SP Rides: Mid-Engine Rocketship
BY MICHAEL KITCHENS
Name: Vlad G.
Hobbies: Cars, dogs, Transformers collecting
Year, Make, Model: 1991 Toyota MR2
Color: Rally Blue Pearl
Engine: JDM Gen 3 Turbo Motor Swap, Upgraded sidemount intercooler, ATS Racing GT3071R Turbo kit, Berk Exhaust
Exterior: Aeroware Front lip, Greddy Sideskirts, Autopista Style rear wing, Border Style Roof Spoiler, Carbon Fiber front diffuser, Carbon Fiber side sills, Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser
Suspension: KW Coilovers
Interior: Sparco Torino Seats, AEM Electronics (Boost Gauge/Air Fuel Ratio Gauge)
Wheels, Brakes, Tires: 17-inch Advan Kreuzer Series V Wheels, Wilwood front big brake kit, Yokohama S Drive Tires, SSR Lugnuts
Vlad G. has been an import enthusiast since college. Having owned both a Honda Prelude and an M3, he’s flirted between the basics to the luxury. Even now, along with this gorgeous 1991 Toyota MR-2, he also owns a Honda NSX, so he’s no stranger to the import game.
However, what better car to have than this throwback to that magical time of the early to mid-90’s, when juggernauts like the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota Supra, and the Honda NSX were blowing people’s minds. The Toyota MR-2 is right up there…often touted as having the performance and styling of a Ferrari, except in an affordable package. MR-2 allegedly stands for Mid-engine, Rear-wheel drive, 2 doors…a combination that essentially means it’s a blast to drive.
And that’s what it feels like for Vlad to drive this baby. Purchased in July 2016, it’s a car that commands your focus but rewards it with gusto. The entire car is lacquered in Rally Blue paint…like a bolt of blue lightning, this ride really pops. It’s sleek lines, although designed in the 90’s, are practically timeless. Functional vents and the indentations in the body spell out the fact that it means business.
For Vlad, it was important to keep the classic bodylines as a tribute to the original throwback to its origins but this version of the MR-2 still sports a set of body embellishments that add that extra something-something…the Greddy sideskirts, Border style roof spoiler and Aeroware front are subtle additions that pay major dividends. From the carbon fiber front diffuser to the side sills and rear diffuser, the underbody looks phenomenal set against the gorgeous blue paint. The Autopista Style rear wing enhances the rear deck lid, while twin Berk exhausts absolutely pop amidst the carbon fiber of the diffuser.
When it comes to the wheels, Vlad opted to make a statement with white-faced 17” Advan Kreuzer Series V Wheels clad in Yokohama S Drive Tires and held in-place with SSR lug nuts. The car rides low and static thanks to the KW coil-overs. Yes, G. is always on-watch for the infamous deep ditch driveway, but he’s done well to keep the car in one-piece thus far.
Power-wise, this ride is a step beyond from the factory and features a JDM Gen 3 motor swap. The ATS Racing GT3071R Turbo kit adds an additional amount of get up and go that’s kept cool thanks to the upgraded side-mount intercooler. Boost and Air/Fuel mix are monitored thanks to the AEM Electronics as well just in case something were to be amiss.
However, that’s definitely not the case for Vlad….he’s pleased with the way this build came out. In fact, this beauty took the 90’s Car of the Festival at the most recent Wekfest. How’s that for a statement? Not bad for a little rocketship.