Toyota’s MR2 has the distinction of being Japan’s first mid-engined rear-wheel-drive car when it was introduced in 1984. Despite the layout being the preserve of top-tier sports cars and supercars, the MR2 was aimed at being a small, economical, and sporty car that would have driver-delighting handling characteristics. It focused on thrifty thrills, and was more adept at carving up corners deftly, than burning rubber or dominating the dragstrip. Produced over three generations, this 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder belongs to the third generation. It’s from California and reported to have a smidge over 500 original miles, making it possibly the lowest-mileage MR2 in the US. The original build sheet and paperwork are available with the sale, as are the two original keys.
The MR2’s mid-engined layout lent the two-seater a distinctive silhouette from the side. This 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder comes in black, with its original wheels and tires, and black convertible top. This car is relatively diminutive, and its small size is most apparent in person. This also makes it very easy to drive and park and turns a lot of heads wherever you go. Not surprising, as it’s just 153 inches long and 66.7 inches wide. The interior is also in black, featuring black leather seats for the two occupants, power windows, power door locks, air conditioning and the original Toyota AM/FM/Tape/CD radio. The driver sits behind a chunky three-spoke steering wheel with a trio of white-faced gauges in front. This steering wheel features buttons for shifting the five-speed semi-automatic transmission, and cruise control is present too.
The MR2’s ethos of being an economical sports car meant that you won’t find a large-capacity engine under its rear hood. For the third generation, Toyota went with their 1.8L (109ci) 1ZZ-FED gasoline four-cylinder engine. That’s the powerplant that propels this 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder. It’s a DOHC design with four valves per cylinder, and VVT (Variable Valve Timing) on the intake valves, allowing it to make 138hp at 6,400rpm and 126lb.ft at 4,400rpm. The power is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed SMT or Sequential Manual Transmission, which can be shifted by the driver through buttons on the steering wheel, or via the gearstick. This car is reported to have had all its fluids flushed and hoses replaced in June 2019.
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