Toyota and Suzuki Teaming Up on a Lightweight Sports Car

  • Toyota and Suzuki are rumored to be developing a new sports car together, according to a report by citing a Japanese magazine.
  • The two-seat coupe will reportedly have a mid-mounted 120-hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder and weigh less than the Toyota GR86.
  • The project is said to be inspired by the MR2, with prices potentially starting between $16,000 and $20,000.

A spiritual successor to the mid-car Toyota MR2 may be on the way—and it could have a traditional gas-powered engine. Rumors are swirling online about the possibility of a new lightweight sports car being jointly developed by Toyota and Suzuki (Daihatsu is also reportedly involved).

New Toyota MR2?

Multiple reports today stem from an article by the Japanese magazine, Best car, citing as claiming that the long-rumored “baby sports car” resulting from a partnership between Toyota and Suzuki is still happening. Of course, nothing was officially announced—no name or anything. All we have to go off of is speculation fueled by recent concepts, like the Toyota Sports EV pictured above.

Toyota first previewed that visually striking concept car in December 2021 among nearly 20 other concepts. However, current rumors describe a different powertrain, one with an internal combustion engine versus an electric motor. Reports claim it will have a mid-mounted 1.0-liter three-cylinder, with the possibility of a hybrid system also mentioned.

Probably Light

The sports car, whatever it’s called, is expected to be light. Reports indicate that it will weigh only 2204 pounds. By comparison, it’s lighter than the Mazda Miata, which tipped our scales at 2345 pounds. It will also make it lighter than the Toyota GR86, a sporty front-engine, rear-drive coupe that weighs 2,838 pounds.

It’s a good thing the Toyota-Suzuki-Daihatsu sports car will be so light, because its small engine isn’t said to be very powerful. With half the displacement of a typical soda bottle, the three-pot is believed to make just 120 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Toyota’s other three-cylinder engine powers the GR Corolla and delivers a heart-pumping 300 hp, which makes the hot hatch shoot down back roads with a vengeance.

Suzuki is reportedly developing the engine, with Toyota tapped to adapt the suspension from the current generation Yaris for use on the new sports car. It’s unclear what platform the car would be built on, but its overall length is said to be 165.3 inches with a 100-inch wheelbase. Perhaps coincidentally, those dimensions match the GR86’s.

Sports car pipe dream?

Obviously, we cannot confirm whether the rumors are true. Even if they are, we’re not sure Toyota will sell them in America, especially since it might struggle to find success. Profit margins will be razor thin with reports claiming the car could be priced between $16,000 and $20,000. Still, our enthusiastic desire keeps us hopeful, even if we don’t expect to see it for at least another year or two.