Toyota MR2

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For a while now, many illustrators have been trying to guess what a new-generation Toyota MR-2 could look like.

The MR2 was a cute small 2-seater car with a mid-engine layout produced over 3 generations from 1984 to 2007. It was basically a small affordable sporty car that looked great. It seems more like an Italian exotic than a Toyota.

For a while people have been asking for a new one, although the market for an affordable 2-seater sports car with a mid-engine is basically zero these days. Last year, Toyota unveiled the weird-looking FT-se EV concept, which provided new hopes among car nerds about a new MR2 coming soon, this time as a small sporty EV.

I don’t think Toyota has ever mentioned this would become a production car, but that never stopped illustrators from creating artwork based on the concept. And I think they all look pretty terrible. The concept itself was pretty ghastly and anything visually related to it could end up terrifying as well as tragic in some rare cases.

These are the 3 generations of the Toyota MR2. The first 2 looked a lot like smaller and cheaper Italian sports cars. Which was a perfect combo with Toyota’s stellar reliability. The 3rd generation looked like it was trying too hard to be a Miata. And I think it lost its touch.

Let’s hope Toyota doesn’t look at the FT-se concept to influence a possible 4th generation design. People seem to love cute and retro things like the new Rivian R3, which somehow reminds us all of so many beloved designs from the 1970s and 1980s. This is what Toyota should do if they really want a new MR2.

Although I still think the market for such a vehicle these days would be between 8 and 23 units a year. If that…

Conversation 4 comments

  1. The MR-S is not a MR2. Spiritual successor, maybe, but there were only two generations of the MR2

  2. My first car was a 1985 MR2. I still miss it to this day. One of these days, I am definitely going to get something that is dynamically similar. Light weight, rwd, possibly mid-engined, but doesn’t necessarily have to be. Unfortunately for me though, it also requires more than 2 seats, otherwise the Miata would be high up on my radar. As it stands now though, the GR86/BRZ twins will probably get the nod, manual of course.

  3. Still have my 1994 MR2 Turbo, and it’s still as exciting to drive today as it was then. Tuned a little hotter now, yes, but still a brilliant lightweight mid-engined sportscar. I look forward to a new design for sure, and hope to see the one with Ferrari F-430 air inlets!

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