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Discussion in 'Car Pictures' started by 2998ccCSL, May 13, 2009.
Those photos would be so much nicer without the heavy-handed gradients going on in the backgrounds.
Went for a drive this past weekend through the local mountains and snapped this shot when I was about a mile above sea level. I logged 225 miles round trip and it was rather enjoyable most of the way through. <A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/PitLane?displayFAQ=y"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/smile.gif"></A>
Great poser car.
Great poser car with a fantastic chassis.
Could you explain this thought in a little more depth perhaps? I think I have a pretty good general understanding of the definition of 'poser', but really fail to see how it could apply here.
I will say the car posed quite well for the picture I took. Maybe that's what you meant? <A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/PitLane?displayFAQ=y"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/grin.gif"></A>
Have you done anything to yours?
Nope - it is still basically stock. I loved the overall package of the MR2 from the time it was new. Back in 2001, myself and 4 friends each rented one and took them out on a track day where I was convinced of their greatness. I finally added my 2003 Spyder to the garage in 2006 at a significant discount from new, with only 6681 miles on the odometer.
Sure there are aftermarket items that could improve the experience, but I don't think the car is specifically lacking in any way. It has enough power to get you arrested, makes decent sounds, and stops and turns like few other cars I've driven at a sub $50,000 price point.
I'll probably replace it with an S2000 before I'd sink any significant money into modding it. I did install the taller clear wind deflector and have been through a couple of sets of Hankook Ventus RS2 tires which are a perfect match for the car's abilities. Otherwise, I'm going with the "If it ain't broke..." approach. <A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/PitLane?displayFAQ=y"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/smile.gif"></A>
Here's a transcribed version of an article that sums up a lot of my thoughts on the Sypder, which was written around the time Toyota announced they were discontinuing the car:
EVO - April 2006 - [RIP: MR2]
Toyota MR2 - "It's a true bargain. Unfortunately not enough of us bought into it."
I hope you are happy in your pumped-up hot-hatch or demonically fast point-to-point hero. You've just helped kill-off one of the most enthralling, responsive and rewarding cars that money can buy. If only a few more of you had ignored bald performance stats and unimportant little things like practicality, then the wonderfully deft Toyota MR2 might still have a bright future.
Okay, so the MR2 isn't massively quick, stubbornly grippy or overly aggresive, but what it lacks in bravado it more than makes up for with a subtle blend of superb body control and fine, beautifully adjustable balance. So fluid are its dynamics that it feels like every road has been resurfaced just for you. For just £17,150 it remains a true bargain.
Unfortunately not enough of us - the people who should recognise and celebrate such ability - bought into it. Certainly, Euro 4 emissions regulations have played their part too, but the truth is that the MR2 is disappearing because Toyota can't find enough buyers for perhaps the best car they have ever built. Only 1217 were sold in the UK in 2005.
Which sort of means that EVO has failed, and that maybe we car enthusiasts are guilty of the very thing that we accuse manufacturers of all the time: being blinded by horsepower.
Just how good is the MR2? Good enough to stand comparison with a Lotus Elise and a Porsche Boxster without feeling out of its depth (EVO 017). Good enough to make you wonder why the Vauxhall VX220 wasn't more like it. And good enough to remind you that lightweight construction needn't cost a fortune, a mid-engined layout shouldn't mean intimidating and unforgiving dynamics, and that 'character' doesn't have to mean 'leaky' or 'unreliable'.
It feels right from the moment you drop down into the thinly padded seat. You're locked low in the chassis, the doors enclose you right up to shoulder height, the pedals are dead ahead and the gearstick is just where you want it, mounted high and within easy reach. The steering wheel is perhaps a shade too big, but the detail that streams back through the punctured leather rim is just perfect.
Early versions of this MR2 weighed just 975kg (an S2 Elise 111R is 860kg), later facelifted models were 1030kg, and this lack of weight is immediately apparent. The steering is very light and the front tyres respond without slack or any noticeable inertia to overcome. The ride is superb, the MR2 gliding across the ground even while your eyes are telling your brain to expect some nasty jolts. The supple set-up helps the open-top structure feel incredibly stiff - there's no tellale shimmying rear-view mirror or wobbly steering column.
Up the pace and the MR2 just gets better and better. It's a rare thing to discover a chassis that can simultaneously isolate road imperfections and yet keep you in touch with exactly how much grip there is to play with, but the MR2 seems able to filter out all the unwanted 'noise' and relay just the vital information. It quickly builds your confidence to work the front tyres hard into a corner, and then utilize the excellent traction afforded by the mid-engined layout on the exit.
Feel your way into the chassis, keep the sweet little 138hp 1.8-litre four-pot on the boil, and you'll make genuinely rapid progress on any sort of road. When the tarmac turns really nasty and a 1500kg coupe would start to struggle to contain its weight, the MR2's pace remains completely unaffected. It takes a while, but when you really get to know the MR2 you can make it dance through the corners, all four tyres just on the edge of adhesion and the balance alert to the demands of your right foot.
The first MR2 roadsters (March 2000 - mid-2003) were a little more tricky, but still fabulously involving. The body control of these early cars isn't as clinically efficient as the later ones, particularly at the rear, which can fall into roll oversteer, but they arguably offer even greater rewards when mastered.
But whether you choose an early version or the slightly more tied-down later car, it's best to think of the MR2 as kind of a baby 911: unique and demanding, but everyday usable and genuinely thrilling. My recommendation? Buy one while stocks last. I promise you won't be disappointed.
>> Jethro Bovingdon
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