The Toyota MR2 mk1 and mk2

Its late on a Friday evening, I cant go to the pub since I start work at midnight tonight, so instead I shall write a small post about mk1 Toyota mr2 and a couple comparisons to the mk2.

Bad Value for Money

Not necessarily a bad thing, as the mk1 (sometimes known as the AW11) is much older and further along with becoming a classic car so the value selling on will also be considerably higher. Double your budget of a decent condition n/a sw20 and you can buy yourself a decent little aw11, for that extra money though you get a smaller engine, less power, smaller car in size and fewer luxuries.

Again, this is not a bad thing, if you like a simpler car then you would actually prefer the mk1 in comparison, personally I do prefer the mk1.

Also, with that extra age comes the extra hassle of trying to find a good one, they are definitely getting rare now, many now will have been scrapped or sold off as parts as this usually ends up giving the owner more cash than selling a low condition car or sometimes even fair condition examples as a whole. Having sold less in the first place compared to the mk2’s as well emphasizes this problem.

The problems with rust obviously occurs over time so is something to definitely look out for when looking in to these little cars as even the youngest models are coming up to 30 years old now. Another obvious thing that happens with cars is they generally get higher and higher mileage (although some magically go thousands of miles backwards) This all happens to every car of course, its just facts to point out for people considering the choice of mk vs mk2, with the same budget your money will go further and realistically you shouldn’t expect the same condition from each car

Things the AW11 Does Well

Feedback! A lot of pure feedback. Driving a mk1 mr2 is an amazing experience of what you want a car to feel like when driving, no power steering either so you get a direct response while steering and the need for power steering isn’t that great anyway with little weight over the front wheels so the downside of no power assisted steering is minimized. ABS doesn’t exist either or a turbo so no waiting for boost, its all a very sensitive, accurate and extremely fun drive.

This does not mean the handling is perfect or they are very fast though. In the end, depending on which model you get they weigh around 1100kg, which is very light but for the size and for what you get is actually pretty heavy and although the 1.6 4 cylinder 4age engines is legendary and has great power for its size and age, its only around 126hp.

Being mid engined and one of the first affordable mid-engined cars you could buy there was some “experimenting” with how they achieved this, it does handle extremely well but with a little over steer eventually occurring. By far though the feel of the drive is the best factor of this car and does it better than almost any other car out there.

Different Models?

The main two models were the mk1a and the mk1b. MK1a began in late 1984 and ended in 1987 and the mk1b through to 1989. There are many differences between the two with subtle exterior and interior changes, mechanical changes such as bigger brakes and lower power output on the mk1b.

Engine options, most were all the n/a 4age but there was an option of the 4agze which has a small supercharger to give around 30hp extra. Extremely rare models known as the aw10 did come with a 1.5l engine but the chances of coming across one of them in the UK is extremely small.

The roof came with the same options as the later sw20. A sunroof, t-bar and rarely a complete tin-top.

Modifying Potential

Yes, kind of. Being old the market is slowly disappearing for readily available performance parts, but a good amount still exist, just not as easy as say the sw20 mr2. Everything from brakes, suspension, gearbox, engine or body styling can be found after a search on google.

The biggest point on modification is the legendary engine given to the mr2. Its is the same engine put in the ae86 Corolla which was massively popular to modify. The A-series engine itself was usually in smaller, less powerful forms which is usually not ideal for modifying but clever ways round this like adding forced induction, 20v heads, or the combination of a 7age block are always of creatively increasing power. There will be millions of examples online to people doing these builds starting with the 4age engine.

This was a bit of a random post to build more content on my website but any questions or ideas you can give me, please let me know and i will try my best to help out.

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