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After having been in the market for almost ten years, SW20 had to move aside as Toyota released the new MR2 mk3, model ZZW30. The new MR2 was, in a way, return to the design concept of AW11 since the weight of the car was once again dropped below a metric tonne and it was significantly smaller than the SW20. The biggest change was, however, the replacement of either the solid or targa top with a convertible soft top, earning the car the 'Spyder' designation. In Japan, the car is called the MR-S, which purportedly is derived from the forementioned designation.

The engine of the ZZW30 was the brand-new all-aluminium 1ZZ-FE, a 1800cc straight-4. Like its predecessors, the engine uses dual overhead camshafts and 16 valves. The intake camshaft's timing is adjustable via the VVT-i system, which was introduced earlier on the 1998 SW20. Unlike its predecessors, however, the engine is now placed onto the car the other way round, making the exhaust manifold point towards the rear of the car. The 140 hp (104 kW) maximum power is quite a drop from the SW20 GT, but thanks to the lightness of the car it can move quite quickly, making the 0-100km/h dash in 7.5~7.9 s. In addition to the 5-speed manual transaxle, a sequential manual transmission controllable from the steering wheel was also available.

The feedback for the new model was somewhat mixed - others liked its return to AW11's design concept, while the fans of the SW20 would've liked it to continue along the path of the previous model. All agreed, however, that the ZZW30 had a nearly perfect handling, allowing one to brake into corners and throw the car through the corner in slight drift. ZZW30 is probably the best-handling MR2 model and for example Tiff Needell, a very experienced race driver and the former host of the BBC TV show Top Gear praised the handling of the ZZW30.

cheap midengined car thumbs_up.gif cool to me
I can't fit into them, and the interior is a cheap muddle of unergonomic crap, and the engine isn't very good...but its handling is excellent, and it's affordable, while also being oddly quirky. Cool.
the previous generation now that was frozen!!!

this model looks like crap compaired to the great one before it!!
Kinda un-cool
QUOTE(soarer @ Mar 17 2005, 02:34 AM)
the previous generation now that was frozen!!!

this model looks like crap compaired to the great one before it!!

actually, i have mixed reviews about this.

this weekend, we went to Toyota of Morristown(NJ) because the lease is almost up on my mums highlander. my dad knows the owner and i went to a summer camp with his daughter (who, might i add, is BANGIN'). anyway, my dad and mom were looking at some paperwork and the sequoia(spelling error, and i think its ugly). i was sitting in a dark green MR on the floor when one of the salesmen came over and asked me, a 17 year old, whos license was at the time, under a week old, if i was here to buy it. i replied resfectfully that i was here with my parents and we are friends with the owner. he asked me if i wanted to test drive one. i asked my dad and he waved me off with a "yea sure, drive safely" attitude. i was taken back because my dad NEVER says things like that. we go outside, and i get in. i am 6'00'' and regular build. i fit in the car OK, but i would NOT recommend it to anyone even mildly bigger than i. we drive around the lot, then go on the highway. i redline in 2nd gear(yes, i know how to drive a manual and did it on purpose). i found the test driver guy's reaction to be funny and i drop into 3rd then into 4th. the engine sounded, dare i say, ricey. it was quick but as clark said, the interior was very wierd and didnt suit me at all. we spent 25mins going around some roads and brought it back to the dealership in one piece.

so, ill give it a cool, just because i got to drive it.
Being an owner of a Mk1, that already ranks this one high on my list as it went back to its original roots. Sure, the SW20 was the fatest but the AW11 and this one is much lighter and handles much better than the SW20.

I got a chance to test drive a ZZW30 (Never actually knew that was the chassis code for it..heh) awhile back. It was a black 03 model with the 5spd transmission. Although I didn't get a chance to really push the car, my initial impressions of the car were so so. The interior had a very good feel to it although the materials were a bit cheapish. When I looked to my right a little bit all I could see was the rear view mirror which horribly obstructed my view. Also had a hard time seeing the speedo because of my ride height, the wheel was blocking a few of the numbers.

However one thing I did notice was the clutch was very easy and smooth and the shifter had no play in it and was very precise and crisp. The steering wheel was easy to turn and the car was actually very very easy to drive. Really out of every car I've ever driven, this car has been the easiest to me.

The little quirks I had with the car would NOT affect my overall decision of it i were to buy one of these or not. It's something I could learn to live with.

One thing that i would like to mention however is I like the post 02 models better than the pre 02. They redesigned the front bumper, headlights and rear tail lights and it really takes away that frog like appearance the car once had. And the car is oh so sexy in black.

I would give this car a solid Frozen mark but unfortunately I see more middle aged women driving them than anything else so it's going to get a rough Cool vote from me.
R. Waters
I would have bought one if they sold them here
I've always found this car to be really ugly...uncool for me..
The styling is awkward, not to mention generally bland in a way that only a posts 90s Toyota product can be, not to mention that most of these cars are likely to end up in secretaries driveways. Uncool.
Doesn't carry on from the older MR2, which I thought was cool, so uncool for me.
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