The Toyota MR2 was in production for over two decades and left an indelible mark on the motoring world, identifying itself as one of the top Japanese sports cars in its class.
The MR2 was first sold in 1984, but its origins go back further into the mid 1970s. Toyota had wanted to create a car which was relatively economical but still had good performance and a driving experience which would appeal to serious road users.
Various prototypes were produced over the years until the first generation MR2 made its debut in late 1983 ahead of a full launch the next year.
Toyota took a real step away from its associations with practical, family-oriented vehicles with the first MR2, which is perhaps why it garnered so much press coverage and public attention.
The first generation was small and light, with a 1587cc engine which produced 118 horsepower and allowed the car to hit 60 miles per hour in under nine seconds during various tests.
A model with a smaller 1.5 litre engine was also offered, but this proved to be unpopular and so is mostly forgotten.
Four years later the first supercharged MR2 emerged, which improved 0-60 acceleration times to the sub seven second mark.
While the first generation MR2 had featured a boxy, angular design which spoke to its 1980s ethos, the second generation MR2 which emerged in 1989 was a far curvier affair.
This new model was not only visually different but was also quite a bit weightier than the original, with its good looks leading to many comparisons between it and contemporary Ferraris.
This MR2 remained in production for a decade and was updated on four distinct occasions over the years.
The third and final generation of the MR2 was made available in 1999 and would remain in production for a further eight years.
Interestingly this new model was only known as the MR2 in Europe, with its US name altered to the MR2 Spyder and its Japanese moniker using the MR-S tag.
With a 1.8 litre engine and a focus on convertible styling, this model managed to combine the best aspects of both of its predecessors. It was in fact lighter than both the first and second generations, making it a good performer despite the modest power which it had on tap.
A dip in sales and tougher competition on the market led Toyota to pull the plug on the MR2 in 2007, although its legacy remains strong.
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