Spyder is the third-generation
in the lineage of Toyota
, rear-wheel drive sports car
s, and a major blast to drive! For 1999, it replaced the second-generation Mister Two
with a car that returned to its' light-hearted (and light-bodied) roots, weighing in at just about 2200 pound
s, lighter than even the first-generation and the Miata
by a significant margin! With the MR-S
, Toyota resurrected its sports car, in ragtop
form, for all the markets which could not sustain it since the mid-90s. (Meanwhile, since 1984
the MR2 has not gone out of production in some form in Japan
The Mk3 MR2 is powered by the 1.8L 1ZZ-FE with VVT-i, with around 140 hp depending on the configuration for whatever country it is destined for. Despite modest power, the lightness of the car coupled with the extremely low-geared transmission make it quite quick! The transmission choices have so far included a 5-speed manual, a 5-speed SMT, and now a 6-speed SMT.
Because of the low gearing, the gas mileage suffers somewhat, but is still quite excellent for a sports car and truly depends on driving style. It's possible to get 35mpg out of this car, as well as the average 26mpg I get from it for driving it like it's meant to be driven ^^;.
Storage space is minimal, but adequate for those people who know how to pack lightly. Certainly it was enough to travel to South Carolina 500 miles for a week without being uncomfotable at all. The interior room is superb for its class! Compared to the Miata, S2000, and friends, there is no lack of headroom and legroom, which is quite surprising considering how miniscule the vehicle is.
I could go on and on about how wonderful this vehicle is, how well it handles and tracks the road, and even how fun it is to spin out in one at autocross, but I think there's no real match for the feel of actually driving one in person!