1986 Toyota MR2 AW11
|Air Date||January 5, 2014|
MR2 AW11: A car that still is championing a 1980's doe-eyed optimistic view of The Future. Yes! Computers! Computers are the future and everything will be new! Look at this car. It has a computer! Beep Bop Borp! Roadblasters!
A 1988 variation of this car became Mr. Regular's new car in 2017, owing it to be his dream car. It did not last the whole year, however, because Mr. Regular was afraid to drive it in public, being afraid he'd damage his 'too perfect' car. This review is almost predicting Mr. Regular owning this car.
"MONOLOGUE by MR. REGULAR Yeah! 1986 Toyota MR2 AW11 Naturally Aspirated: the darling of Reaganomics and the Star Wars Missile Program. --- INTRO by THE ROMAN Twinkle, twinkle, MR2, how I love to be in you. --- MONOLOGUE by MR. REGULAR Ah, dig this: can you capture innocence? Every living room floor Grand Prix, and every algebra notebook margin doodle can be found in each protractor-perfect angle on this real-life road blaster. You're looking at Toyota's first modern mass-produced sports car- alright, alright I know James Bond whatever, that was made- that wasn't made for mortals. *unintelligible* I know, 1970 Toyota Celica- [distant] I SAID MODERN SPORTS CAR! [/distant] EVERYone gave parades and happy endings to the Mazda Miata when it came out in '89. But that's just because the Mazda Miata patronizes Spitfires and Elans. ""Oh no, oh no no no, your dick looks big Mr. Morris, oh yeah, ooh well look at that honker. Yeah, you should get an Xtube account yeah, no no, yeah yeah- brbrbrbrbrbr-BRITISH."" But the MR2 AW11 beat the Miata MX-5 by five years. And while the '89 Miata looked to the past, the 1984 MR2 was a showcase of futurism. This little sports car here underscores a 1980's over-saturated viewmaster promise of good times to come. The AW11 was built with established technology arranged to give you a sanguine Polaroid of what humanity COULD be building in 10 years. You're looking at Jetsons aesthetic, with utilitarian, Flinstonian ideology. Aww yeah, the engine! The engine is Toyota's 4A-GE naturally aspirated four cylinder, which went through real-world testing in the 1983 Toyota Celica, and the '83 Corona but- uh, whatever the Corona was Japan-only so hm- so.. so.. so OH *chuckles* YEAH! Metal intakes! And that's not the end of it; it's a cast-iron block, with cast aluminum cylinder heads, just like a match box racer come to life. Yeah you're gonna let me drive it!? You know what, if Jay Gatsby had an AW11 he wouldn't have wasted his time trying to rebuild the past. Even in the MR2's aged state - with all these rust spots and everything and missing side skirts - it's still as glorious as stepping onto the ocean city boardwalk on the first day of summer vacation. *CHEEKY LAUGHTER* Headlights go up! Headlights go down! Headlights go up! Up! Up! Up! Up! Up! Up! *GROANS* *sniff* In real life, the Miata headlights are faster to activate than the MR2's, and the MR2 has no dedicated headlight headlight go up down... bluhbluhbluh button. But in the MR2 you can lock the headlights up, and keep them up by pushing the headlight switch IN, and then turning it up. And that's handy for when the headlight motors break - and they will. Hmm... Let's get down to the Don Henley of the matter here. The engine - by its plebeian origin - is not the MR2's cherry... So what is? Is it those headlights? Maybe the engine position. How about the super long radiator hoses which make flushing the coolant take longer than the ending of Return of the King. Is it the handling? You know, as much as I want the handling to be the focus of this car, it isn't. Oh no no, it's fun to drive, it's a LOT of fun to drive, but the AW11 is so twitchy! I mean, the mid-mounted 4A-GE is ceaselessly flickin' your ear, and going ""Come on, come on, lift off, lift off in this corner. Come on, do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! D- AWW, AW YOU PUSSY!"" It takes a unique esoteric kind of bravery to drive this car beyond its limits. The kind of World War 2 bravery not found in me, but found in Chuck Yeager, and ONLY in Chuck Yeager. You know it's not even the engineering of this car, because as a UK fix-it program pointed out, the rain water gets in these little hood vents here, and drips all over the alternator and rusts out the bugger from the inside. Speaking of rust, if anyone on Craigslist claims to have a rust-free AW11 they also have a bridge to sell. Check this out, the focus of Toyota's MR2 AW11 is this: this right here, see this little button, right on the factory head unit, that little button? Memo. Memory. The AW11 is a feel-good momento; it's a scampering happy thought that you can sometimes catch for a wink of time between cones, or maybe on a back road when no one's looking. Toyota built a glorious salute to what is possible when you combine all of the best attributes on the OEM shelf. Please, please drive an AW11, you have to. The MR2 will joyously use all of its power to push you forward by the small of your back into all the positive speculation of a thousand happy tomorrows. Toyota MR2: if Calvin and Hobbes built a car. In closing, the first-gen MR2 is a time machine, that takes you to the future that you were promised, depositing you in the era of your best self as you imagined when you were a kid. It's the kind of car that you would never see manufactured in two thousand and fourteen, because this sort of fresh face, doe-eyed idealism just doesn't exist today. But we can still own these old MR2's and feel hopeful, because every line on this car is still pointing to an affirmative future. --- OUTRO (IN-CAR) by MR. REGULAR, D. JENSEN Mr. Regular: This is delightful. Thank you for letting me drive this! D. Jensen: *Laughs* Mr. Regular: Someday you will be mine.