Over five years later, the second-generation model took a bow retaining the original’s mid-engine layout and fun-to-drive personality, but at the same time taking on a more upmarket approach. A larger, more exotic-looking body, higher-quality interior and more refined and comfortable drive widened the MR2’s appeal even further, and with this solid base the second-generation MR2 would continue on sale and in demand for an incredible ten more years.
Although the third- and final-generation bore the same name (it became the MR-S in Japan) it was clearly an indirect replacement. Out went the larger, more grown-up personality of its predecessor and in came a smaller, lighter, cheaper open-top roadster. The new MR2 Roadster had all the ingredients to be a pure, dynamic sports car for the next century.
Like the Celica, MR2 suffered at the hands of the global slow down in the sports car market and in 2007 production finally ceased. After two decades and three generations in production, the MR2 had made a big enough impression on so many lives that it wouldn’t easily be forgotten.