An optional four-speed automatic was also available, and in 1986 Toyota introduced a T-bar roof option, plus a supercharged 145hp engine for lucky US buyers. Sadly, this model was never offered in European markets, although a few cars were privately imported. Late 1986 saw a facelift with tweaks to the engine, chassis and interior, with further minor changes following in 1988 - before the W10 was replaced in 1989 by the larger second-generation SW20. More than 160,000 Mk1 cars were sold, with 13,579 snapped up by UK buyers.
The rev-happy Mk1 delivers superb handling, with just enough performance not to be dangerous - and has now developed something of a cult following. Good ones are highly prized and increasing in value, but buyers should beware of bad examples hiding problems, with rust and poor body repairs the biggest dangers. "Many of the first-generation cars have suffered at the hands of bad modifiers or were not looked after properly, so used values fell to very low levels," explains Robert Redman, UK Car Editor at Glass's Forecast Values. "As a result, there are not many remaining examples in good original condition, and so values are climbing."
But don't expect much on the way of modern luxuries, or usable boot space - there's hardly any of either. And aside from rust, potential Mk1 buyers must also keep their eyes peeled for any signs of poor brake balance, clonking from the driveshafts, failed electrics, uneven tyre wear and any signs of oil or water leaks. Prices for decent cars start at £3,000.
Buy if: you fancy an affordable, appreciating classic sports car that's easy to maintain
Don't buy if: performance is important, or you plan to drive it regularly
We found: 1987 Red MR2 T-Bar, full-service history, 94K miles, £4,200
Poor: Under £3,000
Good: £3,000 to £5,000
Special Editions: JDM-import supercharged MR2 SC can fetch more than £6,000