The first-generation Toyota MR2, sold under the model name AW10 / AW11, created a sensation when it was released in 1984. This is because it was Japan’s first showroom model to feature the special mid-engined layout, which until then was found only in racing cars, super cars, and certain imports.
The Toyota MR2 AW11 was initially available with a 1.6-liter or 1.5-liter engine. The 1.6-liter was the well known 4A-GULU, a dual overhead cam, the inline 4-cylinder 16-valve engine with specs of 128hp and 110 lb-ft of torque.
The 1.5-liter engine was the twin-cam, inline 4-cylinder, 16-valve model 3A-LU engine. Both were transversely mounted with a design that helped make this an affordable mid-engined car.
The year 1986 saw the arrival of the 4AG-GZE, which added a supercharger to the 1.6-liter engine to achieve 143hp in power and 138 lb-ft of torque. A fully-independent suspension with struts in front and a multilink setup in the rear helped give the first-generation MR2 enjoyable handling abilities.
The combination of a spunky power unit, compact and lightweight chassis with a midship engine layout made the AW11 a car that outclassed all of its competitors with its excellent handling and amazing maximum performance.