Perhaps the two greatest strengths of the Toyota MR2 Spyder is its exceptional balance and light weight. Very few cars offer the shear joy that the Spyder does. In fact, owners often call this feeling permagrim and rightfully so. It is hard to exit one of these cars without a huge grin on your face.
When tuning the MR2, it is very important to not only pay attention to the weight of the car but also to the weight distribution. The Spyder is a mid-engined rear wheel drive (mr) car with a slight rearward weight bias. This makes the car extremely nimble and responsive but is also one of the contributing factors to snap-oversteer. Snap-oversteer is inherent in the mid-engine design and is characterized by the car being hard to correct when the rear end steps out. Because of the low polar moment, a mid-engine car will “snap” into a slide when the limits of adhesion are exceeded. This “snap” is a lot less forgiving than the slower power over a front engine, rear wheel drive (fr) platform experiences. If not corrected quickly, the driver of a (mr) car becomes a casual observer during the “snap” while the rear end of the car (where the weight bias is) decides that it wants to be the front. Put another way, a mid-engine car driven at the 9/10’s will make you a honest driver very quickly.
With this in mind, I will be weighing the components that I remove, add and replace on the MR2. Below is a chart of the weights as well as whether they add/remove weight from the front, mid or rear. Also note that some of the items may or may not be present on my car and will be noted on the chart. (I have weighed additional components that you may or may not want to remove) In the end the weight bias of the Spyder will shift to a true 50/50 balance or to a slight front bias. This will make the car much easier to push to the limit at the track.
Note: The chart below catalogs project MR2 Spyder in race trim. Items such as the spare and tools are added back to the car for daily driving.
MR2 Spyder Starting Weight: 2195 lbs
|Spare Tire||Front||24.6 lbs||(-) 24.6 lbs|
|Spare Tools||Mid||7 lbs||(-) 7 lbs|
|Relocating the spare tools to the frunk (front trunk) in the spare compartment moves 7 lbs from the mid to the front.|
|Spare Lid||Front||2.4 lbs||(-) 2.4 lbs|
|Frunk Trim||Front||1.6 lbs||(-) 1.6 lbs|
|Spare Tub w/ Bracket||Front||7.4 lbs||(-) 7.4 lbs|
|TRD Front Strut Bar||Front||5.2 lbs||(+) 5.2 lbs|
|Engine Diaper||Rear||1.8 lbs||(-) 1.8 lbs|
|Front Lower Braces (Factory)||Front||2.5 lbs||(-) 2.5 lbs|
|Che’s Lower Chassis Brace||Front||2.5 lbs||(+) 2.5 lbs|
|Rear Lower Chassis Braces||Rear||1.8 lbs||(+) 1.8 lbs|
|Engine Cover||Rear||2 lbs||(-) 2 lbs|
|Stock CAI Tubes (From Intake Box to Vent)||Rear||2 lbs||(-) 2 lbs|
|Stock Rear X-Brace||Rear||1.2 lbs||(-) 1.2 lbs|
|The X-Brace is a structural member and should only be removed to make way for an aftermarket unit such as the TRD rear strut tower brace.|
|TRD Rear Strut Brace||Rear||7.6 lbs||(+) 7.6 lbs|
|Storage Doors||Mid||5.8 lbs||(-) 5.8 lbs|
|Rear Battery Removal (With Tray)||Rear||29.4 lbs||(-) 29.4 lbs|
|Odyssey Battery and Mount||Front||14.8 lbs||(+) 14.8 lbs|
|Removing the factory battery removes weight from the rear and then a portion of the weight is added back to the front with the install of the Odyssey battery.|
|Power Steering Removal||Front||9.4 lbs (+ fluid)||(-) 9.4 lbs|
|Wind Deflector||Mid||1.6 lbs||(-) 1.6 lbs|
|Soft Top Tray||Mid||2.8 lbs||(-) 2.8 lbs|
|Storage Bay Side Trim||Mid||.2 lbs||(-) .2 lbs|
MR2 Spyder Current Weights:
- Daily Trim: 2159.0 lbs
- Race Trim: 2125.2 lbs
More to come.