2021 Shannons '40th Anniversary' Timed Online Auction

1988 Toyota MR2 Coupe





Engine 1587cc four-cylinder
Gearbox Five-speed manual
Body Work Two-door coupe
Colour Red
Interior Grey/Black
Trim Cloth
Wheels Cast Alloy
Brakes Disc/disc


This lot is no longer available

Building on experience gained in the tough arena of international rallying, Toyota revealed a mid-engined two-seater concept car called the SV-3 at the 1983 Tokyo Motor Show and just 12 months later the MR2 (Mid-engined Roadster 2-Seater) became a production reality. Small, light and perfectly balanced thanks to the mid-ship engine placement, the MR2 evoked the spirit of earlier Italian sports cars like the Fiat X1/9. Weighing just 950kg and powered by a transverse-mounted high-tech 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine featuring twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, DENSO electronic port fuel injection and trick variable intake geometry, it developed 120 horsepower, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission (although a four-speed auto was optional in some markets). Australian buyers had to wait until 1987 to get their hands-on Toyota’s fabulous new model and, priced at $34,000, it faced no real competition, with other mid-engined exotica at the time costing significantly more. The first generation MR2 received rave reviews around the world, winning Wheels magazine’s favourite sports car award in 1988 and strong sales ensured the car had a loyal following around the globe. More than three decades later, values of the original MR2 are on the rise as a new generation of fans have come to appreciate the same qualities that made these fabulous mid-engined sports cars so desirable when new. The hard part is finding an original, unmodified example.