Next Generation MR2 is a True Roadster

15 October 1999
  • True, two-seat sports roadster
  • Mid-engined, rear wheel drive for maximum driving enjoyment
  • Lightweight and powerful 1.8-litre 16v VVT-i engine
  • Best power to weight ratio in its class
  • Sparkling performance, low fuel consumption

The latest generation Toyota MR2 is a no-compromise roadster designed to excite true sports car enthusiasts. It is fun to drive, good to look at and affordable to own.

Like all the best roadsters the new Toyota MR2 combines traditional sports car characteristics with modern engineering. It draws on the legend of two, highly successful previous generations of MR2 to create a new, modern style for the 21st century. For the first time in its 14 year history, the MR2 is now a full soft top roadster with manual folding fabric roof.

The new Toyota MR2 retains its mid-engined, rear wheel drive format for precise handling, with excellent stability and balance. But it is also lightweight – Toyota engineers have used the very latest technology to cut weight and boost performance. The MR2’s 1.8-litre 16v engine has Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (VVT-i) for maximum mid-range torque and superb top-end power, with the best fuel consumption in its class.


The MR2 is a sports car with striking looks. The basic characteristics are its long wheelbase, short overhangs and strong horizontal line, accentuated by the dramatic air scoop for the engine. The body is short (3885mm) relative to the wheelbase (2450mm) which increases responsiveness and the low centre of gravity, wide track and long wheelbase also give it stability.

The interior is comfortable but clearly sporting. The leather trimmed, three spoke sports steering wheel and bucket seats create the ideal driving environment. The dashboard is clean, simple and the race car instrumentation is clear to read.

But drivers will not find MR2 lacking in convenience. Power steering, power windows and remote control central locking are among the items that will be offered as standard equipment. An engine immobiliser and, for the UK, double ‘deadlocking’ will help make the desirable MR2 highly thief proof.

Air conditioning and a factory developed, detachable hard-top will also be on the equipment list.


Safety has been a key consideration in the design of the new Toyota MR2. Thanks to its mid-ship engine layout, MR2 shows the best weight distribution which together with lightweight platform contributes to excellent braking performance. On top of that, disc brakes for positive, fade-free and rapid braking are standard front and rear.

Anti-lock braking, with electronic brake force distribution will be standard. So will driver and passenger airbags. The seat belts are pre-tensioned with force limiters to reduce the risk of chest injury in the event of an accident.


Purposeful, agile, technically advanced – new Toyota MR2 is powered by a sophisticated 1.8-litre, 16v VVT-i engine developing 138bhp at 6,400rpm and maximum torque of 127lb.ft at 4,400rpm. Thanks to its low body weight (less than 1000 kg), new MR2 is targeted to have the best power-to-weight ratio in its class and performance to match.

The Toyota MR2 Roadster will hit 62mph from rest in just 7.9 seconds and has a top speed, where allowed, of 130mph. The precise five-speed manual gearbox has a slick, positive action to allow the driver to make the most of this exciting car’s performance.

Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (VVT-i) delivers power where it’s needed most – at high engine speeds – and torque throughout the rev range, making the new MR2 Roadster easy and relaxing to drive. But the power comes without a penalty in fuel consumption. On the combined EU cycle, MR2 will return around 37mpg – the most fuel-efficient car in its class and with exhaust emissions reduced to match.

The new MR2 is also equipped with Toyota Direct Ignition – individual computer controlled coils acting directly onto the spark plugs – which improve ignition timing, cut harmful emissions and reduce service costs. Toyota Direct Ignition means there is no distributor to be maintained and no ignition timing to be reset.


The suspension design calls upon Toyota’s long experience with mid-engined sports cars and has been developed to offer a firm, agile, but comfortable ride that keeps the car stable and true. The rear suspension is a new, dual link, strut design which has been engineered for stability and light weight. The front suspension uses MacPherson struts, optimised and re-engineered to suit the mid-engined, rear wheel drive weight balance and characteristics.

Stylish, 15-inch alloy wheels are standard equipment with 185/55R tyres at the front and 205/50R at the rear.


The new Toyota MR2 Roadster will go on sale across Europe in March of next year.

Like all new Toyotas in the UK, it will be backed by a three year/60,000 mile warranty, six year paint warranty and a 12-year, anti-perforation bodywork warranty.


Download this release as a PDF below

Next Generation MR2 is a True Roadster

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