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Toyota mulls possible MR2 successor as States receive limited edition 86

13.03.2017

With its revived Supra reportedly expected to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, a new report has claimed that Toyota could also possibility introduce a successor to the much vaunted mid-engine MR2 in due course.

Speaking to evo magazine at the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota engineer and new Gazoo Racing Chief, Tetsuya Tada, stated that the Japanese marque are pushing ahead with bringing back its "three brothers as soon as possible", referring to the MR2's replacement, the GT86 / 86 as the modern day equivalent of the iconic Celica, and the Supra due next year.

Although it remains unclear as to the exact nature of the MR2, Tada remarked that Toyota are working on incorporating elements of its hybrid LMP1 racecars into its line-up of sportscar to meet new emissions regulations slated for 2020, meaning the MR2 could retain its mid-range layout with the addition of an electric motor.

"It will be an era when it’ll be very difficult to create a simple sports car as you know it. But our underlying thought of going into Le Mans is that there are possibilities to use new technology to make such a (sports) car, and we’re working very hard to do it," Tada told the publication.

"When it comes to installing batteries, the mid-ship layout is an attractive one. We hope to come out with such a model one day".

Another speculation has meanwhile surfaced that the retro-styled S-FR concept shown at Geneva two years ago could serve as a base for the MR2, although this would mean the adoption of a front engine, rear wheel drive configuration.

Limited run 860 Edition only for the States

Elsewhere, Toyota has unveiled a special edition version of the 86 for the United States market only, aimed at reviving sales following a dramatic slump in light of re-branding what was previously known as the Scion FR-S.

Limited to just 860 units as its name suggests, the 860 Special Edition features a number of interior and exterior tweaks, namely black racing stripes with a choice of Halo White or bespoke Supernova Orange paint finish, black-and-chrome 17-inch alloy wheels, black mirrors and a black bootlid spoiler.

Inside, the 860 gets black leather seats with contrasting orange stitching also prominent on the dashboard, door handles, gear lever, steering wheel and handbrake, as well as a list of standard items such as push-button start, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and a TFT display on the instrument cluster.

The Subaru-sourced normally aspirated 2.0-litre flat-four remains unchanged at 147 kW / 205 Nm, with transmissions consisting of a six-speed manual or similar ratio automatic with paddle shifters.

Prices range from $30 400 (R398 902) for the manual to $30 760 (R403 626) for the automatic, gains of $2 895 (R37 987) over the standard 86 respectively, with no chance of local availability anytime soon.

Article written by Autodealer
13.03.2017
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