Toyota makes the best-selling RAV4 crossover, the reliable Camry, and the frugal Prius. However, it’s also produced many of the most iconic Japanese sportscars, some of which are now dead. One of those is the MR2, a mid-engined toy that kicked the bucket in 2007, and an innovative builder found a way to make it relevant again by installing a GT 86 body kit, earning the unique hash #MR86.
At first glance, this looks interesting just because it’s a convertible. Some 86 fans wished to have it or the Subaru BRZ as an open-top car. It would obviously make a better rival for the Mazda MX-5, and Toyota did make a prototype, the FT-86 Open Concept, but it was hit with delays and eventually canceled in 2013.
So is this just a Copart 86 (wrecked) that’s been chopped, perhaps by the crazy kids over at the NATS school? No. It’s something completely different.
Although we’re not sure it’s the exact same car, this project can be dated back to 2018. Back then, the MR86 was red, and there was still plenty to talk about. The front end of the 86 or an FRS, whatever you want to call it, had been grafted onto one of the most underappreciated mid-engined sports cars.
Codenamed the W30 and built between 1999 to 2007, this is the third generation of the MR2. They called it the Spyder in America and the Roadster in Europe, but this is the Japanese model, and it’s called the MR-S over there.
It’s amazing how well the parts fit considering these aren’t exactly related. The FRS/86 is a front-engined, RWD sports coupe powered by a Subaru engine. The MR-S, meanwhile, was motivated by a 1.8-liter Toyota engine producing about 140 horsepower. It wasn’t slow, especially not in the context of the 86.
But the MR2 was about 3 inches narrower than its modern counterpart, which is why the fenders look flared out. From the side, it’s quite similar to a Porsche Boxster for this reason. And the 86 also has 5 inches of extra wheelbase.
Nowadays, the MR86 resides with a keen Japanese driver, @meromeromeros, who likes to drive it hard. Its blue, but retains its red bucket seats. Or who knows, there could be two of them.