From 1984 through 1990, the Toyota MR2 MKI was offered in naturally-aspirated (NA) form, model years 1985 to 1989. The supercharged MR2 was offered in model years 1988 and 1989 only.
Car started out with a 4 cylinder, 1.6 liter engine producing 112hp/99lb-ft.
- Black bumpers, side molding, and optional rear spoiler
- Two different clutch sizes. 0684 was the cutoff manufacturing month/year. pre- was 200mm, and post was 212mm.
- Automatic Climate Control on all models.
- Three spoke alloy rims.
- Front and rear sway bars (giving early models a tad less understeer than the later models). Rear sway bar is 10mm diameter.
- Blue top engine (smaller main journals, smaller piston pins, non-reinforced block, pintle-style injectors),
- No side skirts (used little triangles)
- Seats with color keyed center sections (red, gray, blue, etc) and "shoulder pads"
- Two spoke steering wheel
- Simple console and interior trim panels
- No rear speakers
- Simple intake system for the engine
- Small brakes
- Simple tail lamps (non-spoiler models had no third brake light)
- Rubber front airdam (black)
- Hardtop and sunroof cars available (sunroofs have no dot pattern in the blackout paint).
- Green "Handling by Lotus" badge on left rear of trunk lid
There are some 1986MY cars with the rear sway bar. Toyota discontinued the sway bar for 1986, but it appears that Toyota installed the parts until they were used up. First the sway bars ran out, then strut carriers with end-link tabs on one side of the car ran out (so some cars only had a strut tab on one side of the car), then the latest cars have neither tabs nor bar. So if you have an '86, you can have either a sway bar, no sway bar and both tabs, one tab, or no tabs (depending on how late your car was manufactered in the manufacturing year). If you have a 1986MY MR2, leave your production number, date, and what (if any) rear sway bar equipment your car originally came with on the Mk I Change By Year discussion page so we can attempt to pin down the cutoff dates for the rear sway bar equipment.
It should also be noted that all overseas production cars had rear sway bars in every model year. Only American 1986-1988 + 1989 NA cars did not have the rear bar.
- Color keyed bumpers and molding.
- Third brake light added.
- Mirrors still black.
- Chrome exhaust tips (option?)
- Fiberglass ground effects (side skirts) on rocker panels added to replace black plastic triangle in front of rear wheels on previous models along with color coded mud flaps was a new option.
- Rear sway bar removed although the mounting brackets remain on the original rear struts on all but the latest '86 models.
- Automatic Climate Control became an option.
- Rear defroster wires changed (to accommodate third brake light in non-spoiler equipped models).
- "TOYOTA" printed on top of front bumper.
- The "bird" was added to the rear bumper.
- Rear clear "Toyota" spoiler
- Sunroofs have dots on the blackout paint
- Leather seat option.
- Rear tail lights slightly modified (integrated reflector is square rather than round). <--Applies to UK models. In 1987 the US tailights received a makeover.
- Emergency brake moved to right side.
- New Door panels.
- Rear speakers added to top of "B" (?) pillar (above and behind occupant's heads).
- Ashtray moved from front of console to left of console.
- Radio goes double-din.
- Center dash vent changed. No thumb wheel to close off flow from vent
- Air vent on right side changed from a flush, two sectional, horizontal slotted opening to a protruding, single section, vertical slotted opening.
- Entire Air intake system changed, with the air intake starting from the side vent wrapping around the back to a trunk-mounted filter, then on to an airflow meter mounted lower in the engine bay.
- Brake rotors are enlarged.
- Front fascia (air dam & valence) changed to be lower and jut farther forward (?).
- "Bird" on rear bumper smaller than previous year.
- Instrument cluster (markings) changed.
- T-top option available.
- Automatic Climate Control dropped for different heat controls.
- Radio options were changed.
- The Steering wheel was changed from two spokes to three, and also had a smaller diameter. The center reads "MR2" rather than "TOYOTA".
- New alloy rims that were the same as the 1987 Corolla FX GTS. (Many Toyota distributers added the "basketweave" alloys however)
- Stripper versions now available with cheap seats and carpet, no skirts, wings, or aluminum wheels
- Perforations added to the leather seats
- A lock was added on the glovebox door
- Holding rod for bin between the seats
- A single-colored velour fabric was used from 1987 forward on all but the stripped versions
- Front strut tower bar standard
- Radio antenna was moved to the rear quarter panel versus the roof for T-top cars and Sunroof cars.
- Mid 87: Changes to 4A-GE to increase it strength (aka the 4A-GE received the 4A-GZE block)
- Mid 87: Used new C-52 Transmission which was stronger compared to C-50.
- Late 87: The words on top of the valve covers were reversed to be read while standing at the back of the vehicle.
- Exhaust pipe interference on 1102 1985-1987 models.
- Supercharged engine option introduced, increasing engine output to 145hp.
- T-tops standard on SC models.
- All SCs had color-coded mirrors and an engine cover with a large raised grill for cooling.
- New "teardrop" alloy rims for the SC
- All NAs have black mirrors.
- Normally aspirated engine now produces 115hp/100lb-ft.
Last year of production in the USA, the 1989 model year cars were sold until March of 1990.
- All Models had mirrors color coded.
- Third brake light changed to LEDs integrated into the spoiler.
- Door handles color coded.
- Rear sway bar added to SCs. (Note that the brackets for the late model rear sway bar are different than the early model and will not interchange. The bars and bushings are the same.) Rear sway bar diameter is 11mm for manual transmission and 12mm for automatic transmission cars.
- Larger Brake Master Cylinder
- New AM/FM/Cassette head unit