The cars we loved.

1990-1999 Toyota MR2

1994 Toyota MR2

1994 Toyota MR2

The  MR2 was Toyota’s 2 seat mid-engine rear wheel drive sports car. First introduced in 1984 as a boxy wedge-shaped supercharged coupe. The popularity of the MR2 continued into the second generation introduced in 1989.  The new MR2 was larger and like the Pontaic Fero it outlasted, got its design inspiration from Ferrari (and maybe the Fiero itself). The smooth lines of the MR2 did evoke Ferrari 348tb like style without the maintainance hassles and extreme high costs. Many body kit makers cashed in with sometimes gaudy kits to make your MR2 as Ferrari like as possible without actually being one. Often the results were horrific.


MR2 Interior

fortunately, many would be tuners left the core mechanicals alone.  There were three variations of the MR2, usually denoted by turbo or non turbo and  t-bar roof. All US bound MR2 cars came with a 2.0 L. 4 cylinder DOHC engine.  In its naturally aspirated form it produced 130 hp initially while the turbo made 200 hp. The MR2’s design and technical specifications made it a bit more advanced than many of  its competitors. It was also more expensive.  Its light weight and mid-engine design insured balanced handling and good engine response. All of which put it at the top of the dwindling affordable mid-engine sports car heap.

1995 was the last year the second generation was available in North America. The car went on in Europe and Asia where it stayed popular. In 1998 Toyota offered  a  one off factory kit that made the now smoother looking MR2 appear wider and more Supra-like.  The car called the TRD2000GT was inspired by the Japanese GT-C  racing series.  Theses very rare cars were boosted to 493 horsepower, making them supercars in the leauge with Porsches and Ferraris. Only three were sent to Europe and 10 to America. It’s not known how many total TRD2000GT were produced.  The TRD special edition only whetted the publics appetite for the upcoming Porsche Boxter inspired MR2 that arrived in 2000. They must have been dissapointed, because it was canceled just four years later.

1994 MR2 with aero kit

1994 MR2 with aero kit


2 comments on “1990-1999 Toyota MR2

  1. Quandry
    November 11, 2009

    Nice write up!

    The MR2 with the aero kit looks great 😀

    Not sure about the 493hp figure on the 2000GT though??

    • autopolis
      November 12, 2009

      Toyota Racing Development offered kits to MR2 owners (ground effects packages mostly), but from the factory only 35 true limited edition MR2 2000GT’s were made. Some of these were said to have as much as 493 hp.

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2009 by in 90's cars, Toyota.
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