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I Think These Toyota Model Names Should Be Next In Line For Reviving

Toyota is bringing back old nameplates from its storied past, and it would make perfect sense if these iconic names make a comeback.

Toyota is on a roll, once again, becoming an enthusiast car brand. In addition to the Japanese brand's near-stellar reliability reputation, Toyota has also done quite well in motorsports. The brand's racing know-how has also translated in some epic road-going, performance models from Toyota.

Lately, the brand has been dipping into its exciting past, bringing back iconic nameplates like the Supra, which is about to get a track-focused GRMN variant as well as other Toyota sports car models like the Celica and MR-2 to name a few. 

With that said, Toyota is in a favorable position to continue resurrecting iconic nameplates. As I see it, it would make perfect sense if Toyota also considers bringing back the below-mentioned nameplates as it would boost the brand's reputation among Toyota enthusiasts. 

Toyota Levin/ Trueno 

Toyota's Levin and Trueno nameplates are mostly associated with the AE86 Corolla. With the current GR Corolla being one of the hottest Toyota performance cars on sale today, Toyota could consider bringing other, souped-up Corolla variants, wearing the Levin and Trueno names.

One of them could be a Corolla sedan, with some GR Corolla bits, possibly even the G16-GTS, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine. In order not to take away customers from the GR Corolla, those Corolla variants could lose the GR-Four all-wheel-drive system.

At any rate, it would make the Toyota Corolla lineup that much more exciting while providing a middle ground between the base Toyota Corolla models and the high-performance GR Corolla. Granted, Toyota is selling the Chinese-spec Corolla as a Levin, but there is an opportunity to use the name more appropriately.

Toyota RAV4 Short wheelbase 

The Toyota RAV4 is in its fifth generation and with a sixth generation soon arriving and promising a hybrid-only RAV4. For some markets, the first and second-generation of the compact Toyota SUV got a short-wheelbase variant.

With sub-compact crossovers now being extremely popular, a compact, two-door Toyota SUV with actual off-road credentials would make perfect sense. The shorter wheelbase increases an SUV's breakover angle, making it easier to go through crests and other terrain irregularities. Moreover, a short-wheelbase RAV could be fitted with less-powerful engines and still pack adequate performance.  

Toyota Caldina GT-Four 

We recently talked about the iconic, Toyota Celica GT-Four and the potential dangers of buying a neglected JDM classic, as shown by the car's owner, James from Jay Emm. Its 3S-GTE, turbo-four engine was fitted to a variety of other Toyota performance cars, among which a station wagon called the Caldina, known in most regions of the world as the Avensis.

Like the Celica, the Caldina also had a GT-Four variant sharing the exact same engine albeit a newer, 256-horsepower version of it, and the all-wheel-drive system. Sadly, the Caldina GT-Four comes only with a four-speed automatic, but you can easily swap it for the Celica's five-speed manual. 

Toyota Mark X 

A modern-day Toyota Mark X would make a fierce BMW 3 Series competitor

We all know the Toyota GR Supra is a BMW Z4 underneath and the same would be true for the upcoming Supra GRMN. BMW is also known for its bestseller, the 3 Series. There was a time, not too long ago, when Toyota had its fair share of sports-luxury, rear-wheel-drive sedans and the Mark X was the midsize proposition from 2005 to 2019. Built in two generations, the Mark X was meant primarily for the Japanese market, which explains why most people don't know about it.

In light of Toyota's partnership with BMW, it seems the Japanese carmaker has everything it needs to give us a sporty, rear-wheel-drive sedan (with optional all-wheel drive), powered by BMW's B58, straight-six engine. The real question is, would BMW allow it? 

Toyota Mega Cruiser 

Toyota Mega Cruiser is a slightly more user-friendly, Japanese interpretation of the original Hummer

Roughly 12 years after the HUMVEE military transport was put into service, Toyota came up with its own iteration of a rugged, military vehicle. The Toyota Mega Cruiser resembled the American combat vehicle and its road-going variant, the Hummer H1. It was also primarily meant for military use although 3,000 road-going variants were built.

Power came from a 4.1-liter, turbocharged, pushrod, diesel engine producing 153 horsepower at 3,200 RPM and 282 pound-feet at 1,800 RPM. Among the SUV's highlights are a ground clearance of 420 mm, over 2.1 meters of height, four-wheel steering, and the ability to carry six passengers with over 1,650 pounds worth of cargo.

Toyota has given us plenty of rugged all-terrain vehicles in the past, so I think it is a perfect time to give us the ultimate, rugged 4X4 once again. Just don't make it a hybrid, Toyota. 

Toyota GT One

Toyota is not, often, associated with supercars, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. Over the years, the Japanese carmaker has been quite successful in motorsports, including Endurance racing. One of the more notable Toyota racing cars was the GT One - a race car developed for the GT1 class, later LMGTP. A total of seven cars were built between 1998 and 1999.

The GT One also needed to be road-legal to race. The road variant had a lower rear wing and a raised ride height. Similarly to how Porsche had the GT1 Strassenversion, I think it would be nice if Toyota brought a limited-production run of GT One-inspired Toyota supercar. Especially now that Toyota's Gazoo Racing division is on a roll with exciting performance models.

About the author 

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image sources: Toyota Mark X, Toyota Mega Cruiser