Toyota seeks to trademark the name Celica

Ben Hsu
·2 min read

Toyota has filed a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the name "Celica." While the idea might stir excited thoughts of another sports coupe from Aichi, we think this is rather unlikely, given the extraordinary lengths Toyota has had to go through to build the Supra. What we do know is that the filing, first noticed by CarBuzz, is quite recent, dated January 15.

Another possibility is that it will simply use the name on another car that's already in the works. The upcoming 86 successor would be a natural guess, as it shares many characteristics with early Celicas. Both are lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports coupes.

However, the 86 is already a well-known twin to the Subaru BRZ and is named after another enthusiast favorite, the AE86 of the 1980s. Swapping names willy-nilly would be akin to rechristening the Camaro the Nova as it switched generations. Perhaps Toyota is mulling it over, as it has yet to say a word about the next Toyota 86, even though the BRZ has already been revealed.

The original Celica recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, having debuted in Japan in December 1970. It arrived in the U.S. as a 1971 model, and became a popular sports coupe in Toyota's lineup for seven generations until its demise in 2005. The original Supra was a six-cylinder offshoot of the Celica, but Toyota has already nixed the the idea of giving the four-cylinder Supra that moniker.

The actual explanation is probably much more mundane. Automakers periodically file trademarks to simply to retain the rights to names the might use in the future, even if the chance they actually will is almost nil. Also, it's a way to prevent another company from nabbing the name and using it for something that would be deemed negative for Toyota.

Although, if Toyota wanted to revive an AWD turbocharged monster like the Celica GT-Four or an FR coupe with the retro styling of the original, we welcome it with open arms.

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