Toyota-Subaru joint sports car may lead to Celica comeback

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Some of the names suggested for Toyota’s new RWD sports car include MR2, Trueno and Celica

Some of the names suggested for Toyota’s new RWD sports car include MR2, Trueno and Celica

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Earlier this month, Toyota executive vice-president Masatami Takimoto confirmed the company was working on a small hybrid sports coupe for the European market but other than a few sparing details no solid information was revealed. This sent the rumor mill into overdrive, with speculation quickly emerging that the car could see a return of the MR2 nameplate.

Today, France’s L'Automobile Magazine is reporting that the new RWD sports car being developed jointly by Toyota and Subaru could revive the Celica name. Both companies plan to launch separate versions of the car in 2011, but while the Subaru model will likely get a new name the Toyota model may go with something familiar.

Of course, there have also been claims that Toyota might go with the Trueno name from the 1980’s ‘AE86’ Japanese classic but given the global nature of the upcoming model this is looking more and more unlikely.

As for the car itself, Toyota is reportedly working on the styling while Subaru is said to be handling the engineering side of things. This means the new model will be Subaru at heart, with a four-cylinder boxer engine in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms expected.

Base models will be strictly RWD and have a power output of around 220hp (170kW). Though no official details have been released, it’s expected that an AWD flagship with 300hp (225kW) from a turbocharged flat-four will be available as well. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, although an automatic is also expected to be available as well.
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