The dark horse of 90s sports cars, the SW20 MR2 has been having somewhat of a renaissance, and for good reason. These muscular 2 door sport coupes are among the best driving cars of the 90s, a perfect intersection of Toyota practical pragmatism while doing everything correct on the sports car front. Shedding the more compact trappings of the AW11 the second generation MR2 became a real bruiser on the circuit. This MR2 was manufactured in December 1993 making it an extremely early revision 3 SW20.
Exterior greets you with the classic Toyota ‘Super White’ single-stage paint that they still use today. Somewhat unique among SW20s is the lack of a t-top, this MR2 is a solid roof model. Functional scoops behind both doors feed the engine compartment which can be viewed by opening up the rear vented hood, standard on turbo models. On the trunk lid sits the one-piece wing. The rear lights are the famous ‘Kouki’ style ones made standard on the 3rd generation cars. Swing around the front for the fantastic pop-up headlights and bonus fog lights that swing from left to right as you move the steering wheel. Brand new staggered and directional Kumho tires are mounted on the original 15 inch wheels, 205/50 on the front, 225/50 on the rear. Original exhaust is still here, and the underside highlights just how clean this car is. No rust, no corrosion, no leaks.
The interior is extremely comfortable for two (and only two) people, with alcantara and leather for the seats that continue on to the doors as well. Steering wheel is an aftermarket Nardi Torino and feels fantastic. Instrument cluster has a sweet boost gauge in the top center indicating how boosty you are. Odometer shows under 63,000 km on the clock. Fog light switch is underneath the ignition. The center houses the original stereo, though both the CD player and tape adapter are not functioning, though the radio does work and the electric antenna rises to the occasion. HVAC controls below allow you to really crank the excellent AC if so desired. Factory original short-shifter is a joy to operate and lines up perfectly with your hand as you row the gears. Between the seats is a storage area in addition to your standard glove box, and behind the seats themselves are two additional areas in the floor. Up in the ‘frunk’ rests the original space-saver spare tire and all important set of two clear tubes.
Recent maintenance includes new timing belts, accessory belts, tensioniers, seals, and water pump. Brand new OEM Toyota radiator and thermostat. New AC condenser along with full AC service. As mentioned the tires are brand new, the oil, of course, has been changed. Truly needs nothing besides a new owner.
There are a few blemishes on the exterior and interior. Right side door has a combo scratch dent that has been touched up, though the dent remains. Behind the right rear scoop is a scratch in the plastic. Top of the rear wing has two chips, one on the right and one on the left. Right side front has multiple small dents on the fender and onto the door but quite difficult to see in the daylight. Front lower lip has the typical scrapes along the bottom, along with some paint peeling on the surface that has been somewhat poorly repainted. The front nose itself has slight paint burn/loss to the right of where the front plate mounting holes are. Inside the dashboard has a 1 inch cut on the passenger side, along with a scratched glove box door. All shown in pictures.
This MR2 is the best driving car we’ve ever experienced. It has gobs of power, behaves predictably and just begs you to slide those rear wheels around every corner. The exhaust pushes you to put your foot in the floor and slam the transmission into gear as you quickly approach ‘oh dang I should slow down now’ territory. You’re tempted to leave the fog lights on all the time for style points, and want to flash your lights at any and everyone just to see them flip up with stylistic authority. This car is just as at home doing 80 mph all day, every day on any and every freeway across the country, to darting between cones at any autocross to sprinting from stop light to stop light in whatever city.
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