10 things most gearboxes forgot about the Toyota MR2
If Marty McFly could go back to the ’60s, he would have to warn the Big Three that Japanese automakers are about to become serious rivals. Back then, most car fans just couldn’t think of driving a tiny car powered by a microscopic, low-thrill motor. As most American gearboxes know, the name of the game at the time was a big block V8 mounted in a nasty looking machine. Things have changed dramatically since then. Japanese automakers produce some of the best-selling cars in the world.
Toyota is obviously the most popular Japanese automaker. In fact, several Toyotas are among the most beautiful Japanese cars ever made. In addition to producing vehicles that are pleasing to the eye, Toyota is the perfect blend of affordability, reliability and safety. Between 1966 and 2013, the Japanese automaker sold 40 million Corollas. This is something Ford has never been able to achieve with its Mustang. While Toyota has transformed its lineup several times over the decades, some of the company’s cars are simply unforgettable.
Over the decades, Toyota has offered a variety of prototypes. From the extraordinary 1970 EX-7 powered by a powerful 5.0L V8 to the very likeable 1973 ESV, Toyota has never failed to create vehicles that would capture the attention of piston heads the world over. . During the 1980s, the company continued to amaze car fans around the world. The main surprise was the separation of the Celica and Supra nameplates. However, that was not the only pleasant surprise.
Like most Toyota cars, the SA-X and SV-3 were intended to be fun to drive, while being fuel efficient and affordable. In 1983, the SV-3 was presented at the Tokyo Motor Show. Needless to say, the small sports car received positive reviews and was subsequently produced as the MR2.
9 The British
The UK is the birthplace of a large number of amazing vehicles. Despite their reputation for unreliability, driving a McLaren F1 LM is much more enjoyable than driving a Volkswagen Polo. It is well known that with any great vehicle there is a talented team of engineers led by a visionary leader. Often these leaders end up working for other companies, such as Toyota.
What is Lotus and Jaws from The spy who loved me have to do with the Toyota MR2? A lot, in fact. Roger Becker may not be as famous as other automotive icons, his career was far from unsatisfying. He drove the Lotus Esprit in the previously mentioned James Bond movie. Then chief engineer at Lotus, Roger Becker, worked with Toyota to design the suspension system for the MR2. He also worked with Aston Martin to design the suspension systems for the DB11.
8 First edition
The 1984 Toyota MR2 is the kind of classic Japanese sports car that will last you a lifetime. It is also, as you may have realized by now, increasing in value.
An original 1984 Toyota MR2 in perfect condition can cost you at least $ 15,000. In the year of its release, the small but sporty Japanese car featured a 1.6L inline-four engine that produced 122 hp at the wheels and 104 lb-ft of torque.
seven World Rally Championship
Most die-hard reducers know the old adage “win on Sunday, sell on Monday”. In the 1980s, automakers around the world were banking on what it takes to boost sales after a win on the track. While most domestic automakers focused on NASCAR, foreign automakers heavily relied on the WRC. Audi and its legendary Sport Quattro is the perfect example.
The 222D rally car is exactly what you think it is. This is essentially the kind of MR2 that Toyota should have produced in limited numbers for the demented reducers. The car comes with a four-wheel drive transmission. Plus, the 1.6L inline-four engine has been replaced by a much more responsive turbocharged 2.2L inline-four engine that produces a staggering 600 hp. It was said that the 22D could produce 700 hp. Unfortunately he has never been driven angry on rally stages.
6 MR2 on steroids
The vast majority of domestic car fans wouldn’t be satisfied with anything with less than a 450 hp V8. While driving a bucket isn’t a dream for anyone, small cars can be just as fun. Mazda and its RX-7 have proven that a small rotary engine can be as exciting as a big-block V8. The sensations can be drastically different, but the excitement is the same. Toyota has adopted the same formula with several of its vehicles, including the MR2.
Although the first generation MR2 was a true marvel, the second generation really hit the streets like a blacksmith’s hammer. The car was much sportier and appeared to have been designed to be modified. Toyota decided to go ahead with the TRD 2000GT package, which gave MR2 owners the ability to turn their regular MR2 into a real beast. The body kit gives the car a sleeker look, while engine upgrades take the power of the 2.2L inline-four up to 500bhp in some cases.
5 Without stress
When looking at the rarest and most valuable classic muscle cars, it’s fair to say that they often follow a similar pattern. They are typically fitted with a high-end powertrain, were produced in small numbers, and are convertible. Toyota attempted to create a classic in the 1990s.
You may have never heard of the second generation Toyota MR2 Spider. With only 91 units produced, it’s only fitting that tripping over one is a rare occurrence. Nothing special was done to the engine, unfortunately. However, the retractable roof gives the MR2 a really cool look.
As automakers often fight on and off the track, wins count as much as sales numbers. In 1999, Le Mans was hit hard by the beastly Toyota GT-ONE. The hypercar was equipped with a twin-turbo 3.6L V8 that produced around 592 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Although the GT-ONE never won the Le Mans race, it remained one of the best hypercars made by Toyota.
The Toyota SARD mc8r is far from your usual Toyota. Designed to race at Le Mans in 1995, the SARD mc8r is derived from the MR2. Unlike the MR2, the SARD is equipped with a violent 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 developing 600 horsepower. Needless to say, the SARD was not built to last against the competition as it was wiped out by much more serious brands like McLaren or Porsche.
3 Shock me like an electric eel
The new Toyota Sports EV concept could be the revival of the MR2. There are rumors that MR2 could be brought back to life after a hiatus that lasted more than 10 years. Like other automakers, Toyota is riding the wave of electric vehicles. It’s unclear whether an electric MR2 will be a hit like the Tesla Model S or a huge flop like the BMW i8. The only thing that is certain is that Toyota may have to come up with a vehicle that is far better than anything that has been developed by NIO.
This MR2 has to be one of the most obscure MR2s ever made. Manufactured by Modellista, the Caserta is a bespoke electric MR2 that was produced in just 150 units. It may have been released 20 years too early, but given the growing popularity of electric vehicles, it’s fair to assume that the Caserta could become a classic in the near future.
2 Spaghetti And Sashimi
Italy appears to be a breeding ground for talented and creative car designers. Names like Giovanni Bertone, Pininfarina Battista and Emanuele Nicosia are rockstars in the automotive industry. They have designed some of the most exclusive and luxurious sports cars ever made. There are times when these designers just want to give regular cars something new. Something different.
The Toyota VM180 Zagato is, as its name suggests, redesigned by the famous Zagato firm. The new design really shows the trend that was going on in Italy in the early 2000s. Some of the Alfa-Romeo and Fiat from this era have something very similar to the VM180 Zagato. Unlike the original MR2, the VM180 Zagato comes equipped with an upgraded 1.8L inline-four engine that develops 155 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque.
1 Something special
Toyota seemed to have gone through a slump in the early 2000s. One of its most popular sports cars, the Celica, was nothing but a bland, poorly powered coupe that no one would want to drive. was a far cry from the more virulent GT-Four ST205 released a decade earlier. Unfortunately, the MR2 suffered exactly the same fate.
The last generation of MR2 was a huge disappointment. Unlike previous generations, the third generation was only available with a mediocre 1.8L inline-four engine developing 138 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque. In order to give MR2 fans something good before they kill the nameplate, Toyota released the TF300. Only 300 units were made and they are worth their weight in gold. The turbocharged engine produces 182 hp, which is by far the maximum of the latest generation of MR2s produced at the factory. Unfortunately, the 300 units were only made available in the UK.
Is hydrogen part of our future? Toyota thinks so.
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