The Toyota MR2 roadster has always been a head-turner but now its street impact is set to soar with a new body styling kit. The open top two-seater is given a more muscular, lower profile with the addition of the three-part kit, a dedicated Toyota accessory.
The kit comprises front spats, side skirts and rear bumper extensions, all matched to the car’s body colour. Their impact on the car’s styling enhances its taut and compact design, extending the lines and curves of the bodywork rather than exaggerating them.
The result is the coolest sports car you could hope for this summer. Not only does the MR2 look the business with its styling kit, it performs superbly, too. The mid-mounted 1.8-litre VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) delivers 138bhp and will power the lightweight MR2 from rest to 62mph in eight seconds, en route to a top speed, where permitted, of 131mph.
The excellent balance of the chassis ensures great handling, aided by a Torsen limited-slip differential and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Brake Assist (BA) systems.
The MR2 also benefits from sports-tuned suspension and large tyres for plenty of grip. The alloy wheels are 16-inch at the rear, shod with 215/45 tyres, and 15-inch at the front, with 185/55 rubber. There is a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or Sequential Manual Transmission (SMT) which both provide excellent mid-range acceleration and real rewards for those seeking an involving driving experience. With SMT, clutchless gearshifts can be made using the gear lever of Formula One-style buttons on the steering wheel.
The new styling kit is available from 1 July, priced £850 painted and fitted. On the road prices for the MR2 are £17,000 for the manual version and £18,500 with the SMT gearbox. The car is covered by a three years/60,000 miles mechanical warranty, three years paint warranty and 12 years anti-perforation warranty.Published 19 June 2003