Is this rare, mid-engine, Japanese sports car worth the asking price?by Dim Angelov, on
There aren’t many cars that offer a mid-engine layout at an affordable price. The Toyota MR2 is one of the last to do so, despite the last generation (1999-2007) lacking the previous one’s Ferrari-inspired design language. Motor1 recently covered a VM180 Zagato – one of only 100 made – that was auctioned off in Japan. No, we are acquainting you with another rare version – the MR2 Caserta by Modellista – of which 150 were made, and now, one is listed for sale at Eclection Specialty Auto Sales.
Just like its Zagao counterpart – the VM180 – the Caserta (named after a province in Southern Italy) is based on the third-generation Toyota MR2. The car is finished in bright red exterior color, which further accentuates the Ferrari inspiration. The front end is much rounder than the donor car and reminds us of the Fiat Barchetta – another compact roadster from the 1990s. In fact, we are pretty sure it uses the same trunk (frunk) lid as the Fiat Barchetta.
Looking at it from the side and the rear, the MR2 Caserta has drawn a lot of inspiration from the Ferrari 360 Spyder. It becomes even more apparent when you see the air inlets on the rear fenders. As for the rear, it features round taillights, also adopted from the Ferrari 360 design (I think it looks more like a McLaren F1).
With the Caserta, you could get a standard interior or the optional, two-tone luxury interior. This one has the latter, which includes leather seats, with leather seats, doors, dashboard, aluminum shifter, and seatbelts that match the interior.
s for the car’s mechanicals, nothing really stands out. It uses the stock 1.8-liter, inline-four mill that makes 138 horsepower (103 kilowatts) and 126 pound-feet (171 Nm).
A five-speed manual was available, but this particular one has a five-speed automated manual unit. With the automated manual, the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) time is 8.2 seconds – over half a second slower than with the manual.
|0 to 60 mph||8.2 seconds|
According to the dealership, this particular one is #16 out of 150 and has 37,000 kilometers (22,990 miles) on the odometer. The dealer is asking $47,000 Canadian (approx. $37,310), which is what a Mustang GT goes for. Although, with its stock 1.8-liter mill, it’s far from being a performance car bargain, it’s a neat, dependable, mid-engine sports car, with a bespoke body, of which only 150 were made.
Source: Eclection Specialty Auto Sales