1986 Toyota MR2

Toyota introduced the MR2 into a market that was in desperate need of a facelift. Mid-engined sports cars stretch back to the Porsche 914 and Lotus Europa, but by the 1980s, only the increasingly aging Fiat X1/9 remained. The classic sports car market was also being squeezed by the rapid growth of the hot hatch, which provided the majority of the thrills while being more practical. This article will focus on the 1986 Toyota MR2

The Toyota MR2 started in development in 1976. Here was a reasonably priced mid-engined sports vehicle with the added benefit of Toyota’s strong engineering and dependability track record. It was a breath of new air, and it was highly received in the United Kingdom.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Toyota used the E80 series Corolla’s naturally aspirated 4A-GE 1,587 cc (1.6 L; 96.8 cu in) inline-four engine, a DOHC four-valve-per-cylinder unit. This engine also featured Denso electronic port fuel injection and T-VIS variable intake geometry, resulting in a maximum power output of 112 hp (84 kW) in the United States, 128 hp (95 kW) in the United Kingdom, 116 or 124 PS (85 or 91 kW; 114 or 122 hp) in Europe (with or without catalytic converter), 118 hp (88 kW) in Australia, and 130 PS (96 kW; Later, Japanese versions were detuned to 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp). The base gearbox was a five-speed manual, with a four-speed automatic offered as an option.


  • Height: 48.6 in
  • Length: 155.5 in
  • Width: 65.6 in
  • Curb weight: 2,282 lbs
  • Passenger volume: N/A
  • Trunk volume: N/A

Engine type: supercharged engine

Vehicle type: N/A

Fuel Capacity / Gas Tank Size: 10.8 gal


  • Zero to 130 mph: N/A
  • Zero to 100 mph: N/A
  • Zero to 60 mph: 8.2 sec
1986 Toyota MR2

Factory Service Manual

Detailed service manuals are available for the TOYOTA MR2 1986, and they cover every area of the vehicle’s functioning. The service manuals include in-depth information on the following subject matters:

  • Introduction
  • Maintenance
  • Engine Mechanical
  • Emission Control Systems
  • Fuel System
  • Cooling System
  • Lubrication System
  • Ignition System
  • Starting System
  • Charging System
  • Clutch
  • Manual & Automatic Transaxle
  • Suspension and Axles
  • Brake System
  • Steering
  • Body Electrical System
  • Body – Interior and Exterior
  • Air Conditioning System
  • Service Specifications
  • Standard Bolt Torque Specifications
  • SST and SSM
  • Automatic Transmission Hydraulic Circuit
  • Wiring Diagrams

Designed for technicians and car dealers who operate on Toyota vehicles, TOYOTA repair manuals are available for purchase. Using these service manuals, the owner may be certain that any automotive maintenance or repairs will be completed accurately and effectively on their vehicle.

Design, Comfort, and Quality

Nonetheless, the MR2 was very much a Toyota. Whereas other mid-engine vehicles’ interiors were stuffed with more compromises than cubic feet, the MR2’s cockpit was a paradigm of ergonomic excellence, if not visually beautiful. In hindsight, the dashboard’s many pods and appendages seem to torment interior designers, yet all critical controls are positioned within easy reach. The interior is tiny, but with a greenhouse broken only by the thinnest of pillars, the view is greater than that of a contemporary convertible with its top down.

Owner’s Manual

When buyers purchased an MR2, they were issued a Toyota Owner Manual. This owner’s manual included all of the vehicle’s critical information for future operation and maintenance.

  • Instruments and controls
  • Pre-driving checks and adjustments
  • Starting and driving
  • Appearance and care
  • Maintenance and do-it-yourself
  • Technical and consumer information

Among other things, the Toyota MR2 Owners Manual has been written to meet the needs of automobile enthusiasts. It will advise them on when and how to use the various features and functions available to them in their vehicles.

Spacious Interior

Despite the MR2’s tiny proportions, the cabin is surprisingly large. The highly adjustable chairs are so comfy that you can’t help but forgive the dated scrunchie-accordion-rubber doohickeys on the headrest uprights. The pedals are correctly positioned in front of the driver (rather than pushed toward the right because of wheel-well intrusion, as in many mid-engine cars).

Even then, the two-spoke steering wheel was ugly, and time hasn’t helped matters, but it’s coupled with something we seldom see in automobiles today: a manual steering rack. The steering isn’t too heavy, even at parking-lot speeds, but flick the wheel on a back road, and the MR2 replies with noteworthy aplomb. That comes as no surprise, given that Toyota enlisted Dan Gurney to assist with the final chassis adjustment. The ultra red 1986 Toyota MR2 on these pages is the champion of its local autocross class is a credit to his efforts. Richard Lee, a high school science and math teacher, is the company’s owner.