Celica name trademarked in the US – could a new Toyota sports car be on the way?
Toyota has trademarked the Celica name in the US, suggesting the brand’s iconic affordable sports car could make a comeback.
Toyota filed to protect the name with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 15 January 2021, with the trademark covering “automobiles and structural parts thereof”.
While a trademark filing is no confirmation of a future model, it suggests plans for a revival of the Celica nameplate – be it a new standalone model, or a variant of an existing model – could still be in the brand’s long-term plans.
Toyota’s recent performance-car comeback could provide the perfect stage for the return of the Celica, with the Japanese carmaker’s Gazoo Racing currently developing and marketing everything from rally-bred hot hatches and six-cylinder sports cars to a Le Mans-derived hybrid hypercar.
However, the lack of a ‘GR’ prefix in the Celica name registered with the USPTO indicates the trademark has likely only been filed to ensure the brand retains the rights to the name, given all standalone Toyota performance models in the last three years have employed it, namely GR Supra, GR Yaris (bottom) and the upcoming GR 86.
The Celica isn’t the only iconic Toyota sports car to be tipped for a return, with a revival of the mid-engined MR2 reported to be in and out of development numerous times in recent years.
MORE: Everything Toyota