Home » Toyota Should Absolutely Revive The Celica

Toyota Should Absolutely Revive The Celica

Celica Topshot 1

Could Toyota be interested in bringing back another iconic performance car from its past? Japanese outlet Best Car Web claims that a new Toyota Celica is on the table, with recent comments from Toyota’s new president supporting the concept of another sporty coupe.

Celica 1

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After Akio Toyoda stepped down from his role as Toyota’s president and CEO earlier this year, enthusiasts were left wondering what direction new president Koji Sato would take Toyota in. On the one hand, Sato was the chief engineer on the incredible Lexus LC. On the other, talk of Toyota becoming a mobility company scared some of the more diehard petrolheads. Guess what? Sato is an enthusiast himself, so Toyota’s enthusiast future still looks bright.

Best Car Web reports that during a recent round of the All Japan Rally Championship, Toyota president Koji Sato said, “I want to revive Celica.” While this isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of Celica dreams from a high-ranking Toyota employee, this three-door confidence from Sato offers evidence that the Celica dream is still alive within Toyota. At the same event, chairman Akio Toyoda reportedly talked about his love for the Celica, so it seems that Sato may not be alone here.

Celica 2


It’s worth noting that Best Car Web predictions can be hit-or-miss, but Toyota’s reported response to Celica questioning lends some plausibility to this forecast. The standard automaker response for speculation like this is either something along the lines of “we cannot comment on future product” or sometimes a simple “no.” Toyota’s reported statement? “The new president of Lexus and the GR company, Sato, has the intention of continuing to release GR sports models.” Hmm.

1998001 2000 Celica Gt 3

If Toyota were to launch a new Celica, its sporty car lineup would be partying like it’s 1987 again. That’s the last year the iconic AE86 Corolla, Celica, and Supra were all sold alongside each other. Granted, it’s likely that a possible future Celica wouldn’t be rear-wheel-drive, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The Celica GR-Four models were monsters and even the final-generation 2ZZ-GE-powered Celica GT-S revved out to a zesty 8,200 rpm.

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Mind you, it’s also possible that a future Toyota coupe might not be powered by an internal-combustion engine at all. Given the automotive industry’s focus on electrification, a sporty electric vehicle of some sort doesn’t sound off the table in the future. While Toyota’s already shown off a targa-topped EV sports car concept with mid-engined styling, I wouldn’t expect a Celica to adopt such a radical form. Still, the electric sports car concept that debuted in 2021 showcases Toyota’s future performance car aspirations.


2000 Toyota Celica Gt S

I reckon it’s just too soon to say whether or not a new Celica might happen. On the one hand, publicly-expressed sentiment is favorable for the concept of a new Celica. On the other, I’m having trouble seeing where such a product would fit in the Toyota lineup. The GR86 is already a reasonably-priced sports coupe, the GR Corolla and GR Yaris have the all-wheel-drive thing on lock, and the Celica historically hasn’t overshadowed its Supra big brother. Plus, I’m sure Toyota’s shareholders would be happier seeing an expanded mass-market EV lineup before another sporty car comes to fruition.

Celica 4

Still, never say never. Five years ago, the concept that the only Japanese automaker still making a top-shelf all-wheel-drive compact performance car would be Toyota seemed unthinkable. Yet here we are, with the GR Corolla. A new Celica could be an awesome, all-Toyota alternative to the GR86, and a sweet sight on the roads. There are still Celica fans out there dying for a new one, so Toyota, if you’re listening, make it happen.

[Ed note: I can’t believe this post is mostly photos of the Seventh Gen Celica. Thomas! Here are some more generation photos, including the perfect 6th-Gen Car.


Toyota Celica 5g 5 Toyota Celica 5g 4 Toyota Celica 5g 3 Toyota Celica 5g Toyota Celica 6g 2 Toyota Celica 6g

– MH]

(Photo credits: Toyota, Cars & Bids)

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10 months ago

Growing up in the 70s and 80s, of course Celicas of every generation were omnipresent in my life/the world (where I lived). Some generations were better than others of course… though the last few have all aged pretty well when I see one on the street (which sadly isn’t that often, even in car-crazed SoCal). And I was so excited to see a first gen Celica looking all super-minty in the Hollywood Trader Joe’s garage a few months back, being driven slowly by an old guy who looked even more curmudgeonly than me …I was so excited that I almost peed.

I don’t feel super-amped by the prospect of the Celica’s “return” mainly because new cars like that are usually not like their forebearers in any way. Any “new” Celica EV probably won’t be affordable/accessible like the original Celicas were, which is a big part of what made them so common.

And speaking of sporty Toyota coupes, why didn’t we ever get some sort of production version of the S-FR concept from a few years ago? People seemed genuinely excited about the prospect of a small, simple(r), hardtop 2-seater from Toyota. I know such a car has a limited pool of buyers that it would have to share with the Miata (and to some extent, the GR86 also) but the S-FR really seemed just about production ready.

Here’s a reminder: https://petrolicious.com/articles/what-do-you-think-of-the-toyota-s-fr-concept

Tim Connors
Tim Connors
11 months ago

If you had to choose between a revived MR2 and a revived Celica, which would it be?

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