Can A 600 HP Toyota MR2 Bring Down The McLaren 540C?

Despite the occasional rumors, Toyota still hasn’t launched a fourth-gen MR2, and by the looks of it, it won’t, as expanding its GR lineup and working on the new 86 seems to be the main focus when it comes to their fun-to-drive models.

Thus, anyone who wants an MR2 will have to turn to the used car market. If they are into tuning, they could even turn it into something that’s able to challenge some seriously powerful machinery.

Video: Mercedes SLR McLaren Vs. McLaren 540C In Battle Of The Generations

Take this 1993 MR2 for instance, which has had its 3SGTE engine tuned up from around 200 to approximately 600 HP. So, it’s definitely got lots of power, but is it fast enough to beat the most affordable McLaren in production, the 540C, in a straight line?

Well, the British supercar is less powerful, since its twin turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 engine produces ‘only’ 532-horsepower and 398 pound-feet (540 Nm) of torque. It features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, takes 3.5 seconds to sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) and has a maximum speed of 199 mph (320 km/h).

Now, while the tuned second-gen MR2 has more grunt, the 540C benefits from McLaren’s know-how and was actually built to handle all that power, so can the old Toyota actually pose a threat? The following video answers that question by pitting the two against each other down the quarter-mile and in a 0-100-0 mph test.


Updated: December 13, 2020 — 2:06 am

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