In 1999 the new MR2 was finally released in Japan. Throughout the world it will have different names: in Japan it's the MR-S, in the UK it's the MR2 Roadster, in France it's the MR, in the rest of Europe it's the MR2 and in the USA it's the MR2 Spyder.
Toyota New Zealand released the MR-S at the end of 2000/beginning of 2001, and was be priced to compete with the Mazda MX5 (roughly $40K). The model chosen for NZ was the 5 speed Sequential Manual Transmission (or SMT). This uses an automatic clutch that takes the load off the drivers left leg, but all gears are still selected manually from either the gearstick or buttons on the steering wheel. In 2003 the SMT transmision was upgraded to a 6 speed transmision.
In the US, the SMT was not available until 2002 and was available with five forward ratios only for 2002 (as a $780 option). 2003-2005 model years had a 6-speed sequential manual as a $1,000 option. The C56 five-speed transmission was the standard transmission option and no automatic was offered.
The 2003 model year brought minor changes for all markets to the front grill, intake scoops, rear grill insert, and various bracing was added. In 2004 more bracing was added.
- Pre-Cat Failure
- Chassis Codes
- Changes by Year (history)
- Facts and Figures
- Brochures -- scanned brochure images