Toyota GR Celica to revive iconic nameplate?

For much of the 2000s, Toyota had been without a sports car in its line-up. It wasn’t until the launch the first generation Toyota 86 in 2012 that things took a turn at the world’s largest car maker. The following years after the birth of the 86 saw Toyota putting heavy focus in its motorsport division, Gazoo Racing. And things just took off ever since. In 2019, the GR Supra was introduced, reviving the iconic Supra nameplate. Then in 2020, the GR Yaris went on sale, turning the hot hatch segment on its head. It didn’t stop there. In 2023 Toyota brought out yet another hot hatch, the GR Corolla, the first ever performance tuned Corolla.

What’s next? It seems the most likely nameplate to get resurrected next at Toyota is the Celica – the long running two-door sports car produced between 1970 and 2006 spanning seven generations.

This is no rumour mill, by the way, as Toyota boss Koji Sato was serious about bringing back the Celica as he indicated to the media how much he liked the Celica at last year’s All Japan Rally Championship. He went on to say that the new Celica must have a modern updated design while paying homage to the Celica of yesteryears.

If a new Celica was to become a reality it would most likely come under the banner of Gazoo Racing and be launched as a GR Celica. It’d also see some sort of electrification, either as a performance hybrid or BEV (battery electric vehicle).

It would make sense for the new Celica to bridge the gap between the GR 86 and the much more expensive GR Supra, both in terms of pricing and performance. With both the GR Yaris and GR Corolla being all-wheel drive hot hatches, the GR Celica would most likely be exclusively rear-wheel drive (unlike AWD variants offered by previous generations) and join the 86 and Supra as Toyota’s third rear-wheel drive sports car offering in the mid-range market.

While we have yet to see any Celica concept models from Toyota so far, the internet imaginative engine has already been hard at work and here’s possibly the best rendering of the new Celica yet. Envisaged by the folks at CarsVision, this unofficial 2025 Toyota GR Celica looks nearly production ready. The hunkered down body is amplified by powerful fenders and aero detailing. To put it simply, it looks super hot. We can only hope the actual GR Celica looks this good and eventually sees the light of day.

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