From making great eco-friendly Hybrid cars to racing on the F1 circuit, Toyota has made an impression at a global level. When it comes to the world of sports cars though, Toyota hasn’t been a name that comes first to an enthusiast’s mind. Luckily, we’ve done the research and compiled the list of the top 10 best Toyota sports cars to own.
From the legendary Toyota S800 to the all-time favorite Toyota Supra, we’re listing the ten best Sports cars to own from the Japanese automaker.
The S800 was known for being a pure sports car. Coming from the ’60s, this two-door coupe turned heads with its unique, appealing design.
The Toyota S800 had an air-cooled two-cylinder 0.8-liter engine mated to a 4- speed manual gearbox and produced a humble 44 horsepower of power. With a front-engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, the S800 zipped about quite effortlessly as it weighed less than 600 kilograms. This wasn’t just an ordinary sports car for Toyota; it was a milestone.
A revvy 1.8- liter twin- cam situated in the middle made the Toyota MR2 MK3 one of Toyota’s best handling sports cars and worthy of number 9 of best Toyota Sports cars to own.
It adopted the same MR-S name as the concept, though export markets such as the States and Europe took on the name MR2 Roadster and MR2 Spyder.
The third generation weighed notably less than the first-generation vehicle while at the same time providing a substantial specification level. This was able to be delivered by deleting the rear boot with luggage capacity increased by adding behind the seats a 78-liter storage space
The engine used was the all-alloy 1.8-litre DOHC 16v VVT-i 1ZZ-FE unit that also featured in the seventh-generation Celica. Churning out 138bhp at 6400rpm, with a useful 127lb-ft of torque at 4200rpm, the MR2 MK3 achieved an impressive 0-60 MPH in around 8 seconds.
The most significant change to the MR MK3 arose in 2001 when the manual gearbox was accompanied by an optional five-speed (and six-speed to follow) SMT ‘Sequential Manual Transmission’. This was the initial time that a sequential gearbox was implemented in any Japanese vehicle.
The Celica MK7 evolved through many years of improvisation and development. This was the final model in the Celica series and was launched in 1999.
It was released with two engine options. The first was the 1ZZ-FE that was shared with the MR2 MKIII, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 140hp. The second option was the 2ZZ-GE, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing a much higher power of 189hp that was co-developed with Yamaha and also seen in the Lotus Elise.
A small amount of grunt was felt at the bottom end so you could take your granny for a short spin but drive it past 6200 pm, and you could feel yourself age slower.
Though this was a front-engine front-wheel-drive sports car, it weighed less than 1200 kilograms. A rev-happy engine, an aerodynamic shape, and decent handling characteristics made it a fun vehicle to drive.
Toyota Celica MK7 Specs
1ZZ-FE. Inline 4
141 bhp @ 6400rpm
7. Toyota GT86
This lightweight, two-door rear wheel drive sports car was introduced in 2012 and symbolizes a great mix of design and driving dynamics.
Jointly developed with Subaru, the GT86 sports car featured an almost even weight distribution – 53% in the front and 47% towards the rear. Powering this sports car is a 2.0 liter naturally aspirated flat-four GDI engine (shared with the Subaru BRZ) that produced 200 PS and 205 NM of torque.
The GT86 is offered with a six speed manual or automatic transmission and achieves 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds.
The Toyota vehicle has been constantly tested and developed by Toyota since its inception, with the next-generation model called GR86 scheduled to launch in Japan in autumn 2021.
Toyota GT86 Specs
2012 – present
1230 – 1328 kg
2.0-litre flat-four boxer engine
200 hp @ 7000 rpm
130 – 140 mph
6. Toyota 2000GT
The Toyota 2000GT was Japan’s first real supercar, being released in 1967. This iconic sports car has a special place with James Bond starring in ‘You Only Live Twice’ as a convertible (even though no convertibles were ever sold).
After the unveiling at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota took the vehicle to the Yatabe test track where it smashed 13 International records and 3 World records for speed and endurance in the 1500-2000cc class.
The 2000GT got its name from its 2000cc inline six-cylinder engine that made 150 PS and 175 NM of torque and was the first-ever Grand Tourer to go on sale in 1967.
The rear-wheel-drive 2000GT was mated to a five-speed manual transmission and was offered all-round power-assisted disc brake as standard- the first Japanese car to ever have these.
The Toyota 2000GT will always be seen as one of the most iconic cars ever created by Toyota. It was pivotal in changing the world’s opinion concerning the Japanese motor industry. It proved to the Europeans and Americans that they were a serious contender in making fine motor vehicles.
