Lucky Japanese and US markets got a real gem in the form of a turbocharged 2.0-litre model, initially with 228hp and 224lb ft of torque. That hit 60 in just 5.7 seconds, while later 248hp models beat it in just 5.4 seconds. Toyota UK never offered the turbocharged model, no doubt worried about the potential impact on sales of their already slow-selling Celica GT-Four coupe, but many examples subsequently found their way to UK shores as personal imports.
Few buyers opted for the optional four-speed auto, as with the Mk1. Power from the normally-aspirated 3S-GE engine rose to 173hp from 1994, and the Japanese NA model saw another power hike to 200hp in 1998 just before Gen 2 MR2 production ended.
JDM models included a base model G, a better-equipped G-Limited similar to the UK GT model, a GT-S - effectively a turbocharged G Limited - and the range topping GT with turbo power plus leather and Alcantara trim. Successive revisions over the years saw improvements in all aspects of the car and owners still identify each model like this - e.g. revision 2 - right up to the final 1998 rev 5 version which featured the new 200hp base engine. Key changes were an improved suspension and revised tyres for MY1993 rev 2 cars (to reduce the snap oversteer tendency) and rev 3 for MY1994 which brought greater power for all models. A 10th Anniversary MR2 GT UK was launched in February 1996.
17,647 Mk2 MR2s were sold in the UK and prices for good examples now start at £3,000, but the most popular JDM turbocharged variants command a good deal more. "Originality and condition are key whether you're looking at a UK or a Japanese model," Robert Redman confirms, "And personally, I'd probably go for a post-93 T-bar manual, keep it standard, but enjoy using it!"
Many feel the second-generation car makes the best track car: "The longer wheelbase and wider track make the handling a bit more predictable, and there are more tuning options for the engine and running gear," Robert points out. And Luke Bliss feels that the Mk2 Turbo offers superb value too: "300hp, mid-engined, rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip diff for a couple of thousand pounds - where else could you get a similar setup?"
A full service history is essential - pre-1994 cars should be serviced every 6,000 miles, with the post-1994 models only requiring a service either every 9,000 miles or 12 months. Make sure all electric toys work properly and there shouldn't be any suggestions of a blown head gasket. Turbocharged models have been modified to well over 400bhp and are popular on the Jap performance scene, whilst a few owners have even swapped engines to produce a V6 NA car, usually using either a Toyota unit from a Camry or a Lexus RX300. So, double and triple-check the provenance of the Mk2 you're looking at.
Buy if: performance, practicality or tuning potential are important
Don't buy if: you're after a collectable classic - unless it's a mint, low-mile rev 5 or JDM turbo
We found: 1993 Red Rev 2 UK GT, full-service history, 76K miles, £3,500
Poor: Under £3,000
Good: £3,000 to £8,000
Special Editions: Rare Rev 5 GT-S and GT Turbos can fetch up to £10,000