1987 Toyota MR2 1.6 Supercharged (W11)


  • A recently imported example of the perennially popular Series I MR2
  • Presenting in an excellent original and admirably pristine condition throughout
  • In rapid Supercharged configuration with a low, original mileage

The Appeal

Toyota launched its niche defining MR2 in 1984 with the car instantly becoming Car of the Year in Japan. Toyota turned to Lotus engineer Roger Becker to fettle the suspension set up. In many ways the MR2 drew inspiration from Colin Chapman’s Lotus as the base MR2 models weighed in at usefully below 1,000 kgs. In 1986 Toyota doubled down on the MR2 offering by releasing a supercharged model. Courtesy of a Roots type supercharger and a Desmo intercooler the little car now packed a healthy 145bhp.

This example has been recently imported from Japan and seemingly benefitted from the more car-friendly climate and salt-free road conditions. It looks to be in fine order and appears almost totally original. The fact that it is the most powerful supercharged model is just the icing on an already appealing cake.

The History and Paperwork

  • This car was manufactured in 1987 in just the second year of Supercharged production
  • The car was understood to have remained in the land of its birth until 2022
  • At that time, it was imported to the UK
  • It was first registered here in January 2023
  • The car secured an MOT in the same month which is valid until January 2024
  • The paperwork includes the current V5
  • In addition to this there are a couple of recent invoices

The Interior

  • The interior is finished in a fine, original order
  • Complimentary hues of greys and blacks predominate
  • The seats are trimmed in a grey and black, self-patterned velour fabric
  • They are deeply bolstered at the waist for maximum lateral support
  • Matching headrests are present with quirky ribbed plastic covers disguising the supports
  • The condition of the seats is very good indeed
  • The door cards are finished in black vinyl with panels of matching velour to the centres
  • Extended speaker boxes house uprated, 2-way door speakers
  • The dashboard is finished in black vinyl
  • The white on black instrument set sit in a hooded binnacle 
  • This extends into twin side pods that house other controls
  • These are activated via handled control wheels and switches
  • A non-standard Leonard Volanti alloy, wood rimmed steering wheel is fitted
  • The centre console houses heating controls and air conditioning button
  • Below this an after-market double DIN CD cassette player is fitted
  • Carpets and headlining are finished in black and look to be in fine order
  • The only imperfection noted is a split in the foam of the dashboard (pictured)
  • The front compartment is finished with a fitted vinyl matt
  • The spare wheel is situated here together with jack and Toyota tool roll
  • The rear luggage compartment sits behind the engine at the tail of the car
  • This is usefully deep and trimmed in its original grey carpet

The Exterior

  • This MR2 Supercharged is finished in bright white
  • As is often the case with Japanese supplied cars it appears to be in great original condition
  • A good level of shine is present on the panels
  • The usual MKI MR2 external features are present
  • These include prominent front and rear spoilers and side skirts
  • The signature pop up headlamps are present and working
  • The sporty side vents are present in the rear side panels 
  • The engine cover carries the dual vents peculiar to the supercharged model
  • Only one of these is functional, feeding air to the intercooler
  • The other is just to provide some symmetry to the design
  • The car sits on non-standard wheels for the MR2 Supercharged
  • Our car features Japanese made, six spoke alloy wheels 
  • These are finished in eye-catching gold and are made by Rays
  • These 15-inch items are shod with tyres in 185/55 sized tyres
  • The cabin glass, light lenses and mirrors all appear original and well presented

The Mechanics

  • In the Supercharged model Toyota added a Roots type unit
  • This was fed via a large, horizontally mounted intercooler
  • The supercharger is actuated by a magnetic clutch mechanism
  • This ensures it is used only when needed to keep economy competitive
  • This configuration was originally good for 145bhp
  • This was sufficient to give the light car a sub-seven second 0-60mph time
  • Power is fed to the rear wheels via an uprated 5-speed manual transmission
  • The engine bay of the MR2 looks nicely original
  • The big Desmo intercooler sits atop the four-cylinder unit
  • The alloy cam covers are engraved with marque and model designations
  • The condition looks good overall with the alloy elements requiring a clean and polish
  • The underside of the car looks really straight and clean for its age
  • The car has been serviced since import 
  • This combined with a low original mileage results in a seemingly mechanically sound condition


The original MR2 was, in many ways, a reinvention of diminutive sports cars from an earlier era. Strictly two seaters with nothing superfluous to driving enjoyment included or needed. The focus on driving enjoyment was emphasised still further with the arrival of the 145bhp supercharged model. This gave the little MR2 sports car a genuinely giant-beating performance, all packaged up in a mid engined configuration like many a supercar of the time.

This example comes in a splendidly original condition. There is the odd non-standard fitment but the bulk of the exterior and interior is complete with the majority of the hard-to-find parts. Thanks to its Japanese history it seems to be in an excellent, predominantly corrosion free condition and ready to relish and enjoy. These are rare cars in the UK, too. They were never officially imported keeping numbers on our roads truly miniscule.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make Toyota
  • Model MR2 Supercharged,
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 104,312 Kilometres
  • Engine size 1580cc
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 7 bidders
  • cooper.•••• £7,700 07/06/23
  • campbel•••• £7,600 07/06/23
  • andylan•••• £7,400 07/06/23
  • campbel•••• £7,200 07/06/23
  • andylan•••• £6,995 07/06/23
  • campbel•••• £6,650 07/06/23
  • andylan•••• £6,500 07/06/23
  • campbel•••• £6,350 07/06/23
  • alan-bu•••• £6,000 06/06/23
  • campbel•••• £5,500 06/06/23

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