What Makes the Toyota SW20 MR2 so Awesome?

The Toyota SW20 MR2, its kind of the odd ball of the Toyota family. Toyota is known for their economic cars, and enthusiasts know them for the Supra. But, in the 80’s they decided to roll the dice and build a mid engined small sporty car. The MR2 went through drastic changes over its 3 generations, and it became a fairly large success. Now in 2016 the MR2 has a small cult following, and its understandable as to why.

Lets look at the 4 things that make the SW20 MR2 so awesome.

4. Styling

The SW20 MR2 is unmistakably a 90’s car. The flip up headlights, the swoopy body lines, and the wing on the trunk all scream 90’s! However, this is definitely not a bad thing. The Supra screams 90’s car and its arguably one of the best looking cars in history.

Wether you love or hate the styling of 90’s cars, there’s no denying that the MR2 is fairly timeless. If you ask me it could honestly pass as a modern super car, its that timeless.

3. Poor Mans Ferrari

Every guy or gal at some point in their life has dreamed of owning an exotic super car. However, due to the astronomical over pricing of exotic super cars, most of will never get to own one. The next best option is a Lotus Elise, which can be bought used for around $20k. But what about $10k and less? This is where the MR2 shines. Depending on whether you buy an N/A or Turbo model, the prices can range from $4k to $10k.

Toyota MR2

To be quite honest, where I live in Phoenix, Arizona. You’re more likely to see a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or GTR than you are to see an MR2. So if you ask me, the MR2 is a Japanese exotic. On top of all that, most people don’t even know what an MR2 is, so people look at you like you are actually driving a Ferrari or Lamborghini. But little do they know, you only spent $10k on your “exotic” car.

2. Snap Oversteer

I know what you’re thinking. How in the hell can snap over steer be a good thing? Well, remember back in the 90’s when the Dodge Viper came out? It was an absolute death trap to anyone who wasn’t experienced with high performance driving. Journalists both loved and hated the Viper because of this. The MR2 is exactly the same as that. If you’re not experienced with high performance driving the MR2 will try to kill you at any given moment. You can either make this an argument towards the MR2 being terrible, or amazing.

MR2

How is this at all a good thing? Well, anybody who knows anything about MR2’s will automatically give you respect. Driving the MR2 is an art, you have to have a deep understanding of weight transfer and vehicle control. This will ultimately make you a better driver for the rest of your life. If the MR2 doesn’t kill you first.

1. Cult Following

Because of the snap oversteer syndrome that I just talked about, most MR2’s ended up wrapped around a telephone pole, or in a ditch. This has caused them to become fairly rare. In turn, this causes current MR2 owners to really take care of their MR2’s, making sure that it will live a long and fun life. Just like Land Rover owners, those who love it, REALLY love it, and those who don’t aren’t interested.

SW20 MR2 Turbo

Although the following for the MR2 isn’t like the following for the Supra, it still has created a great community of owners and enthusiasts. Every year events like canyon runs are held specifically for MR2 owners to come out, and share their love for their car with others.

Summary

The SW20 MR2 isn’t the greatest looking car in the world. Its not the fastest, or the safest either. But, thats what makes it so special. Its so imperfectly perfect, that it is kind of an exotic.

The 4 Best Sports Cars for Under $4,000

Have you ever wanted to buy a sports car, but could never afford it? Here’s a list of four great sports cars for under $4,000.

1. Mazda Miata MX5

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The Mazda Miata has been in production since 1989. Often referred to as “the best beginners sports car”, because it’s lightweight, and rear-wheel-drive. The Miata is notoriously underpowered, but, in a good way, “why is underpowered a good thing?”, it teaches you how to maximum a cars performance through handling, and not through power. There’s also a large amount of aftermarket companies making performance parts for Miata’s, which allows owners to easily turn them into incredible little sports cars. The Miata is also the worlds most sold roadster, although many Miata’s have been sold, they’ve held their value, due to their fun factor.

MK1 Miata MX5 prices range from $3,000 and up

2. Toyota MR2

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The Toyota MR2 was made from 1984–2007, it was a two seater, mid engine sports car, and is basically the poor mans Ferrari. The first generation MR2 (1984 – 1989, MK1) featured a very angular design, much of which is inspired from origami. The MK1 is the cheapest, and the lightest MR2 made, weighing in at 2350lbs for the U.S. Model, and also had a MacPherson suspension system that was developed by Toyota with the help of Lotus.

The second generation MR2 (1989 – 1999, MK2), is the most desirable MR2, since it had a Ferrari based exterior design, which was much less angular than the MK1 MR2, and was much less of a “boy racer” car.

MK1 MR2 prices range from $1,500 – 4,000, and MK2 MR2 prices range from $3,500 and up.

3. Nissan 300ZX

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The Nissan 300ZX was made from 1983 – 2000, although, the first generation (Z31) is much less desirable than the second generation (Z32). The Nissan 300ZX Z32 is considered a mid-level sports cars, due to its heavier weight and higher horsepower ratings, the Z32 had a whopping 222hp, and the optional twin turbo models had an astounding 300hp. An optional rear-wheel steering system called “Super HICAS” was available for the twin turbo models. The Z32 had been referred to many times as one of the “Ten Best Looking Cars Ever Made”, and carries many of the great characteristics of the Z-Cars. Unlike the Miata and the MR2, the Z32 came in 2 seater models, and 2+2 seater models, which means you can scare more of your friends at one time.

Z32 300ZX prices range from $3,800 and up.

4. Ford Foxbody Mustang

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The Foxbody Mustang was made from 1979 – 1993, and was a four seater, muscle car. The Foxbody is the most controversial Mustang ever built, due to its odd tail-lights, and odd body shape, but, is still a very sought after car, due it being so lightweight. Ford rated the 1987 – 1993 Foxbody at 225hp and 300 ft-lbs, and weighed them in at around 3,300 lbs. The Foxbody has a massive aftermarket backing since the 1979 – 2004 Mustang’s are mostly identical, making the possibilities nearly endless, and that means its easier to make to go fast. Read more about Foxbody Mustangs

Fox body prices range from $3,000 and up.

Summary

The Mazda Miata and Toyota MR2 are featherweight sports cars, making them some of the most fun cars on the road, and a great platform to build and modify. The Nissan 300ZX is more of a serious sports car, putting down big power in the twin turbo models, and great handling in all models. The Foxbody Mustang is more known as a straight line car, but, with a few modifications is an amazing car in the corners, “Foxbody Mustangs are the best kept secret of drifting” – Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Each car has their pros and cons, but all of them are amazing sports cars at the end of the day, easily keeping up with cars that are far more expensive.