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-liter mild hybrid sports car is being developed with help from Suzuki. Since these are just rumors, it’s unclear if this car would make it to the United States.

The small sports car could reportedly weigh as little as 2,200 pounds. The vehicle is also reported to have a wheelbase of around 100 inches, or near that of the Toyota GR86. There’s no indication there are any carryover parts between the two cars, though. That being said, the car wouldn’t be completely a completely ground-up effort. The Japanese publication reports that the car might share some parts with the current-generation Yaris, namely the front suspension.

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As far as Suzuki’s role goes, it’s allegedly developing the 1.0-liter engine, which reportedly could produce around 120 horsepower. Toyota already makes a 1.0-liter three-cylinder in the Yaris, though. I’m no expert, but if I was going to develop a mid-engine sports car on the cheap, I would just turbo that motor, keep all of the suspension, and put it in the back instead of the front.

That’s not the only strange part of this report. It also claims that the price would be in the neighborhood of $20,000. That would make it the cheapest mid-engine car for sale—at least in the United States—by a huge margin. Even if it does carry parts over from at least one existing vehicle, that’s pretty unbelievable.

There has been concrete evidence beyond rumors for a new mid-engine sports car from Toyota, which is part of the reason why the news refuses to die. Toyota has filed patents detailing a body structure for such a vehicle which we dug up in the past, and it also showed off a full-fledged concept for a GR-branded electric roadster several months ago. Related rumors for parts sharing also just keep coming.

It’s all a bit frustrating because until we get something like spy photos or, ideally, an official announcement from Toyota, we won’t know if any of this is legit. As per usual with the rumor mill, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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