The Toyota MR2 is a two-seat, mid-engined, rear wheel drive sports car produced by Toyota, from 1984 until 2007. This third generation MR2 produced from 2000 to 2007 was designed to be small yet sporty. Designed inspired by Porsche Boxster (as many claimed), this MR2 has names like MR-S in Japan (right hand drive), MR2 Spyder in United States and MR2 Roadster in Europe. It is also the only Toyota MR2 generation to not be sold in Canada. Available in only one engine option with a engine capacity of 1794cc four cylinder producing 138hp. It can accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 6.8sec. In addition to the 5-speed manual transmission, a 5-speed or 6-speed Sequential Manual Transmission was also available starting in 2002.
AUTOart makes some of the iconic and legendary cars; this is one of the greatest examples. The 1:18 scale replica is quite a stunner even in this silver. The Boxster like headlamps and the huge front grill is very detailed and the pattern is smart. The front bonnet also houses two-washer outlet to blow water onto the windshield. The front windshield is clear and the rear view mirror is a kind of smart and wide. The wash viper is detailed well and the dimension is done to a near perfection.
Being a sliver gray color car the gaps are expected and they show up well in the ¾ angle. As in the real car the multi piece bodywork is evident in the model’s details. The compact dimension of this car is so obvious in its profile view. The fuel cap and the door handle and very nice examples of attention to details but the air intake grill is the eye grabber. Alloys and the disc brake caliper as usual are great and the Toyota logo in the center of the alloy scores very low for its size and the detailing.
As I spin this guy around the rear end sprigged out to be a simple yet stylish part of the whole model. Being a mid-engined sports car, the expectation is high and the AUTOart gives you a treat. The engine cover with the ventilation and the stoplight is top notch. The plastic bumper which also houses the huge grill and the license plate in the middle is a cherry on the top of the icing, one expectation though is a real licence plate with some fancy numbers would take these diecast to an all new level of realism.
The doors open wide and clearly reveals the super efficient hinge driving it. The wider open means you get to see more of the interior and gives a more real car like feel and looks deadly on any case. The doors are not spring loaded as is in many other models and the swivel is also smooth. The door cladding is molded with a recess, which makes it shut flush and gives a clear shutline inside out.
The seats and the upholstery are done in yellow and beige color combination; the finish is kind of leathery and feels like a real seats. The model also gets seat belts that are made of nylon with a chrome buckle which adds a little woom but the dimension is a little on the larger side. The yellow shade steals the eyes but it’s the beige leathery finish just takes your brain by storm.
The door also gets beige color inserts matching the color of the seat trim, which encourages you to touch and enjoy the premium feel. The chrome plated lock levers are nothing but cleaver addition to reach the next level of perfection. The marketing guys at AUTOart keep hiking price and the crafters keep hiking the quality to match the price jump. The huge door handle is nice and chunky.
And now you know what a wide open doors can do to your interiors; they bring in more light, attracts even more eyes than usual, shows more detail on the carpet and paddle. With the door out of the way and the camera lens right on target (for the steering and the instrument) what would you expect from a model that costs less than 2K? plasticky interiors, rough edges or even a missing part but unfortunately none in this Toyota. All you get is detailed interior though in black plastic and aluminum coated paddles.
On deeper digging of the interior I found the few more interesting bits and pieces here and there worth mentioning. The center console is one gorgeous piece of interior where everything is just right for the air con knobs to the stereo system. The air bag and the glove box lines are nice and look real. The gear stick is sized well but lacks the gear markings on the top, the hand brake lever with the chrome tip worth a mention as well.
The truck opens up to reveal the engine bay and the almost engine, as the engine access is provided from the rear the front air box doubles up as a storage compartment for the spare wheel and the nick nacks.
The engine is kind of hidden and the access to the vital is provided through the narrow bay which got me into lot of trouble while photographing, almost after 10 shots got this one showing a little bit of the engine and cam cover with the “VVT-i” text a little clear. The rear access’s 30% is utilized by the radiator making the engine access more difficult. The engine itself is a showpiece even though is mostly hidden, thanks to the aluminum engine block, black crafted parts and the white and red battery pack. The supporting links for the engine is also nice and works the magic of enlighting the bay.
When I opened the front hood I was disappointed a little as there aren’t much to please your eyes. The all black molded plastic covering entire area is the worst part of this model as well as the real car but the diecaster should not blamed for this. It would have been a game shifter if the front luggage compartment (sealed) is operable! The logo and badge engrave deserves a bravo here…
The showstopper of this Toyota MR-S scale model as per my opinion is the tires along with the alloy. It gets high scores and steals my heart for one reason “DETAILS” the tried pattern, “POTENZA” and the “BRIDGESTONE” engrave are marvelous. The alloy also plays its role quite nicely enhancing the overall aesthetics.
Before slipping onto the conclusion I must leave a personal note “This is the first AUTOart model and the first premium diecast scale model, which also ignited the thrust for more premium model and love at first sight” then why did this review has been posponded so long? My Kodak point & shoot is good but not so good in taking close-up shots. Now with my new Nikon DSLR I can shoot anything as I see it.
This is one long dragon tail review I know because I tried to show you guy what it feels in my hands so that it is easy for you to visualize. So the rating is four and a half stars for the finish and details which it sports and full five starts for cost and stand till attitude.