Used Car Buying Guide: 2nd Generation Toyota MR2 Turbo

20 Июн 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota MR 2 I

Used Car Buying Guide: 2nd Toyota MR2 Turbo

Most car dream of one day owning an exotic, mid-engined 2-seat sports Few of them ever reach goal; have you seen how Lotus Esprit V8′s are days?  Or Jaguar XJ220′s?  even a used Noble M12 is far the means of the average automotive I’ve always said was a direct correlation between how a car is, and how far back in the chassis the engine is A Honda Civic is cheap; the is in the front.  A Lotus Elise is pricey; the engine’s in the middle.  A 911′s ungodly expensive; the in the back.  It all makes sense.

But if been fiending for some lift-throttle oversteer antics and have a huge budget, may be hope for you yet.  How do these strike you?  Light 200 horsepower.  0-60 in 5.9 seconds.  149 per hour.  Mid-engined, rear drive.  Sound pretty

How about Toyota dependibility, a and resourceful aftermarket, low entry striking good looks and a roof?  Well, a Toyota MR2 might be just the thing for

This guide focusses on the 2nd-generation MR2 Turbo models, to be fair the Lotus-designed first models and the bizarre looking 3rd convertibles deserve their own guide on their own merits.  a little background.

When the MR2 went on sale in 1989, it the MkI which had been on the market 1984.  The MkII MR2 went a different market, trading size and go-kart agility for poise, power, and grace.  It was a flyweight car by modern standards – an MR2 only weighed 2734 lbs – but it was of a GT than a classic sports

The SW20 (the chassis for the MkII MR2) was available different engines in different US models got either the 2.2L 5S-FE from the Camry, or the 200bhp 3S-GTE shared the Celica All-Trac (GT4.)  markets had a 2.0L 118bhp as well as a 156bhp naturally-aspirate such as the UK and Australia.  Japanese MR2′s had slightly higher with the original Turbo 221bhp and later 242.  discuss those later.

The N/A MR2′s (called SW21′s) nice enough cars, but a bit underpowered so we’ll ignore for this guide.  When the MR2 went on sale in the US in 1991, it was only with a 5-speed transmission and had a base price of Early MR2 sales were but during it’s 5-year run in the US, tapered off dramatically.

Why?  by 1995 (the last of MR2 sales in the US) the price for the MR2 Turbo had up to $29,238, largely due to the unfavorable exchange rate in the US.  is the same thing that the 300ZX, Supra, RX7, and Japanese high-end sports in the US market.  A loaded MR2 Turbo in cost more than which was enough to buy a new Corvette – you to see the problem.

Still, the MR2 definitely had merits.  The first and foremost: the The 3S-GTE was race-bred and felt it, being one of two engines sold in the US in the period that made than 100bhp/l; the other was the Esprit Turbo, which was more expensive.  And, if you tradition over logic and then the RX7 had a “1.3L” engine 255bhp.  Still, 200bhp 2.0L was mighty impressive then, and it had a healthy 203 lb-ft of to go with it.  Performance was Toyota qouted a 6.2 second time and a top speed of 147mph, some testers achieved numbers than that.

Then, of course, there was the handling potential.  Although the setup was basic (struts in multilink independent in rear) the MR2 50/50 weight distribution to the transverse-mounted mid engine layout.  The are very balanced and have levels of adhesion, but once you the limits – look out.

was one major revision in the MR2′s which occurred late in for model year 1994.  were some minor changes: round quad lights with a color-coded section replaced the older-style ones, the three-piece rear was consolidated to one piece, and a new front gave the MR2 a slightly more stance.

More significant changes to the greasy bits.  changed from a CT-26 to a turbocharger for the Turbo models, provided quicker spool-up and flow despite it’s dimensions.  Also, due to complaints of oversteer, the rear suspension was for greater stability, a larger bar was fitted to induce more understeer, and the rear tires bumped up in width relative to the to give more rear-end The handling difference between and 93+ MR2′s is pretty significant; cars have much progressive break-away at the limit and are prone to snap oversteer later models, although MR2 enthusiasts prefer the early more “lively” nature, it requires – and rewards- a more hand behind the wheel.

Japanese market Turbo made more power their US counterparts due to different for higher octane Japanese-market 221bhp in early models and in later CT-20b turbo These rarely show up in the US but are frequently imported in the UK and Australian since they never Turbo models officially, and the JDM cars make more

The Turbo is a pretty solid car but there are a few things you should out on your potential purchase to sure you’re getting a deal.

