The MR2 Spyder Is One Of The Greatest Handling Cars Ever


If not the greatest.

An engine layout is an important consideration when buying acar, as it affects everything. While generally the weight of theengine will help with traction on whatever area it resides - be it the front, middle, or back of the car - it acts as a kind ofpivotal point on which the car swings. It’s widely accepted that, with this inmind, the best layout for handling is to have the engine mounted in the middleof the car. The engine, weighing more than most other components, provides acentralized position on which the car turns.

You Might Also Like
Can't Afford A New Chevy Camaro? Here Are 7 Cheaper Alternatives
Can't Afford A New Chevy Camaro? Here Are 7 Cheaper Alternatives
7 Boring Carmakers That Were Once Cool
7 Boring Carmakers That Were Once Cool

Which brings us to the 3rd gen Toyota MR2, the Spyder. This is hands-down one of the greatest handling cars, if not the single greatest handling car, for under $10,000. It handles like a go-cart with ultra-precise steering. The one drawback being it has virtually no understeer at low speeds and suffers from quite a bit of oversteer, so it can be inherently dangerous if not managed properly. The car is not only brilliant because of its engine placement, as all MR2s have mid-mounted engines, but it weighs just 2195 lbs., almost 600 lbs. less than the turbocharged version of the previous generation. In a front engine car, there is a kind of delay where the car catches up with the steering.

With the MR2, however, because of its light weight and engine placement, the delay is almost completely eliminated. Before getting used to it, this is a nerve- wracking sensation. The back end feels squirrely and twitchy in a straight line, and only in a corner does it feel solid.

That makes it perfect for a track or mountain roads. At higher speeds, the car feels even more solid through a corner. The car might oversteer easily, but it’s almost perfectly controllable. With a skilled driver behind the wheel, the MR2 can be relentless in the twisting mountain passes, and the oversteer can work to the driver’s advantage, resulting in swinging or bending around a turn, setting the car up for decent exiting speed. Essentially, using the throttle to make the car turn is what the MR2 is good at. The driver just needs to be sure they are paying attention so the oversteer doesn’t catch them off guard. All of this makes the Toyota MR2 Spyder just plain fun to drive, and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up straight.

Ford Mustang Splits In Half In Illegal Street Race

This is the best example of dumb luck you'll ever see.

The World's Weirdest Wheel Designs

Sometimes the most basic customization tool goes drastically wrong...

Jaguar XE 300 Sport And XE SV Project 8 Create Modern Art

Two vastly different sports sedans that share a common thread.

LEAKED: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Revealed At Private Event

This is the first pic we have seen of the supercharged range-topper

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.