Thank you to Yohai Rodin
I had a 1989 version of one of these, in this red. Truly a car I SHOULD have kept: UNlike my Miatas it had decent room for my then 6’4″, handled VERY well plus had enough power to move along adequately!
However, the “hacked out” shapes of the IP “offended” my sensitive Industrial Designer Mk Is (eyes)……..sooo I traded it for something. NOT a brilliant move. One of several cars-of many-that I do regret letting go of..
Also, my MR2 had 0 rust anyplace. I carefully inspected the lil sports car b4 buying it. Now I remember what it was traded for: a Mazdaspeed Miata. Really gr8, if cramped, but getting it smoothly and quickly thru the 6 speed gearbox: NOT. As smooth as my three 5 spd Miatas were for clean, super slick shifting….the 6 spd Mazdaspeed Miata WASN’T…..:( DFO
Mid engine (like a Ferrari 308)
7500 rpm redline (like the 3 liter Ferrari 308 V8)
Toyota reliability (NOT like Ferrari 308)
Toyota looks (NOT even as good as Fiero)
GREAT CAR! I wish I had one.
Aha, a Mister Two!
Had to be renamed “Coupé MR” in France and Belgium because “M R 2” sounds really bad if you say it in French…
My stepmom had one of these in gray (as her only car!) when my dad started dating her, which she traded for a redesigned ’91 Turbo after they got married. The ’91 was much easier on the eyes and a good performer, when the streets were dry. I remember one time on the way back from the Detroit Auto Show with my dad where the back tires broke loose on an icy patch, and the car swapped ends in a hurry! Fortunately no harm was done, but you had to be very careful driving it on snowy or icy roads.
I test drove one of these powered by a 20 valve Japanese market engine. What fun. I should have bought it but was turned off by the colour and bought a second Rx-7 instead.
Did the “stylists” of this car channel J.C. Whitney? The tacked on look of the spoiler, the roof, pass. side vent, engine cover and side skirts – bleah ! From the front wheels forward not too bad! I never got close enough to look at the instrument panel.
Some designs grow on you, or you become used to it. For me, not this one.
Back when Toyotas could be cool…
I miss when Toyota made more products that excite and not simply fill a purpose.
I don’t believe this was actually supposed to be MR2, but when I was a kid I was absolutely certain that the car in Top Gear 2 on Super Nintendo was one, and I’ve harbored a fondness for this generation ever since.
An absolute whizzbanger of a car, with total Toyota world gloriousness but inches away when new. As above said, huge revs, good speed, sticky handling, and made by non-Italians at Toyota.
But as also above implied, styled only after a close (and misguided) examination of a TVR with a bodykit, and as a TVR of the time looks already as if styled after an even lesser kit, it is so stylistically witless as to be entirely unwantable, then or since.
I had a non-supercharged ’89 MR2. It was a great car. Fun to drive, great MPG, and reliable. I loved it. It was like a street legal go cart. You definitely had to treat it with respect on winter roads.
This is a great car.
The first generation was designed to look like a ceremonial Japanese knife. This is the generation I prefer over the Ferrari-esque second or Porsche-esque Spyder.
This is a hybrid car – a car that was intended for one thing, but ended up being redesigned into something else.
After the oil crisis of the late 1970s, and the economic downturn of the early 1980s, auto manufacturers felt that they needed to field more small cars. While they already had good small four adult hatches sold by the 100,000s, sporty pony cars were still considered an important part of a brand’s portfolio and were needing a rework for a future where gasoline was $5 a gallon and families lived in mass-housing yurts with solar heating.
Ford put out the LN7 and the EXP
GM put out the Fiero
Chrysler put out the TC3 and the O24
Toyota put out the MR2
Honda put out the CRX
Nissan put out the Pulsar NX
The best one was the MR2. This was meant to be a fun daily commuter car. It ended up becoming a little sports car instead. The MR2 was supposed to be a fun little thing you drove to work. So, this generation has many engineering items from the Corolla and designed to reflect a daily commuter design. The fact that it was also a terrifically fun car to drive was just a plus.
What happened was the Miata. Mazda went straight to a retro British design and suddenly everyone needed to have one. Suddenly, all the little commuter two seaters had to become viable little sports cars. Also gas prices dropped during the Reagan years and small cars no longer were being chosen as hedges against a future distopia.
And that solar powered yurt thing? Boomers wanted McMansions filled with preppy ivy league fashion.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2023 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.