1 Oct 1987
By CHRIS HARRIS
TOYOTA surprised and delighted the motoring world when it unveiled its MR2 (Midship Runabout 2-seater) on the world market in 1984.
Australians had to wait three years – October 1987 – to receive what many pundits called a modern and better version of the 1972-1991 Fiat X1-9 that clearly inspired it.
The similarities with the Italian car were undeniable – in profile and proportion, in the mid-mounted engine, and in the two-seater layout.
A high-revving 1587cc 1.6-litre DOHC 16V 4AGE four-cylinder engine produced 88kW of power at 6600rpm and 139Nm of torque at 5000rpm, delivered to the rear wheels via a slick-shifting five-speed manual gearbox.
Equipment levels included power windows, central locking, electric mirrors, alloy wheels and a decent radio/cassette player.