Weekly Treasure: 1986 Toyota MR2 Supercharged

For Sale / 9 Comments

The icing on the cake: it's the JDM version.

It's a shame Toyota can't find a place for a reborn MR2 in its lineup. Even if it did happen, we highly doubt it'd be called MR2 because the name will soon no longer be appropriate. "MR2" stands for "Mid-ship, rear-wheel-drive, 2-seater. The issue is with "midship" as internal combustion is on its way out. Full-on electrification is the new name of the game and it wouldn't make financial sense for Toyota to devote time and resources into developing a niche sports car with a gasoline-fueled engine. An all-electric sports car slotted below the Toyota GR 86 is a possibility, but it'd be no MR2.

Launched in 1984, the MR2 lasted for three generations, all of which were sold in the US. The first-gen model has been receiving greater attention as it achieves collectors' status. Thanks to its excellent suspension, which Lotus helped engineer, lightweight body, and 4A-GE 1.6-liter inline-four engine, the MR2 proved Toyota could build an affordable sports car.

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Rated initially at 112 horsepower, it quickly became apparent extra oomph was necessary and Toyota agreed. In 1986, a supercharged engine was introduced with 145 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 62 mph happened in around 6.5 seconds. Curb weight increased from 2,094 pounds to 2,494 pounds but the improved performance was worth it. Engineers also gave the supercharged MR2 stiffer springs and the engine cover featured a pair of raised vents, though only one was actually functional.

Supercharged models, sold only in the US and Japan, were further distinguished from the base version with the words "Super Charger" on the doors and rear trunk. Supercharged models are highly sought after as the second-and third-generation MR2s were either naturally aspirated or turbocharged.

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Stock examples can sometimes be a little difficult to find but they're out there and prices are rising. If you're looking for a truly special one then look no further than this 1986 JDM version. It's currently up for sale at JDM Sport Classics with an asking price of $19,995. Around $10k more could also get you a new 86 but going old school, in this case, will earn you enthusiast status.

Painted in two-tone white and gray with a gray interior, this little fun machine has 44,261 verified miles and a five-speed manual gearbox. The listing doesn't mention any modifications, though a previous owner installed a set of BBS wheels. This is purist driving at its best that won't break the bank.

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