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The making of the Spyder

Stories go around of the product invented in the backroom - In the case of the MR2 the story is true

After the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995 the future of the MR2 was not at all certain as no concrete plans for a small sports car had been finalized. There was also speculation that the tradition of a Toyota sports car would not be continued.

Toyota's Chief Engineer Tadashi Nakagawa knew that the next-generation sports car had to incorporate a high level balance of stability and agility, coupled with the pursuit of fun in driving.

However, it was also common knowledge that although, a long wheel base gave straight line stability, agility was reduced as cornering power was effected. The designer team headed by Tadashi Nakagawa recognized that weight reduction was the key.

At that time no commitment to a new sports car had been made. Nevertheless, the team began applying all their ingenuity, determination and technical skills to develop a sports car weighing less than a thousand kilos. Various technical changes were made, for example, the rear and front overhangs were shortened, and the engine was made lighter by concentrating on torque rather than power.

No written plans were made as they worked in secret, in their own time and in their own garage. Even top management were unaware that a new MR2 was being designed. A car soon to represent the new challenging and innovating image of Toyota.

Now in 1999, the current MR2 is driving proof that those determined designers succeeded in building a sports car which reflect the dynamic forward looking feelings of the new millenium driver.

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