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Toyota MR2


Review

Toyota MR2 Red
Toyota MR2 Red (Motor Show 2002)

Rumour has it that both the MR2 and the firm's excellent Celica coupe could both be discontinued in the next year or two.  

This seems unlikely given the cars continued success, and the absence of any news about successors for either.  But reports say that the company had planned several years ago to axe the Supra, the MR2 and then the Celica in that order.  During the phase out new models would be added to the Lexus line up.  

No doubt some owners will be tempted to replace their MR2s and Celicas with a more upmarket Lexus equivalent, and Toyota would probably be able to make a higher margin on the prestige marque.  But we'd share the disappointment of the thousands of MR2 and Celica fans if these rumours turn out to be true.  Though we wonder whether there can be any truth in such stories given the Toyota commitment to formula 1. Toyota are investing heavily, and are progressing very well in motorsport at the highest level; surely they will want to keep these awesome sports cars in their line up.

Toyota Formula 1 Car
Toyota F1 Car

Since its release in 2000 Toyota's mid engined convertible has been a huge success, and in many ways it remains very competitive against its increasing number of rivals.  It arrived on the scene in 2000 with a price tag of just under 2000 making it slightly more expensive than the popular Mazda MX5 and the MGTF, and slightly less cheaper than the Honda S2000 and the Lotus Elise.  But unlike these alternatives it features, of course, a mid-engine layout like the much more expensive Porsche Boxster.

Since the MR2s launch we've seen the arrival of a number of great new sports cars, in particular the BMW Z4, the new Mercedes SLK, the convertible version of the awesome Nissan 350Z and the lotus engineered Vauxhall VX to name but a few.   And more recently the Boxster 986 has been replaced by the new 987 model which has even more performance without any significant increase in price. 

But despite this, the little Toyota still occupies a unique position as a sub 20,000 mid engined sports car.   And although its 1.8 litre engine offers only 138bhp, the basic car weighs in at very close to 1000Kg, so the all important bhp per tonne figure is as high as that of many other larger and more expensive convertibles.  And the price still remains well under 20K - with today's prices starting at 17,150 you can add heated leather seats, a colour coded hard top plus air conditioning, and still be looking at a list price of only 20,000.

Page 2 - MR2 MK3 Road Test

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