Nostalgic Wednesday: Toyota MR2 (SW20)

It’s been a while, so here I am; wondering what Japanese nostalgic car I can write about. Writing Nostalgic Wednesday religiously is like a pastor preparing his Sunday sermon. First is I have to have good memory, so I won’t repost topics that I’ve already covered. Second is that I have to be somewhat credible. Even though most of what I write are based on my opinions and little knowledge, I have to be careful on what I post. Lastly, and I think is the hardest, is that I have to think of a car to talk about that has not really been covered in any other blogs. With that said, today’s post will be something awesome, something that not everyone really knows about. Today’s Nostalgic Wednesday will be about the Toyota SW20 MR2.

(troll face)

Ah yes, The SW20 chasis was dubbed the “poor man’s Ferrari”, because of it’s resemblance to the F355. What makes the SW20 chasis so special? Everyone and their mamas know someone who drives one and It was in Initial D and F&F. But this is not your typical MR2; this humble sport-compact was modified by Sigma Advanced Research Development, popularly known as SARD, and it was called the MC8-R.

The MC8-R is an MR2 with a longer mono-steel frame and kevlar body, it was fitted with a twin-turbo V8 1UZ-FE (found in the Celsior/LS400)  producing 600hp @ 7k rpm. It was built to compete in the 24 LeMans GT1 series. It was quick but competition was quicker.

The MC8-R was against the Porsche 911 GT1, McLaren F1, Dodge Viper, and Merc CLK-GTR. Even it didn’t touch the podium, nor finished a race, I personally think it’s one of the sexiest entries by Toyota. Later on the MC8-R was replaced by the Toyota GT-One.

One of the GT1 rules is that the competing car has to have a homologation special, Inorder for the MC8 to comply, SARD built 1(ONE!) road version. There are rumors that it was sold to a private colector here in the US. Is it in a collectors warehouse? a forgotten barn? It’s a cold case that needs to be revived. Does anyone know the where this rare Japanese racing artifact is?

Here’s a picture of the unicorn; If you do have information about the whereabouts of this car, please do let us know; the MR2 family misses her.

-Mark-
mark@maydaygarage.com

2,796 thoughts on “Nostalgic Wednesday: Toyota MR2 (SW20)

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