Toyota Starlet Set to Make a Comeback as EV

Unverified reports from Japan suggest that the Toyota Starlet might be making a comeback, and it would run purely on batteries. Reportedly, Toyota is preparing to bring back the Starlet city car, with a 2026 launch date, according to Best Car Web, a publication that has a reputation for leaking insider knowledge about the Japanese auto industry.

It remains unknown though, whether the all-new Starlet will be positioned as a kei car or will be slotted below or above the Yaris hatchback. Toyota already offers compact hatchbacks in some markets positioned below the Yaris – such as the Aygo X in Europe, and the Agya in some developing countries.

starlet gl

Bear in mind Starlet was a popular subcompact by Toyota which was produced between 1973 and 1999 & had a strong presence in the Pakistani market too. Having served for nearly 3 decades and spanning over 5 generation models, the Starlet was discontinued in 1999 and was succeeded by the Vitz (Yaris) hatchback.

Related: Remembering the Toyota Starlet

Last year, Tomoya Takahashi, the head of Toyota’s performance GR division said it was his “personal dream” to revive the Starlet nameplate. In an interview with Best Car, Tomoya said:

“I used to enjoy snowy roads and mini circuits in my hometown of Hokkaido with my [early 1990s] EP82 and [late 1990s] EP91 [Starlets].”

Interestingly, the report also reveals that a sportier GR Starlet is also in the works – engineered by Toyota Gazoo Racing. The Best Car report also publishes a speculative rending of the Starlet EV, however, it’s safe to assume it is a pure fascination. We will have to wait & see once patent images become available or leaked images of camouflaged test mules come up.

Related: Toyota is Rethinking its EV Strategy as New CEO Takes Charge

Toyota previously said that it would accelerate the development of electric vehicles, aiming to roll out at least 10 new all-electric models by 2026. It remains to be seen if the Starlet EV will be one of those.

Screenshot 2024 04 14 at 15 52 56 Toyota Starlet
Speculative rendering of the new Starlet EV
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