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A Guide to Buying and Modifying a Toyota MR2 (SW20)

Toyota MR2 W2

Revving Up Your Ride: A Guide to Buying and Modifying a Toyota MR2 (SW20)

Known sometimes as the W20 or SW20, the Toyota MR2 is a well-liked option among auto fans.
There are a few things to consider before browsing the ads to purchase one, though.
The following are things buyers should watch out for while getting and altering a SW20.


First and foremost, older MR2s frequently suffer from rust. Particularly the sills are vulnerable to rust because of the foam Toyota inserted underneath. Water is absorbed by this foam, which causes the car to deteriorate from the inside out. Be sure to look for bubbling on the external bodywork and under the boot carpet while assessing a prospective MR2.
The cooling system is an additional area to be mindful of. Major hassles can result from system leaks, such as when copper heating hoses split at the brackets and must be replaced by removing the fuel tank and handbrake cable. You should also inspect the radiators and the pipes that connect them to the mid-mounted engine. The MR2’s bleeding procedure is also referred to as “complicated.”

T-Bar Models

Be advised that leaks are a regular problem if you’re thinking about buying a T-bar type with removable roof panels. To avoid internal rain, potential seat staining, and mold growth, all seals should be changed.


Although the MR2 is known for its tendency to snap-oversteer, this shouldn’t be a huge worry. However, oil leaks from a variety of places, including the head gasket and cam cover, might result in alternator failure and a challenging replacement procedure.


Observe for problems specific to turbo models, such as smoke at startup and during rapid acceleration and deceleration. At 3000 rpm, full boost should occur; if it doesn’t, the automobile may have a broken block. The “Hose From Hell,” a tiny pipe in the cooling system, is also prone to blowing up after 100,000 miles and is challenging to fix because of its close proximity to the exhaust manifold.

The factory turbo and internals have a tune range of 280 to 300 horsepower at a “safe” 1 bar of boost. Nevertheless, getting beyond that would necessitate substantial upgrades to the internals and fuel system.


The Toyota MR2 is a fantastic vehicle overall with a lot of promise. But it’s crucial to be aware of any possible difficulties and deal with them before they worsen. An SW20 may be a wonderful addition to any automobile enthusiast’s collection with the right maintenance and care.

Technical Data

DRIVE: 4-cylinder

Displacement: 1998 cm

Power: 129 kw/175 PS at 7000/min;

Maximum torque: 186 Nm at 4800/min

Five-speed transmission;

Rear-wheel drive


Self-supporting steel body with two doors;

Front suspension: Mcpherson struts, tie rods

Rear: longitudinal arms;

Front/rear double wishbones, stabilizers;

Brakes: front/rear discs

Tires: 205/160 R14

SPECIFICATIONS L/W/H: 4180/1700/1240 mm;

Wheelbase: 2400 mm

Empty weight: 1260 kg

Production time: 1989 to 1999;

Number of units: 135,000;

Price (1994): 55,170 marks


Acceleration: 0 to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds;

Top speed: 225 km/h; Consumption: 10.91/100 km


CONDITION 2: 7400 € CONDITION 3: 4500 € CONDITION 4: 2700 € Value development: slightly increasing (Toyota MR2 (w2) model year 1990 to 1994)


Great driving characteristics, low price. The MR2 is an underrated sports car with exotic status.


Electronics and oil problems can be challenging for the young timer, which also lacks the image.


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Published in Start Typedescriptions


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