Toyota top engineer wants to work with Porsche on MR2 successor
It is unclear if the companies have engaged in formal talks, however.
Toyota may be keeping an open mind in choosing a partner to help develop a successor to the MR2.
When asked by AutoIndustriya which company would be the best fit for collaboration on the MR2 revival project, Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada offered a surprising answer: Porsche.
To be clear, the interviewer cautions that it was difficult to determine if the response was actually in jest.
It is no secret that Toyota is seeking development partners for its sports cars. Sharing costs with Subaru helped make the Toyota 86 a reality and the same format was followed with BMW to bring the Supra to market.
In the case of the 86 and Supra, the partners used the collaboration to launch their own vehicles. Porsche does not lack sports cars, focusing recent development efforts on crossovers and the all-electric Taycan.
The existing Boxster architecture might seem like a good fit for a modern MR2. It is unclear if such a supply arrangement would make sense in financial terms, however, as Toyota's offering would presumably slot below the Supra which already undercuts the German roadster's base price by $10,000.
Separate rumors have claimed Toyota is considering an all-electric sports car to serve as the MR2's spiritual successor. Showing interest in the same segment, Porsche in 2011 built an all-electric Boxster prototype. CEO Oliver Blume this year cautioned that a dedicated EV platform would be necessary for a battery powered Boxster. The 718-series cars, including the Boxster and Cayman, have the lowest sales volume in the lineup, potentially motivating Porsche to find a development partner for similarly positioned EVs.
Toyota does not appear to be in a rush to fulfill its "Three Brothers" sports car strategy, making the third model unlikely to appear until the mid-2020s. In the meantime, design-study concepts like the S-FR (pictured) hint at directions for the project.