Toyota MR2 Tyres
- The 1.6 & 1.6 T-bar MR2s fitted 185/60 - 14. The original tyres that were fitted to these cars were Goodyear Eagles for the UK, and Continental Supers or Yokohama 352s in the States, however, these tyres are no longer available in the size 185/60 - 14. We recommend the 185/60 R 14 Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2. This is a fantastic youngtimer tyre in a popular size from its day with fantastic grip when cornering, in wet or dry conditions thanks to its competition based compound and asymmetrical tread pattern.
- The 2.0 GT and its T Bar variation initially fitted a 195/60 - 14 in the front and 205/60 - 14 in the rear. unfortunately, no classic tyre manufacturer currently makes a tyre in the size 205/60 - 14. If you need a 195/60 -14 tyre, however, the 195/60 VR 14 Michelin MXV3-A is a brilliant period-correct tyre that offers both brilliant performance and safety with great longevity as a bonus.
- In 1993, the MR2 moved to 15" wheels and fitted 195/55-15 Tyres on the front and 225/50-15 Tyres on the rear.
- The MR2s from 1998-2002 fitted 185/55 - 15 on the front and 205/50 - 15 on the rear.
- The MR2's from 2003 onwards moved to 16" wheels on the rear, fitting 215/45 R 16 tyres. No classic tyre manufacturers currently make a tyre in this size.
- Unfortunately at the moment we do not have a matching tread pattern for these sizes due to both sizes not being popular classic car sizes as they are rather modern. However the 185/55 R 15 Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2, 195/55 VR 15 Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2, 205/50 VR 15 PIRELLI CINTURATO P7 and the 225/50 VR 15 PIRELLI CINTURATO P7 are all period correct tyres that perform brilliantly, with great grip in all conditions.
- If you are looking for tyre pressures for your classic MR2, check our tyre pressure information below.
Toyota MR2 Recommended Tyres
Tyre Pressures for MR2s
- For all first generation 1.6L MR2s from 1987 onwards we recommend 26psi on the front and 28psi in the rear.
- For all first generation 1.6L MR2s up until 1986 we recommend 26psi on the front and rear
- For second generation MR2s fitting 14" wheels we recommend 28psi on the front and 34psi in the rear.
- For second generation MR2s fitting 15" wheels we recommend 32psi on the front and 36psi in the rear.
For Mk1 Toyota MR2 owners, here is a tire information page from the manual with some useful information.
History of the Toyota MR2
The Toyota MR2 was designed with the vision of combining good fuel economy, and enjoyable driving. The design of the car traces back to 1979 when a testing engineer named Akio Yoshida was experimenting with alternate engine locations. He crafted a mid-engine prototype named SA-X in 1981. From that initial design, the car progressed into a Sports Car which was tested at Willow Springs in California by Dan Gurney. The car made its public debut in October 1983 at the Tokyo Motor Show. The MR2 launched in the June of 1984 and that same year won Car of The Year Japan.
The suspension and handling systems were made with assistance with Roger Becker of Lotus and the original 1.6L MR2 design takes a lot from the '60s and 70's Lotus (yes Lotus is the plural of Lotus according to Lotus) that Roger Becker helped to construct in their time. The Original Engine was lifted from the Corolla of the time, a naturally aspirated straight-four double-overhead camshaft multi-valve engine with fuel injection. As standard, these came with five-speed manual transmission although dealerships offered a four-speed automatic too. In road tests, the 1.6L MR2 model smashed the international mid-engine sports cars it was put up against. In the Japanese market, the MR2s had the AW10 base model in dealerships which fitted a 1.5L engine, as the more economical alternative than the sporty 1.6L counterpart.
The Toyota MR2 Turbo
The MR2 was redesigned in 1989, it was noticeably larger and luxurious, featuring a more durable suspension system as well. Dan Gurney was involved in the redesign process just as he was in the initial design for the MR2. The second-generation draws a lot of comparison to the Ferrari 348 after rumours spread of a mid-engine 3 litre V6 powered car being made by Toyota, although this was a bare-faced lie considering such a car would've been made under Lexus and not Toyota. The Majority of MR2s in this generation fitted some form of 2.0L straight 4 engine with GT, GT-S and Turbo versions fitting turbochargers, and the USA trim MR2 fitting a 2.2L inline 4.
In the first couple of years of the second generation of MR2s, snap oversteer became a consumer issue and following this, in the 1993 model year, changes were made to the suspension, power steering, and wheel and tyre sizes (the aforementioned switch to 15" rims). This was ultimately the right choice for Toyota as it kept consumer interest, whilst enthusiasts argue that this removed the razor-sharp feel that the MR2 had prior, making these limited models more desirable. Following these changes, there was only one way you could really get the prior suspension system and wheels, and it came with a hefty price tag.
Overall the MR2s first 2 generations were well received, with reviews praising the styling, responsive handling, and undeniable beauty that captured what was so good about 80's Japanese sports cars. This is all well and good, however, a constant critique of these MR2s are the oversteer and the sharp switch from understeer to oversteer. This did deter many possible buyers from pulling the trigger and buying the MR2 with many reviews calling it outright dangerous, however careful driving, adjusting the way you drive to suit the car, and the correct tyre pressures will reduce the chances of this happening.