It's an Outright Shame Toyota Dropped the MR-2 Spyder

Feature

It may have just been the Mazda MX-5's most fierce competition ever.

Automakers often hesitate to build two-seat roadsters. They may have a loyal following, but they’re still a hard sell overall. Aside from now defunct UK brands like Triumph, Austin-Healey and MG (before China bought it), only Mazda has been successful in producing a roadster for years on end. The MX-5 has been with us now for 25 years. It’s had a few competitors along the way, but they’ve all faded away. Perhaps its most direct and formidable foe was the mid-engined Toyota MR2 Spyder.

This was actually the third generation MR2, built from 1999 until 2007. Power came from a 1.8-liter inline-four with dual overhead camshafts. Although it only produced 138 horsepower, the car was quite light, weighing in at 2,195 lbs. Unlike the MX-5, the MR2 Spyder had a heated glass rear window instead of a plastic one. Some even say the MR2 was a competitor to the Honda S2000, but the latter was really a more aggressive car. The MR2 Spyder instead, was more of a poor man’s Porsche Boxster. It even competed in motorsport, but because of dwindling sales, Toyota dropped it from the US market in 2004. In 2007, it was discontinued in both Europe and Japan. It’s a shame Toyota didn’t develop it even further.

You Might Also Like
The Greatest Turbocharged Cars Of All Time
The Greatest Turbocharged Cars Of All Time
10 Awesome Hatchbacks That Have Been Completely Forgotten
10 Awesome Hatchbacks That Have Been Completely Forgotten
Jaguar XE 300 Sport And XE SV Project 8 Create Modern Art

Two vastly different sports sedans that share a common thread.

All-New Revolutionary Mazda3 Teased Ahead Of LA Reveal

Along with its game-changing sparkless ignition engine.

WatchThe Extraordinary Nissan GT-R50 Being Built By Hand

It’s all about bending sheet metal the old-fashioned way.

Here's How Aerodynamics Make The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ So Much Faster

Take a behind the scenes look at this amazing system.

Fake Lamborghini Murcielago SV Reverse-Engineered By Iran

The Chinese couldn’t have done it better.

Hennessey Trackhawk Is World's Quickest SUV

That's what a thousand horsepower will do for ya.

5 Things You Need To Know About The 2019 BMW X5

After driving the car for the first time, here are our key takeaways.

Watch The BMW M2 Competition Lap The Ring In 7:52

That was supercar territory not long ago.

Kim Jong-un Gets Classy With New Ride

So much for sanctions.

What's Hot

Related Cars

Starting MSRP
$24,915

Related Reviews

Mazda MX-5 RF First Drive Review: Fun In The Sun Without A Fabric Compromise
First Drive
12
Mazda MX-5 RF First Drive Review: Fun In The Sun Without A Fabric Compromise
5 Things You NEED To Know About The Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Test Drive
2
5 Things You NEED To Know About The Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata  Review
Model Overview
0
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Test Drive Review: Infinite Smiles Per Gallon
Test Drive
3
2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Test Drive Review: Infinite Smiles Per Gallon
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata First Drive Review: Revs, Revs, And More Revs
First Drive
5
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata First Drive Review: Revs, Revs, And More Revs