Toyota 2000GT Specs
1967 – 1970
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC in-line 6-cylinder
148bhp @ 6600rpm
5. Toyota Corolla GT Coupe ‘AE86’
Also known worldwide by its chassis code ‘AE86’, the Coupe GT/ Coupe Hatchback went on to inspire many drifters around the world since it is a rear wheel drive car. It had turned into a symbol for drifters, tuners and was featured in racing games.
The rear wheel drive coupe version of the fifth-generation Toyota Corolla had a roomy interior and was powered by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produced 130 PS and 149 NM of torque. A curb weight of around 1000 kilograms saw it go past 120 MPH with ease.
Toyota Corolla GT Coupe ‘AE86’ Specs
1.6-liter 4A-GE, twin overhead cam with EFI
4. Lexus RC F
Toyota’s luxury division Lexus manufactured a two-door coupe in 2014 calling it the RC F. RC stands for Radical Coupe- a term that does justice to the way it looks and performs.
While it does look like a beefed-up two-door saloon, the design is relatively modest considering what’s under the hood. Powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine, this motor produces 467 bhp and 527 NM of torque, being the most powerful V8 Lexus has developed for applications in a production car
Along with a big engine, the RCF is packed with gadgetry that lets you have immense fun without going overboard.
Lexus 2020 RC F Specs
1967 – 1970
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC in-line 6-cylinder
148bhp @ 6600rpm
3. Celica GT-Four
Formed from the basis of Toyota’s World Rally Championship car, the Celica GT-Four represented the pinnacle of the Celica line-up in the mid-nineties.
The Celica GT-Four was presented in three generations:
ST165, based on the fourth-generation Celica
ST185 produced from September 1989 to September 1993
ST205 was built from February 1994 to June 1999.
A Turbo all wheel drive coupe, the ST205’s 2.0-liter engine produced a massive 240 PS of power and crossed the 60MPH in just under six seconds.
Toyota was required to build 2500 homologation units of the car to enter the Group A car category in the WRC. The ST205 won the 1996 European Rally Championship for Toyota earning its place as an iconic Toyota sports car. It sure is a mad machine to own!
Celica GT-Four ST185 specs
Type 3S-GTE, water cooled in-line 4
204 bhp @ 6000 rpm
2. Toyota Supra Mk4
Toyota Supra would have to be one of the most popular Toyota vehicles on the planet. From a primary school kid to a district attorney, everybody knows what a Supra is.
What makes this car so unique? The earlier generation of the car was first introduced in 1978 and was the first preference for anyone who didn’t want a Celica.
The fourth-generation Supra was revered by drifters and tuners, and the car itself was featured in car movies like The Fast and the Furious series. The Supra received two engines- a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged unit (2JZ-GTE Inline 6) that produced 320 hp and 431 NM of torque. The second engine was a 3.0 liter naturally aspirated unit (2JZ-GE Inline 6) that churned out 225 hp and 285 NM of torque.
The MK4 or fourth-generation vehicle saw the Supra more affordable when compared to other sports cars from the same segment making it an attractive sports car to own.
Toyota Supra Twin-Turbo Specs
1993 – 2002
1,490 – 1,570 kg
3.0-litre 2JZ-GTE Inline 6 – Twin Turbocharged
1. GR Supra
Coming in at number one of our 10 best Toyota sports cars is the GR Supra. The fifth-generation Toyota Supra or GR Supra was unveiled in 2019 and has been produced since. Supra purists were disappointed with how the new Supra looked since it isn’t inspired by its previous designs, but what the new GR Supra brings to the table is a refreshed design and more solid performance.
Based on the collaboration between Toyota and BMW, the new Supra has all the cues of a modern sports car.
Speaking in terms of performance, the GR Supra offers two engine options from BMW- a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine producing 255 bhp and 400 NM of torque. The second engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine producing 335 horsepower and 500 NM of torque. Though the sports car comes only with an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, there is news that a manual variant could be expected. The GR Supra paves the way for the future of sports cars by Toyota.
GR Supra 3.0 Specs
2019 v- Present
33.0L Twin-Scroll Single Turbo, DOHC 24-Valve Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Special Mention- Toyota GR Yaris
Although it didn’t make it on our list of the top 10 best Toyota sports cars, we thought the Toyota GR Yaris deserved a mention. The GR Yaris is Toyota’s Homologation car for the World Rally Championship. Released in 2020, it is a true Hot Hatch in every sense.
The Yaris comes packed with enough punch to take on a coupe sports car. The engine incorporated is the world’s most powerful three-cylinder unit in production- a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that produces 261 PS of power and 360 NM of torque.
This car could be every enthusiast’s fantasy as it comes with modes that help you toggle between AWD and RWD and a proper stick shift six-speed transmission. There hasn’t been such an exciting rally homologation special to hit the market since the 90’s.
What do you think of our list of the 10 best Toyota sports cars? Let us know in the comments below.