Toyota MR2 Spyder

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Toyota MR2 Spyder

2000 -
4 cyl. DOHC 16 valve VVT-i
1794 cc
138 kw
5 spd. man
Top Speed:
129 mph
Number Built:
Toyota MR2 Spyder
The MR2 Spyder is Toyota's attempt to return to the lightweight, reasonably priced roots of the original sports car market. The styling is a current interpretation of the classic mid-engined proportions with a very short hood and a stretched tail.

The MR2 rides on a wheelbase that is 7 inches longer than the Mazda MX5/Miata wheelbase. It is even an inch or so longer than the Porsche Boxster and Honda S2000 wheelbase.

Despite the obviously different nose, the MR2 Spyder looks a little like a Boxster, especially in black, because the dark color camouflages the surface differences. The manual convertible top works easily, and can be lowered from the driver's seat.

A nice detail is that the roof collapses into the boot as a parallelogram, instead of the usual flip-over and collapse setup. That means that, like the Boxster, the roof settles into place exposing only the top section, which rests flush with the body so no boot is needed to cover it.

Unlike the Boxster and the S2000, the MR2 features a glass rear window with an embedded defroster, so the car should be easier to live with in the winter.

An unusual aspect of the MR2 Spyder is Toyota's use of a space frame with bolt-on fenders.

The MR2 Spyder has the same engine as the Toyota Corolla and Celica GT. The engine is rated at 138 kw, but the engine's performance doesn't quite live up to the car's appearance.

Toyota's VVT-i engine uses variable valve timing, but it doesn't generate a big surge of power when it switches to the high-power cam profile. And it doesn't feel as quick as a Mazda MX5.

Toyota claims a 0 - 100 km/h time of just under 7 seconds. Helping re-sale values and almost certainly ensuring this car quickly becomes a classic is the fact that Toyota only plans to sell just 5,000 MR2 Spyders a year.

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Also see:

Kiichiro Toyoda
The Toyota Australia Story
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