Over the years there have been some pretty incredible cars to modify, from the Escort Cosworth to the Lamborghini Aventador. One of the most popular cars for the modern car guy is the Mazda MX5. But we are all forgetting the undeniably cool Toyota MR2 mk2.
It’s not even just the looks of this car, or the fact you can turn it into a Ferrari with a body kit and some parts off eBay. It’s literally one of the coolest, most underrated cars to modify in today’s society.
In this article I will try and explain what makes the MR2 a perfect platform, why it is so cool, what kind of modifications and what a well stanced example looks like. If you’re interested in showing off your love for the MR2, check out the merch below.
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The mk2 MR2 was an absolute icon for me back in the days of Gran Turismo 1 and 2. I always had to buy one. Just something about the sleek design and the pop up headlights made this car stand out to me.
As I got older and other sleek looking cars started to come out, like the Ford Probe, it started to drift from my memory and nowadays if you see an MR2 it’s probably in its extreme rarity. There just aren’t that many about anymore. But what makes it so cool?
If you don’t like the idea of a low Center of gravity or a mid engine, low weight little sports car, then your nuts. These little pocket rockets might not have had all the power but their power to weight and balance really allowed these cars to become brilliant little track cars.
What really makes these special though is the amount you can tune and modify one, from the engines to the body work. They really are brilliant projects and track cars with bags of personality.
Have you ever heard of a Ferrari replica? Did you know the majority of replicas are made on the chassis of the MR2? These cars were found to be the perfect platform to transform them into a sheep in wolves clothing. But unlike the Ferrari they were replicating, they didn’t have the noise or power, but still fool anyone who sees one.
Not only can you transform it into a fake Ferrari but with mild modifications of bigger wheels or body kits, these cars can really stand out from the crowd (not like they don’t in today’s world). How many times a week do you see an MR2?
If transforming the outside isn’t enough for you and you think the engine bay needs a bit of an upgrade, the great thing is these cars are perfect engine swap projects. People have been known to stick in supercharged v6’s / v8’s and even the more modern Audi inline 5 turbo charged beast, giving it massive power to weight ratio.
So if you’re really looking to increase the power the possibilities are endless.
Besides doing a crazy engine swap and fiddling with air filters and such, you can always look into keeping your 2.0 liter lump but adding turbo / supercharger power. This might be a bit more tricky to play around with and there will need to be a lot more supporting mods to consider.
Personally I’d love a v6 mr2 with a turbo running big PSI, although it can be pricey the MR2 really does benefit from the bigger power output to the weight distribution.
The most common swap for an MR2 would be to drop a K series in the back. Honda engines are incredible for power and for nice and snug in the back of an MR2. If you need to find somewhere to take your car to get swapped out, try Slide Motorsport if you’re in the UK, they do a lot of custom build work and always put the customer first.
Other than crazy power, turning it into a fake Ferrari or anything else, these are just great looking cars, so to run an MR2 as a first project makes sense because no matter what you do they just look good.
If you’re considering buying one and you want a sick Stance, try dropping it on Coilovers or Air Ride, then throw on some Rotiforms and you will have created an absolute head turner.
It’s not just about wheels and coilovers though, there are people out there that have gone the whole length of mods by custom building wide arches with super wide wheels and spacers. To get this kind of look takes time and patience and a lot of fibre glass, but the end result will blow your mind.
These cars are probably the one to look out for if you are thinking about a first, second, third or fifteenth project car, because of their versatility and their natural stance. Combine that with the fact you don’t see many will mean you will stand out from the Ford Fiestas at the next meet.
Dare to be different, with the car modifiers across the UK, there are a lot of commonly modified cars, Ford Fiesta, VW Golf, Audi A3. Don’t get me wrong, they are all fantastic cars, but sometimes you just see that many of them they don’t feel special anymore.
So what’s wrong with a little indifference? Stand out, be different, even if people don’t get the vision, they will do when your completed. That’s a lie, you never complete a project car.
But there is nothing wrong with getting something totally unique. So what are you waiting for, get out there buy a used rust bucket and turn it into some gold, just like Alex did with Phil on Car Throttle.
Share the love and car creating something that showcases your personality.
Founder of Boost And Camber