The most recent articles published in the Toyota Times magazine have been devoted to the Century SUV, but the latest post will appeal to enthusiasts as it's dedicated to sports cars. Former President and CEO Akio Toyoda, currently the company's Chairman, may have hinted at the long-rumored return of the Celica. He was asked by Hitoshi Hongo, former editor-in-chief of Best Car magazine, about the performance coupe's potential comeback.
The 67-year-old businessman admitted he has put in a request with the higher-ups to revive the Celica. Later in the interview, he seemingly hinted the sports car's return is indeed possible: "I'm not just saying this because we're at a rally event, but Kankkunen (who was invited to the demo run) is Mr. Celica. He was champion four times in the Celica. Now you can all have a think about why I’m using Kankkunen so much. See if you can guess!"
Seventh-generation Toyota Celica
Akio Toyoda is not the first important person within the company keen on the idea of bringing back the Celica. Earlier this year, also during a rally event, Toyota President Koji Sato told the media he'd love to see an eighth-generation model.
It is a known fact the Japanese automaker wants to released additional Gazoo Racing-branded models beyond the GR 86, GR Yaris, GR Corolla, and GR Supra. There are even rumors of a high-performance Prius while the Century SUV has already been shown with a GR badge. Then there's the GR GT3 Concept, which has been confirmed to spawn a road-going Lexus model.
Lest we forget that Sports EV concept shown in late 2021 as a small electric two-seater that sparked rumors of a reborn MR2. Earlier this year, Toyota said testing of a sporty EV with a manual gearbox has already commenced.
A new Celica would be long overdue considering the model was phased out in 2006 when the "T230" generation was retired. It would be interesting to see where a future Celica is going to slot within the lineup and whether it'll have a combustion engine or not considering time is running out for ICE sports cars.