1986 Toyota MR2


Taking inspiration from the success of small, relatively affordable mid-engine sports cars such as the Porsche 914, Fiat X1/9, Lancia Scorpion, and the Pontiac Fiero, Toyota exhibited its own mid-engine concept vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1983. Despite its unimaginative name, which stood for Mid-engine, Rear-wheel-drive, 2-seat, the vehicle was a success. With the engine, some MacPherson strut suspension components, and an extensive amount of switchgear obtained from Corolla models, “Mister Two” was an excellent driver’s car from the outset, despite the fact that the vehicle was a “parts bin special.” Lotus said that suspension tuning was complete, and prototypes were shaken down by none other than Dan Gurney, a former Formula One and sportscar racer and manufacturer from the United States of America. The market seemed to like its boxy appearance, which had no curved lines in the bodywork. During the mid-’80s, Toyota provided a wide range of sports and athletic vehicles, with the Toyota MR2 acting as the entry-level model. It was desirable to the market because of its pop-up headlights, tiny cabin, and short deck, among other characteristics. Because of its lightweight, it was both nimble and fuel-efficient. The little engine was equipped with a fuel-injection system that delivered a significant amount of power. For the purpose of this article, we are referring to the 1986 Toyota MR2.


What’s New?

For the 1986 Toyota MR2, replaceable T-top glass roof panels were made available as an option rather than being included as standard. A new supercharged MR2 was released for the 2013 model year, as were reworked taillights, a remodeled passenger-side vent, a refurbished interior, and new seats. For the 2012 model year, larger brakes were added to all models. According to the manufacturer, this new intercooler, Roots-type supercharged variation, which made use of a more powerful version of the 4AGE engine block and gearbox, generated 145 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque when running on an intercooler. In contrast to the standard MR2s, these cars have larger engine lid vents as well as “Supercharged” badging on the rear and sides.



There are sixteen valves in the engine, and it has a redline of 7500 rpm. It is driven by a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine is transversely mounted double cam and sixteen valves. The Corolla’s 1.6-liter engine proved to be the most popular, accounting for about half of all vehicle sales. In addition to the variable intake camshaft and electronic fuel injection offered by Denso, the vehicle was fitted with a number of additional features. As standard, it was equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox, with an optional 4-speed automatic transmission being available. Because of its 1.6L engine, which generated 112 horsepower, the MR2 was almost an inexpensive exotic vehicle in its day. With a curb weight of around 2,300 kg and a time from zero to sixty miles per hour of 8.4 seconds, this vehicle was fast. For the little Toyota, driveability was exceptional. The MR2 had great skidpad performance and had benign handling qualities that enabled it to keep up with the more powerful and expensive competition.

Supercharger Trim

The supercharger was belt-driven, but it was actuated by an electromagnetic clutch, which meant that it was only driven when it was absolutely essential, resulting in improved fuel economy. In certain cases, the weight of the supercharger equipment, as well as the weight of a new, stronger gearbox, resulted in the curb weight of supercharged automobiles reaching as high as 2,494 lb (1,131 kg). In some places, a fuel selection switch was included, enabling the car to run on regular unleaded gasoline if required. This was an extra feature. In addition to the enhanced engine and suspension configuration, the MR2 SC was equipped with stiffer springs as well as unique tear-drop aluminum wheels. The engine cover included two taller vents, which helped to distinguish it from the normally aspirated models in terms of aesthetics and performance

1986 Toyota MR2

Owner’s Manual

The 1986 Toyota MR2 Owner’s Manual covers the specs, operation, and routine maintenance of the vehicle. Replacements for all other years and models of the Toyota Owner Manual are also available.

Interior Features

Despite its compact size and lightweight, the cockpit seems to be rather spacious, and the fully adjustable seats provide exceptional comfort despite the aircraft’s small size and lightweight. The steering wheel can only be changed for height, not for reach; however, the seat may be modified to the user’s preferences entirely. An instrument and control setup with a simplistic instrument and control configuration. As was customary in Japan at the time, there is just a single stalk, which houses the indicators, and it is positioned on the right side of the plant. In the event that either hand is required to reach the fundamental knobs that are located on each side of the instrument binnacle and control the wipers and lights, an extended finger from either hand may be used.


On the Outside

The basic knobs that lie on each side of the instrument binnacle and operate the wipers and lights may be readily reached with an extended finger from either hand, if necessary. Major revisions to the earlier SA-X prototype resulted in a design that was so aesthetically similar to the commercial model that only the front and rear spoilers were modified for the final model in order to improve aerodynamic stability during crosswinds. In keeping with industry practice at the time, design briefs were sent to various studios and teams within the Toyota organization, which worked together to polish the selected design into something that had more than a passing similarity to scaled-down Italian sports car exotica. The new model had expanded in size, measuring 245mm longer, 30mm wider, and having an 80mm longer wheelbase, but it had preserved its elegant profile, with an overall height that had been reduced by 10mm. The coupe and T-bar body types were also offered this time around.


MR2’s mid-engine architecture and enjoyable driving characteristics were always expected to be carried over to the second-generation vehicle, and this was never a question. However, the scope of the following MR2 was broadened to include a more refined and elegant appearance, superior ergonomics, a higher-quality interior, and a selection of bigger, more powerful engines, which at the time made it a Ferrari of the Middle Class.