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The Toyota Celica is an iconic sports car that was first sold in 1970. It was popular in the United States, Japan, and other countries — and had a loyal following. While the beloved vehicle was discontinued in 2006, there’s word of its possible return — straight from Toyota President Tsuneji Sato. What’s more, a new Toyota electric sports car in the works could be the Celica EV. 

President of Toyota: ‘I want to revive the Celica’

Front angle view of Toyota Celica, showing new Toyota electric sports car could be Celica EV
2000 Toyota Celica | Toyota

The Toyota Celica is a cherished model in the long lineage of vehicles from the Japanese automaker. I have fond memories in high school of riding in a Celica that my friend owned. It was especially popular in the 1980s when it formed the “Three Bros” of Toyota Sports cars with the Supra and the MR2.

Toyota already resurrected the Supra, and if Toyota’s new president has his way, the Celica could follow suit. Over the years, there have been rumors of the iconic sports car’s return, but nothing ever materialized. However, when the president of the world’s biggest automaker says he wants to bring it back, the return is more realistic.

According to Motor1 and Car Spirit PK, President Sato and Aiko Toyoda, the chairman of Toyota, recently spoke with Best Car Web, a Japanese automotive media outlet. Toyoda was previously the president of Toyota before Sato recently took over. Both of them professed their love of the sports car. And Sato said, “I want to revive the Celica.”

Next-generation Toyota Celica will likely be an all-electric sports car

Rear angle view of Toyota Celica, showing new Toyota electric sports car could be Celica EV
2006 Toyota Celica | Toyota

While details on the next-generation model are sparse, Sato mentioned that it could have the “GR Celica” moniker from Toyota’s Gazoo Racing and high-performance car division. Current GR models sold in the U.S. include the GR Supra, GR86, and GR Corolla.

Before taking the president job for Toyota, Sato was the president of both Lexus and Gazoo Racing. Given this background, it’s understandable that he’d want to go in the GR direction for the new Celica. 

Also, a Toyota insider said that if the Celica were to be built right now, it would likely be an all-electric sports car. It could be called the “Celica EV” or the “GR Celica EV.” This is enticing news for both fans of the sports car and those hoping Toyota finally goes “all in” for electric cars. 

Toyota has been slow to produce electric vehicles

Toyota used to have a reputation for being an eco-friendly company. Much of this is due to it helping kick off the alternative energy wave with efficient hybrid models like the Prius. However, for electric cars, Toyota has fallen behind other automakers. Tesla has dominated the EV market, while big automakers such as Ford, GM, Stellantis, Volkswagen, and BMW already have multiple electric cars, with more on the way.

Conversely, the only Toyota electric car currently sold in the U.S. is the bZ4X crossover SUV. However, that could soon change. Toyota said it will increase its focus on EVs — and has plans to release 10 new all-electric models by 2026.

One of these electric cars could be the Toyota Celica EV. The list of fastest cars is mostly populated by electric sports cars, which provide instantaneous torque delivery for quick acceleration. With this in mind, it’s exciting to think about what capabilities a Celica EV might possess.


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