Good looking from afar, but far from good looking.
For many enthusiasts around the world, owning a brand-new Porsche would be the realization of a dream. But with the cheapest 718 Boxster priced at $65,500, ownership remains out of reach for many. That hasn't stopped one fan from converting his Toyota MR-S (known as the MR2 Spyder in the States) into a Boxster 986 replica.
From a distance, the creation could fool even the most keen-eyed Porsche expert. Up close, however, the illusion starts to fall apart. Up front, the Toyota/Porsche mash-up wears the infamous "fried egg" headlamps but the cluster seen here appears to have been lifted off a facelifted model with clear turn signal lenses.
The front bumper is more aggressive than anything we've seen on a 986 and closely resembles the item found on the 996 Turbo, albeit with a more pronounced lip and vent flourish. The big tell-tale sign is the recessed hood; on the original, the panel gap sits closer to the bumper but the design had to make concessions for the MR-S base.
The Boxster has never been a big car, but it's certainly larger than the MR-S. As such, the flowing German bodywork sits at odds with the more compact Toyota, resulting in a stubby, awkward side profile. Hoping to distract you from the peculiar profile are the Porsche sill graphics and protruding side skirts. The Toyota's side vents and door handles remain.
The rear is, perhaps, the most convincing part of the build. Again, facelift taillight clusters have been used, along with what appears to be a genuine 986 rear bumper - it even sports the centrally-mounted tailpipes. A large wing has been affixed to the rear, possibly because creating the Boxster's pop-up spoiler proved too daunting. Elsewhere, the multi-spoke wheels don't appear to come from a Porsche but do, at least, match the vehicle's aesthetic.
Save for a Porsche steering wheel, the replica has retained the Toyota's interior which doesn't look too bad with its crimson upholstery.
If you're interested in this unique creation, you'll be pleased to know it's for sale in Thailand. Listed on Kaidee Auto, the seller doesn't specify whether the standard 140-horsepower 1.8-liter four-pot has received some bite to match its newly found visual bark. At least this particular model has a manual gearbox.
It's not the worst replica we've seen in recent weeks. That title would have to be split evenly between the Supra trying to be a Lamborghini Reventon and the Honda-based Maserati GranCabrio replica. The price of the Porsche MR-S is rather eye-watering, though - 850,000 Thai Baht (approx. $24,400) is a lot of money for a replica.
We may question why someone would do this - the MR-S/MR2 Spyder is a lovely car - but once you realize what a Porsche costs in Thailand, it makes sense. While a base model 911 will set a US buyer back $101,200, the same vehicle is priced at a whopping 9,900,000 Thai Baht (approx. $284,200). As the saying goes, fake it until you make it.