The Mister Two, as it's affectionately known, is perhaps the best evidence that, buried deep in the corporate hallways of Toyota, there exist true car enthusiasts whose passion could take ordinary components and build a serious rival to real sports cars. A Toyota that could beat up on a Ferrari, as it were. Perhaps, as we wrote back then, "we should drop the Mister nickname and start calling it Sir."
ENGINES: 1.6L DOHC I-4, 112-115 hp, 97-100 lb-ft;1.6L DOHC supercharged I-4, 145 hp, 140 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic
SUSPENSION, FRONT: Strut-type, coil springs
SUSPENSION, REAR: Strut-type, coil springs
BRAKES F/R: Vented discs/discs
WEIGHT: 2400-2600 lb
92,000 (U.S. market, est.)
The MR2's handling put Japan on the mid-engine map. Its cool, 1980s, origami-inspired styling still looks great, and these cars have lived up to their reputation for reliability and indestructibility. Plus, Dan Gurney helped with the chassis tuning, and there are two trunks. Numerous clubs and websites are dedicated to modifying these cars, so finding a stock example-like Lee's-can be difficult. In your favor, though, is the fact that the first-generation MR2 outsold each of the next two generations by approximately three to one.