Toyota is currently at the discussion stage for a revival of the MR2 nameplate, albeit possibly as an electric model, Autocar reports. The MR2 is a favoured potential addition to Toyota’s future product plans, Toyota’s Europe vice president of sales and marketing Matt Harrison told the magazine.

The Japanese automaker’s ‘Three Brothers’ were referenced, a term favoured by Toyota chief Akio Toyoda for the trio of sports cars – Supra, Celica and the MR2 – he would like to see return to the market; the Celica is represented in the modern day by the 86.

With the Supra due for launch very soon, this leaves the MR2 still to come, and Toyota had previously hinted at a smaller front-engined concept in the form of the S-FR, which was inspired by the S800 coupe of 1965, the report said.

An alternative could be to engage in a platform-sharing joint venture with another manufacturer to build a relatively cost-effective mid-engined car, which could be either a conventional petrol, petrol-electric hybrid or a pure electric model, Autocar said.

The EV option is deemed most cost-effective and easily packaged which could open the option of enlisting the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which has been designed to accommodate electric powertrains. Configured thus, the battery could reside below the floor for a low centre of gravity, while the electric motor could be situated behind the car’s seats, in the spirit of the mid-engined layout.

The compact sports car layout may give less consideration to battery range, while a relatively low-cost, lightweight electric sports car could be marketed as an eco-friendly, short distance commuter. Should the MR2 successor get the green light, it is unlikely to emerge before the early 2020s, Autocar reported, though battery and EV technology will have generally improved by then, it noted.

The Japanese automaker giant should also have a number of fully electric models either already on the market or well into development by then, while company chief Toyoda is keen for the automaker to continue in the direction of “affordable, simple and fun- to-drive” cars among its zero-emission products. Toyoda referenced the original Mini as “the kind of car we should all dream of making.”