-Brakes: the 90-92 use smaller discs than the models, and they are prone to and warping under hard time.  If the car judders when you hit the factor in the replacement cost of and pads.  93+ cars dissipate better and brake harder, so preferrable in that aspect.

Catalytic Converter . the catalyst on the MR2 is integrated into the turbo I say unfortunately because the MR2 Turbo’s bay generates a lot of heat, and extended running can cook a catalyst, it’s directly downstream of the And you know – cat’s aren’t Suggestion: these cars are all Get a test pipe.

— The MR2 thankfully used a beefier than the N/A MR2, which is as it has another 70bhp to deal So weak gearboxes aren’t a problem on MR2′s – my envy is as 900′s have transmissions of glass, hopes and dreams.  93+ US cars all come with the differential standard.  The use of Redline MTL lubricant is recommended for smoother and extended synchro life.  are relatively robust, and can last up to miles with thoughtful Otherwise, you’re good.

— Cooling System: sure it’s in good The Turbo uses a significant 15L of and has 4 bleed points – so a coolant should be done by someone who what they’re doing, as air in the system can lead to overheating and gasket replacement, which you want.

— Oil . MR2′s use oil only.  Non-synthetics break too easily under the extreme and heat of turbo life turbo is oil cooled, remember) and can to coking on the turbo bearing and of bad things.  Make sure the PO has of synthetic oil changes, on time 4,500 miles, filter 9,000.)  It’s worth Also, after hard use recommends a 3-minute idling down period for the 3S-GTE to coking on the turbo bearing.  An turbo timer already would be a good sign.

Ignition Components: The MR2 Turbo doesn’t chew through plugs like most engines do, but they should be every 60,000 miles or Since the MR2 is distributor-ignition, one particularly wear point are the distributor which can cause misfires and unpleasantries if heavily worn.  distributor rotors are cheap.

Toyota MR 2 I

Alignment: The MR2 is heavily dependent on alignment settings for proper and they go out of alignment easily.  the front tires for heavy wear – these cars to gain negative camber for the fun of it.

Timing Belt: The MR2 Turbo’s belt should be changed 60,000 miles.  Thankfully, had the insight to realize that is a massive PITA and that were going to push as far as they could, and the 3S-GTE is a engine- meaning if the belt valves don’t strike This is another great about the MR2.

— Turbocharger: a major point of MR2 ownership.  The turbos are good themselves – the CT26 a ceramic impeller and is a twin-scroll for faster spool-up, which is a thing.  However, heat in the MR2 Turbo engine bay is a problem, and can wreak havoc on your lifespan.  Check to see if the car emits smoke under boost/WOT this is a sign of a shot Stay away, as this is an and labor-intensive repair.

Other that, the MR2 is a pretty solid Pre-purchase inspection is always to getting a good deal.  of good deals, how much you pay for your slice of the turbo pie? says an MR2 is between $2,100 for an averag-condition 1991 Turbo to $5,300 for an loaded low-mileage 1995 Turbo.  However, the MR2 has acquired of a cult status in the States, and are artificially inflated a bit.  a quick search on AutoTrader, I MkII MR2 Turbo’s retailing for $3,500 (for a 1992 150k on the clock) to $20,500(!) for a low-mileage mint 1995 with 38k on the clock and lots of Most prices seemed to between $4,500 and $8,000, with a few outliers and heavily ones messing up the average.

The part about finding the MR2 is – well, finding one in the first There were a grand of 23 MR2 Turbo’s (1991-1995) listed on nationwide in the US.  It helps to on enthusiast and import forums (as as CraigsList, but looking on CL never to find the right MR2 for you.

As for aftermarket modifications, well, the the limit.  Here’s a good plan, though:

— Let ‘er breathe a little easier.  standard first modifications

Retuned/Remapped ECU: to increase rates and boost-pressure threshold.  The turbo and internals on CT-26b’s are for 16psi which equates to 280bhp; later CT-20b’s can more boost (19psi or so) and can yield 300bhp from a turbo

— Downpipe: the MR2 under OBD-1 inspection meaning emissions inspections are lenient.  Check with local laws, but there are big to be had by replacing the choked-up stock with one without a catalyst Also, faster turbo due to reduced backpressure is an added

Last but not least, let it be known Toyota’s 3.0L V6 fits into the SW20 MR2′s bay, and that TRD offers a nice supercharger setup for V6.  So if you’ve really an NSX all along…  well, there you go.

Toyota MR 2 I
Toyota MR 2 I


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