The MR2 eschewed Toyota's reputation for beigeness, and brought mid-engines to the masses. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe custom MR2 Spyder takes the car's anti-beige persona to over-saturation, but at a price you might find a little off-color.
Toyota's first generation MR2 ill-advisedly took many of its styling cues from Ferrari's Mondial 2+2. Despite that fashion faux-pas, the car's adept but twitchy handling and performance - especially in supercharged guise - found favor among enthusiasts and jealousy among Pontiac Fiero dealers. The second generation of the ‘Mister Two' swelled like a college freshman, losing its edginess in both style and persona, but gaining a reputation for oversteer that was two snaps up with a twist. In its final, and most recent iteration, Toyota went back to the drawing board in creating a Mister that was once again pocket-sized, and this one - like the aforementioned collegiate first-year on spring break - would go topless.
This 2001 MR2 Spyder would be notable for having but 15,000 miles under its tires - no anal-retentive '99 M3 to be sure, but still pretty impressive - but in addition to that achievement it has has gone under the knife, gaining both rhinoplasty and an enhanced badonkadonk. Claimed to be pure, uncut JDM - and a multiple offender magazine whore - this MR2 trades innocuous Toyota mid-enginer styling for a more aggressive, and Larry Craig-ier wide stance.
Body kits on Asian cars typically make the ride look like a 4-year old who dresses himself, but this one looks pretty sweet, and the fact that all the stock MR2 body pieces are easily removable makes it a snap to change it if you don't agree. Should you concur, you'll find that the Varis nose and hip extensions answer the question - will it blend? while the two-piece Weds BVillens' (said by the seller to be custom JDM pieces) don't look like ass as you might expect them to from something too fast and too furious.
Making the fast, as well as some of the furious is a 1ZZ-FE DOHC VVTi that's over-bored and self assured, and rocks a Garrett T4 feeding an air-to-air intecooler through custom plumbing. The seller says this set-up is good for 400+hp!!! but doesn't say how much the heavily modded all-aluminum (a first for Toyota) 1,800-cc four actually makes.
With so many brand names dropped on the 1ZZ it's surprising it still fits in the narrow space between the seats and the rear wheels, while still having to share that space with Toyota's five-speed box. That's right, thankfully this car still sports three pedals down in its narrow footbox, and in fact the entire interior is so small you'd have to get out to change your mind. Helping some is the replacement of the confining airbag steering wheel with a less bulky three-spoke affair. You also get Sparco seats, four-point harnesses, and an alloy shift knob that looks like it would do to you what the Staff of Ra did to the troll Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark. All in all, both the interior and exterior modifications are, dare we say it, tasteful with but one exception - the car sports scissor doors.
Now, I know these were de rigueur on cars of the backwards-cap, baggy pants ilk a few years back, but these days they are so played. If this car were to happen to be on Pimp My Ride, the first thing Xzibit would do is un-lambo the doors because of something he heard you liked, dawg. He'd then have them put a fish tank in there, ‘cause that's still mad fresh.
Probably though, whomever would buy this MR2 Spyder would be able to live with the Lambo doors, and who knows, maybe they'd use them to chop celery or something down at the homeless kitchen, giving the doors a sense of redemption and renewed purpose in life. But, to achieve that kind of cathartic charitable act, somebody's going to need to come up with five bills short of thirty grand to buy this Toyota.
That's kind of pricy for an MR2 Spyder as these cars rarely get the kind of attention this one has, the last generation of the Mister being a bit of a Linus to the earlier cars' Lucy. But this one has been breathed upon, and not lightly. Most all of the aftermarket parts are from top-tier makers and the overall look would give Porsche Boxster owners sweaty palms and bobbing adams‘ apples over the comparison with their cars. But is that a value, and would you see someone spending $29,500 for this Mister as getting a deal? Or, for that price, is this less a mister and more a must-miss?
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