1990 Toyota MR2 GT Coupe
Pending Sale: $15,795
At the beginning of the '90s, the Japanese domestic market was flooded with top-rate sports cars. The MR2, to this day, is one of the best performance values. The model combines an exotic mid-engine layout, with punchy and reliable Toyota power and build quality. This turbocharged 2.0L model is a quick little devil, and for those who value timeless styling and top-notch driving dynamics, this 1990 GT is the ticket. Finished in a fresh coat of BMW Green Metallic, the body is in good shape overall aside from some light blemishes. Offered with only 109k verified and documented miles, this lightly modified MR2 includes several pricey and rare upgrades to boast about, in addition to a slate of recent service performed here stateside. For the enthusiasts who desire knife-edge handling, a healthy dose of turbo power, and the ability to daily drive, this SW20 would be an incredible turn-key Japanese Classic.
The cabin is in above average shape for an MR2 of this age, and this one was obviously cared for overseas. There are a few upgrades to note, such as the Personal steering wheel and OEM TRD shift knob. They allude to the sporty nature of this coupe and improve the ergonomics. A tilt column and power locks, mirrors, and windows make daily use manageable. The dash is in good shape lacking any cracks or distortion that do plague these fun little Toyotas. A Blitz boost gauge is located by the factory instrumentation so you can keep an eye on the positive pressure produced by the turbocharger and the white backlit gauge adds some needed contrast to the dark-colored interior. The automatic climate control blows cold a/c through the cabin and it blasts heat for the upcoming winter. The OEM audio works well, but we did want to note the LCD readout is on its last legs. The leather and Alcantara seats normally fall apart on these SW20's but they have held together just fine in this one. They lack any major rips stains or tears and are comfortable on long trips. We also wanted to note the passenger mirror doesn't power fold and the door cards could use a sprucing up, but other than that it's hard to complain. Even the owner's manuals are included for the next buyer and have been left in the sizable glovebox.
The MR2 is convenient to own as it was sold here stateside. The 3S-GTE is a wonderful engine and this one is fresh off an oil and filter service. It starts up promptly thanks to a new 12v battery and sets into a smooth idle. The exhaust note is fantastic and an aftermarket catback offers a deeper bark than the factory pipes. The five-speed manual is nearly perfect, returning tons of feedback and a notchy, communicative gate. It lacks any grinding or crunching and is a blast to row through the gears with. Acceleration is impressive and the overall feel is more composed than your average MR2. The suspension is really buttoned up and responsive. Very few, if any, squeaks and rattles reach the cabin, and the chassis is tied together with a rare set of Tom's front and rear strut tower braces. Cusco front adjustable tension arms aid handling further and the MR2 is at its best while sashaying through the twisties. Blitz coilovers reduce the fender gap and center of gravity, allowing this fixed-roof two-seater to easily outhandle a stock version. The brakes are better than most vehicles we see, and factory ABS is equipped on this example. The steering is communicative and weighted nicely and the 15" powdercoated alloys are all wrapped in new Falken rubber at all four corners.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.