Speculation continues to abound at the reincarnation of a lightweight, rear wheel drive Toyota. For those of you who haven’t been following this particular rumor-fest, a quick recap: First, in August 2007, it was the Japanese magazines that began reporting on a comeback for the famed AE86 Corolla or hachiroku. Further details from Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun emerged, saying that Subaru, which Toyota purchased an 8.7% share of from GM in 2005, would be providing a boxer engine for the motivation. In October 2007, word leaked that Toyota had created an internal “committee to create interesting cars” and in November, more grapevine gossip said that Celicas, MR2s and Supras were all in queue for revival.
Now, Autoweek.nl is reporting that this new RWD compact will be a Celica, not a Corolla. If this is true, the new Celica will be offered in coupe and hatchback body styles (what, no liftback?) and in GT or GT-4 trim. The GT will have Subaru’s standard 2.0L boxer and RWD, while the GT-4 will have the 300hp 2.0L from the WRX STi and AWD. This could also mean a return to World Rally Championships for Toyota.
Not since 1985 and the A60 chassis has the Celica been RWD. In 1986, the Celica split off completely from the shared Supra/Celica platform and became four-cylinder FF or AWD only. The world is in dire need of a light, rear-driven coupe. Let’s hope this turns out to be fact, not just rumor, and if the car turns out to be retro-styled after the original Celica, well, that’ll be the bee’s knees.
Read the translation at World Car Fans.