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MR2 Spyder History

The MR2 is a mid-engine, two-seat, rear wheel drive car. Toyota began production on this sports car in 1984. Sales of the car stopped in North American in 2005, but production continued in Sagamihara, Japan until July of 2007.

MR2 actually stands for “Midship Runabout 2-seater”. The origin of the name of the car comes from the fact that the car has a mid-engine rear-drive configuration, and only has 2 seats. There are many different variations of the names’ origin which include:

  • “Midship Racer 2 seater”
  • “Midship Runabout 2-seater”
  • “Mid engined, Runabout, 2 seater”
  • “Mid engined, Rear drive, 2 seater”
  • “Midship-engine, Rear-wheel drive, 2 seater”

Three generations of the car appeared during the 22 year production period. These generations include:

  • First generation (MKI) AW10/AW11 (1984-1989)
  • Second generation (MKII) SW20/SW21/SW22 (1990-1999)
  • Third generation (MKIII) ZZW30 (2000-2007)

This information was taken from Wikipedia

First generation (W10; 1984–1989)

1st Generation Toyota MR2

1st Generation Toyota MR2

Photo Credit
Toyota introduced the first-generation MR2 in 1984, designating it the model code “W10“. When fitted with the 1.5-liter 3A engine, it was known as the “AW10”. Likewise, the 1.6-liter 4A version is identified by the “AW11” code.

Second generation (W20; 1989–1999)

1994 Toyota MR2 Spyder1st Generation

1994 Toyota MR2 Spyder Second Generation

Photo Credit: Nbvolks
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The MR2 went through a redesign in 1989 (though North America did not receive them until late 1990 as 1991 models). The new car was larger, weighed 350 to 400 pounds (160 to 180 kg) more than its predecessor and received more rounded, streamlined styling.

Third generation (W30; 1999–2007)

Toyota MR2 Spyder Third Generation

Toyota MR2 Spyder Third Generation

Photo Credit: Daniel J. Leivick
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The third-generation MR2 was marketed as the Toyota MR-S in Japan, Toyota MR2 Spyder in the US, and the Toyota MR2 Roadster in Europe.
The newest MR2 took a different approach than its predecessor, most obviously becoming a convertible and receiving the ‘Spyder‘ marketing nomenclature.