Monday, January 11, 2010

Car Style - The Toyota MR2 MKII

John Marine | 1/11/2010 06:34:00 PM | |
(UPDATED: March 14, 2012)

Toyota first started making the MR2 back in 1984. It used to be that if you wanted a mid-engined car, you had to look to Ferrari or Lamborghini. I have always called the MR2 as the most affordable mid-engine car in the United States. The model I'll discuss is the model before the MR-S came along- the Mark II MR2. What attracts me most to the Mark II is that this is really a totally unusual car. This gives you the chance to enjoy a mid-engine car without having to go to a big time sports car maker. I even remember playing Gran Turismo 2, when I saw the Momo Corse MR2, which looks a lot like a Ferrari. Many think the MR2 is styled like a poor man's Ferrari (Wikipedia). But let me share with you what I make of the Toyota MR2's style.

--- Car Style: Toyota MR2 MKII ---
The car: Toyota MR2 MKII
^ from: - The Toyota MR2 was perhaps the most affordable mid-engined car on the market, especially here in the United States.

This car, as I mentiond, has been called a "poor man's Ferrari" by some. There are even kits you can purchase to turn your MR2 MKII into your own Ferrari... only $75K+ dollars cheap! Evidence of this can be found up front. I'm not a fan of retractable headlights like lots of other people are, but they're there. The overall front style is very fluid up front. The front bumper's grill features two fog lights at the edges of the front opening. Remember that the front bonnet is where you can put your stuff in to haul around.

The side profile features a sleek design. The MR2 MKII is a mid-engined car, but you wouldn't really realize this from the sides. The only detail that gives you a hint that it's a mid-engined car are the side ducts around the rear quarter panels. The MR2 is not a boastful car design-wise, but its profile is very sporty and fluid. It isn't until you look over the top to see the engine bay at the rear that you can see where the engine is located.

The car's rear profile is clean in design. Big circular tail lights accentuate either side of the rear. A simple wing-type spoiler can be found at the rear. A simple rear muffler can be found at the rear. Everything's all styled modestly.

The inside boasts a nice-lookig steering wheel. The instrument panel is outdated by today's standards, but feature a nice set of gauges. The center console is pretty nicely designed. The shifter is pretty nice for you to enjoy sporty driving with this Toyota rocketship.

If you're wondering why I didn't talk about this car in exciting fashion, that's because this was never initially meant to be a pure sports car or a sporty car. Just the fact that there was an affordable mid-engine car that you can daily drive is something purely unique. Now that I think about this car's design, I like to think of the MR2 MKII a bit as a mid-engine Celica. It has those kind of design cues from the 5th Generation Toyota Celica. The most famous Toyota (besides the Camry) these days is the Prius. Many who like Toyota now probably wished they'd go back to making cars like the real Celica (though I love the Celica's replacement, the tC), the Supra (which is making a comeback), and cars like that. The Toyota MR2 is so respected by me because you didn't have to pay anything north of even $30K USD to get a mid-engine car. The only car you can really get in the United States that is cheaply priced and not front-engined are the Smart cars. Smarts are mostly rear-engine cars, but the MR2 was a daily-driver mid-engine car. Only quality mid-engine Japanese sports car besides the MR2 at the time of this Mark II MR2 was the NSX, which cost four to five times more than the MR2 I just discussed. Needless to say, this was an interesting design for Toyota. They created a mid-engine car that can be driven daily. It was a mid-engine sports car you could buy for about the same price as most other economy-type cars (or decent sports cars) back in its time.

Long live the MR2. While the MR-S was nice, the MR2 is the real king and one of the best Japanese sports cars ever made. That's even if it wasn't initially meant to be a pure sports car.

UPDATE: 3/28/2010
If you are looking for car parts for your car or the car I mentioned, I invite you to use either the Amazon Auto Part Finder widget on the side. Or click on the link at the end of this sentence, as it links you to Amazon Auto Part Finder. Please read "An Important Amazon Note" in the sidebar for more information on Amazon products. Thank you for reading!

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