Part 1: Introducing the Daily Driven, Grip Racing MR2 Spyder.

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Side image of the daily driver mr2 spyder.
Introducing project MR2 Spyder (MR-S), my daily driver. I might as well come clean up front, I wouldn’t want you guys to think I am going soft, or crazy for that matter as the MR2 is not the best choice for a drift platform. It really is simple though, my passion for motorsports extends beyond the world of drifting. Not only do I love drifting, I enjoy auto-x, road racing, rally, time-attack etc… Basically, if it involves car control and turning I’m there with a huge grin on my face. So herein lies my dilemma, project 240sx is becoming more and more a dedicated drift machine (not to mention questionably street legal) and is no longer my cup of tea for grip racing. In order to continue my enjoyment of grip racing, I am adding my daily driver, a 2001 MR2 Spyder 5 speed, to the project car stable at Driftopia.com.

The Spyder is mid-engined, rear wheel drive and weighs a scant 2195 lbs when equipped with a 5-speed. It produces 138 hp from the stock 1zz motor. Earth shattering, no, but this car wasn’t meant to be a drag queen. This car is about the driver and finesse. On the street, this car keeps you honest and rewards the driver with unparalleled input and control. The Spyder hones your skills and smooths your inputs all while safely delivering you to work while maintaining 30 mpg. A tall order for a factory tuned car.

Although the final destination of project MR2 Spyder is not known, one principle will serve as the foundation for the build. The Spyder will be built to push its performance at the track while maintaining full status as a well mannered, daily driven street car. The following are the specs for the MR2 Spyder.

MR2 Spyder (MR-S) (ZZW30) Specs:

  • Engine: (Code 1zz) 1,794 cc, 1.8 liters, in-line 4 with 79 mm bore, 91.5 mm stroke, 10.1:1 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and four valves per cylinder
  • Layout: Mid-engine rear wheel drive
  • Power: 138 HP @ 6,400 rpm; 125 ft lb @ 4,400 rpm
  • Brakes: Four ventilated disc brakes (ABS)
  • Suspension: Independent MacPherson strut front and independent dual-link rear. Stabilizer bar front and rear.
  • Steering: Electronic, variable assist rack and pinion with 13.6:1 steering ratio. (34.2 ft curb-to-curb, 2.6 lock-to-lock)
  • Drag coefficient: .35
  • Weight: 2195 lbs

A few additional pics of Project MR2 Spyder:

Image of the front of project mr2 spyder.
Image of the passenger’s side front quarter of project MR2 Spyder.

Image of the driver’s side front quarter of the MR2 Spyder
Image of the front, driver’s side quarter of project MR2 Spyder.

Image of the rear of the MR2 Spyder.
Image of the rear, passenger’s side quarter of project MR2 Spyder.

By 240am

Chris Simmons is a race car driver, instructor, business owner and all around gearhead. His passion for motorsport started in the drifting community over 10 years ago and progressed into wheel to wheel racing of all kinds. When off track Chris can be found training and working on a myriad of projects. After a hiatus from writing, he is back to share his passion, knowledge and experience in regard to motorsports on and off the track.

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