Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mid Engine Madness: 1988 Toyota MR2 Supercharged

Words and Tip by Andy L: Let me extol the virtues of this rare 1988 Supercharged MR2.  Finding this much awesome in such a small package for such a low price is highly unusual, as many of you already know. For us mortals, a good mid-engined sports car is difficult to obtain.  Sure, you can get your hands on a Fiero pretty easily, but they never really lived up to their performance potential.  The balancing wasn't right until their final production year and they weren't really fast, even by the standards of the day.  The Fiat X1/9 was a little porky and really under-powered. Enter the MR2.  Find this 1988 Toyota MR2 Supercharged offered for $4,000 in Omaha, NE via craigslist.

Met with praise, these were quality vehicles that were a little faster than the Poncho and Fiat.  In 1988, the MR2 was fitted with a supercharged engine that dropped its 0-60 time down to 6.5 seconds.  Remember, this is V8 pony car country for the mid '80s.  If you wanted to go faster in a mid-engined car, you would need to pay for a prancing horse emblem.

Upping the cool factor, the supercharger was engaged via electromagnetic clutch.  Have you ever watched the original Mad Max and drooled over the blower on Max's interceptor that could be engaged and disengaged?  The same thing is happening in the MR2 SC under hard throttle and a LED on the dash indicates when the blower is spinning.  You'll also know by the seat of your pants.  It has been said that the MR2-SC could match the Ferrari F40 from 0-30 MPH. True or not, if this 100K mi. example lives up to its billing; put down your $4K and have a driving experience usually reserved for Grey Poupon crowd.

DT:  Big thanks to Andy for his prose and tip!  See another mid engine runabout for cheap? Send it here:


  1. Nice writing, brother.

    Every time I see and fantasize about one of these in a write-up, it takes my mind about 32 seconds to replace it with a Miata.


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