• New reports from Japan suggest that the Toyota Celica might return in ICE-powered form as a GR model.
  • A turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is a possible contestant, combined with a GR-Four AWD system
  • The new Celica is rumored to debut as early as next January at the 2025 Tokyo Auto Salon

Since the launch of the Toyota Gazoo Racing department, we’ve heard countless rumors about possible revivals of the MR2 and Celica nameplates, keeping sportscar fans on their toes. The latest report comes from Japan and it’s about the return of the Celica in ICE-powered form as a GR model using a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powertrain in combination with Toyota’s GR-Four AWD system.

Last year, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda expressed his desire for a new Celica, closely followed by rumors about an EV sportscar sharing its underpinnings with the Lexus LF-ZC Concept. The latest report takes a different and more exciting direction, suggesting that the Celica might return with a good old-fashioned gasoline powertrain.

In a joint statement with Subaru and Mazda about future combustion engines, Toyota confirmed it is working on new 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines prone to electrification and compatible with alternative fuels. The announcement of the “multi-pathway” approach and an earlier photo of a turbo 2.0-liter powertrain from the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon fueled the rumors about its possible placement in a new Toyota Celica.

A report from Japan’s Best Car claims that development for the new high-performance engine started several years ago and has already been completed. While Toyota hasn’t given away any information about the specs, the publication speculates a power output close to the 400 hp (298 kW / 406 PS) territory. The mill could be mated to Toyota’s rally-inspired GR-Four all-wheel-drive system from the GR Yaris and GR Corolla hot hatchbacks.

 Toyota Celica Rumored To Return With Turbo 2.0-Liter Engine And AWD

The Toyota Celica GT-Four Rally Car

This setup sounds like a fitting revival of the Celica GT-Four while serving as a homage to the WRC success of the model. However, to distinguish it from the rest of the Toyota GR lineup, the new Celica could also gain a bit of luxury inside the cabin.

At this moment there is no information about the styling of the model, but chances are it would retain the low-slung coupe silhouette of the previous generations. According to unconfirmed information from Japan, the new interpretation of the Celica might be unveiled as early as next January, at the 2025 Tokyo Auto Salon.

Toyota sold seven generations of the Celica between 1970 and 2006 when the model was discontinued without a direct successor. Later on, the Toyota GT86 and GR86 filled up the spot of an affordable sportscar in Toyota’s lineup with a similar two-door coupe body. However, Celica fans never stopped wanting a new generation Celica and Toyota kept them busy with trademark filings.

Besides the Celica, we’ve heard rumors about a new mid-engined MR2 roadster, a Starlet hot hatch, and a smaller S-FR sportscar. The latest information suggests that these might use smaller turbocharged three-cylinder engines in 1.3-liter and 1.6-liter displacements, closely related to the one used in the GR Yaris and GR Corolla.

 Toyota Celica Rumored To Return With Turbo 2.0-Liter Engine And AWD