The Toyota MR2 was introduced in 1984 as the Japanese automaker’s mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car. This architecture was unique, as it placed the car’s motor directly behind the passenger compartment but in front of the rear tires. In 2000, third iteration of the MR2 was introduced. This model was in production through 2007 and maintained the same mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive design of its predecessors but was available as a convertible for the first time, hence the Spyder designation.
The MR2 Spyder is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter, inline four-cylinder engine. At the core of this engine is an aluminum block with aluminum cylinder heads and a 16-valve double-overhead-camshaft design. This motor has a 3.1-inch bore, 3.6-inch stroke and a compression ratio of 10 to 1. The MR2 Spyder’s powerplant produces 138 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 125 ft.-lb. of torque at 4,400 rpm. Toyota pairs this engine to either a five- or six-speed manual transmission. No automatic gearbox is offered.
The MR2 Spyder’s 2,195-lb. curb weight sits on a 96.5-inch wheelbase with a 58.1-inch front track and a 57.5-inch rear track. This sports car has an overall length of 153 inches, a width of 66.7 inches and a height of 48.8 inches. Ground clearance under this vehicle is 4.9 inches, while the turning diameter is 34.8 feet.
The MR2 offers seating for two in a cabin that provides 48 cubic feet of passenger volume, while the vehicle’s trunk offers 1.9 cubic feet of luggage space. The occupants of this vehicle are afforded 37.3 inches of headroom, 42.2 inches of legroom, 51 inches of shoulder room and 49.8 inches of hip room.
The MR2 Spyder has a zero-to-60 mph time of 8.2 seconds and a zero-to-100 mph time of 23 seconds. This Toyota sports car offers a street start time, from 5 to 60 mph, of 8.5 seconds. Toyota’s engine propels this vehicle through the quarter-mile in 16.2 seconds at 86 mph. Top speed for this drop-top MR2 is 123 mph, while braking from 70 mph to a stop takes 162 feet.
Fuel economy for this vehicle is rated at 26 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with the five-speed manual, while the six-speed manual yields 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. Fuel is drawn from a 12.7-gallon tank.