More sports car news coming from Toyota, which is hosting journalists at its Supra first drive event. It’s inevitable that someone from the media would ask about the “Three Brothers”, and this is what Masayuki Kai, assistant chief engineer of the A90 Supra had to say.

But before that, Three Brothers refers to Toyota’s 90s trio of sports cars – the Supra, Celica and MR2. Yup, there was a time when one could walk into a Toyota showroom to be greeted by the A80 Supra, T180 Celica and SW20 MR2 on the same floor – just imagine that!

Over the past few years, there has been much talk about the revival of the sports car family, and there’s no smoke without fire, especially when the president of the company is a car nut and racing kaki as well. Also, with the resurrection of the Supra, Toyota would already have two out of three in the current range.

The next one to complete the trio could be a new Celica or new MR2, according to Kai san. “We want to have Celica back, we want to have the MR2 back. The biggest was Supra. Supra was number one, the biggest demand from the market. Now that we’ve brought Supra back, what will come next depends on the market needs,” he told Road & Track.

Click to enlarge

According to the US magazine, the engineer hinted that the Celica – a rally hero in its past life – could come back as an AWD compact performance coupe to compliment the rear-wheel-drive Toyota 86 and A90 Supra. The missing piece could also be a Mid-engine, Rear-wheel drive, 2-seater – if a business case can be made. “Or maybe it could be a completely different model. We’ll have to wait and see,” Kai said.

But aren’t sports cars low volume products that aren’t in demand in today’s SUV-driven market? Kai agrees. “Sports car are becoming more and more expensive to develop. So a single company cannot afford to invest in all the tooling for parts and components, because the volume of sports car is quite small.

“A sports car requires a lot of specific components that you cannot share with other cars. The suspension components we’re using on the Supra, you can’t use on a sedan like Camry or Corolla. And as you know, all the homologation issues are also getting more and more complex and difficult,” he told R&T.

The upcoming A90 Supra will be the flagship, the 86 will be the middle child

The new Supra, due to hit showrooms next year, got around that cost/volume hurdle thanks to Toyota partnering with BMW – the A90 and third-generation BMW Z4 that was revealed last month share the same bones.

“I’m quite sure if we did not make this cooperation, they could not have brought the Z4 back on the market alone. And without their cooperation, we would never have been able to bring back the Supra. So it’s clear for us, we needed this partnership,” Kai added.

That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Mazda though, which has continuously given us the MX-5 since the first-generation NA came out in the late 80s. The current fourth-generation ND from Hiroshima is rather brilliant, too. “Maybe if you’re developing sports cars over a very, very long time, like Mazda, you have to know how to make it cheaper. I believe they have a lot of know-how, gathered throughout the development of the MX-5,” Kai conceded.

In contrast, Toyota had quit sports cars for a long period, only recently returning to the market with the 86. “I believe there are a lot of things we need to learn from Mazda. They never stopped developing the MX-5. They continuously developed that car. If you don’t do this — like Toyota, stopping the Supra for 16 years — it’s extremely difficult to bring it back,” he told the US rag’s Bob Sorokanich. By the way, this is the same engineer who told the press that a manual transmission A90 Supra is ready and awaiting the green light.

But when there’s a will, there’s a way, more so when the will comes from company president Akio Toyoda. “Akio has always said that as a company he would like to have Three Brothers, with the GT86 in the middle and Supra as the big brother,” Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the new Supra and 86, said last month.

So, with the Supra and 86 in place, which Toyota sports car do you want as the final brother – FWD/4WD Celica or a compact new MR2 with open-air possibilities? The latter seems like the more difficult project to pull off, but I’ll be rooting for it.

In the meantime, check out Toyota’s tiny S-FR concept from the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show below. Would you rather have this instead? Such a tease you are, Toyota.

GALLERY: Toyota S-FR Concept from Tokyo 2015