1993 Toyota MR2 GT-S
Stock Number: 4246
It took the engineers in Chevrolet's Corvette workshop nearly 70 years to come to the conclusion that a mid-engine, rear-drive platform is would maximize performance. Well, Toyota wasn't that late to the game, in fact producing the first MR2 in 1984. By 1993, the year our example was produced, Toyota was well into its second iteration of the vehicle, and even by today's standards, was producing a world-class sports coupe. Starting with a punchy 2.0L turbocharged engine, and manual transmission, the lightweight and balanced platform translates handles as well as it accelerates. With only 34K verified miles, this Toyota Black (202) SW20 looks spectacular. The paint shows well for its age with only minimal stone chips from road debris. The only real issue of note is a small chip in the paint on the driver's side trunk lid where it meets the body. As for the body itself its spot on aside from a few normal door dings associated with normal use. All in all the car is pretty much all stock, except for the performance exhaust, meaning this MR2 drives like it just rolled off the factory floor and is always begging for more!
When you think about it, most affordable performance offerings from auto manufacturers have a tendency to save costs on the interior. Toyota had no such ideas, and premium materials and storage can be found all around the cabin. When discussing quality, and how vehicles stand the test of time, a couple of indicators give away a lot. The dash in lesser quality offerings is often discolored and cracked, however, that is not the case in our car. The seats, just like the door cards, have aged gracefully. The soft black and gray cloth still sit tight taut on the doors and the seats have retained fantastic bolstering. The shift boot does have some accelerated wear, but most of the other surfaces are all still in great shape. Long drives can be done in comfort, as the driver and passenger have plenty of headroom, legroom, and storage. The latter of which can be found in the "frunk" and in a bevy of cubbies within the cabin. The change tray is missing, but otherwise, the interior is complete. A Nardi Torino wheel is both timeless and a great upgrade over the clunky factory one. The headliner is unblemished and the switchgear is all functional and at hand. The windows power windows and mirrors function add a bit of convenience to the ownership experience and this little race car even has a clock! Joking aside, the level of equipment is all you need when the real focus is the driving dynamics.
Its always an experience hearing an engine spark to life when its located behind you, opposed to in front. Fitted with a new 12V battery, the car is happy to do so even on the coldest of mornings. Settling into a constant idle, Toyota's vaunted 3S-GTE 4 banger. Even used in the WRC cars, this 1998cc mill is robust enough to handle some serious power but could be left untouched as it sits. Revving freely, with a deeper growl emitting from the Apex'i single exit exhaust, the 2.0L feels smooth for an I-4. Acceleration is brisk, especially under full throttle, and the five-speed manual is direct and notchy. Shifts are all hitch-free, and the transmissions tight ratios make this trim level a blast to drive at intermediate speeds. The factory suspension and brakes do a nice job of handling all the bumps and slowing the chassis down. Upon inspection, the technicians mounted four new all-season tires, installed new spark plugs, and completed an oil and filter service. Bringing all the maintenance current that the next owner need not service the MR2 for another three thousand miles.
With one third the mileage of US examples, this MR2 will undoubtedly be a great value and an instant Japanese Classic. With a domestically sold version of the car, parts and service are a snap, and the 2nd generation of Toyota's mid-engine couple are known for their low cost of ownership. For the enthusiast who values proper handling, acceleration, and braking but doesn't want to deal with the problems associated with Italian or German Marques, this Toyota would make for a seamless ownership experience.
*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.