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It seems that an older MR-S with a 2zz swap is similarly priced as the lowest priced S2Ks on the market...what are your thoughts...shoot.

Never had a mid-engine car so I'm more curious about the MR-S. I had a NA Miata for several years, got rid of that and is looking for something different. Always wanted an Elise but my pockets aren't deep enough

Thanks!
 

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It seems that an older MR-S with a 2zz swap is similarly priced as the lowest priced S2Ks on the market...what are your thoughts...shoot.

Never had a mid-engine car so I'm more curious about the MR-S. I had a NA Miata for several years, got rid of that and is looking for something different. Always wanted an Elise but my pockets aren't deep enough

Thanks!
I have owned all four. LSS S2 Elise, MR-S, 2ZZ MR-S, S2K and MX5. All quite different once you have had some seat time. What do you want to know?
 

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Personally, I like mid engine cars more. They are more exciting and kinda feel like they want to kill you when driven hard. I like that. But it isn't for everyone, and it's not an "effortless" drive like a Miata for example. The S2K felt a lot more subdued to me, even though my MR2 has a 1ZZ.

In a straight line, a 2ZZ swapped Spyder with proper exhaust will outrun an AP2 S2K in a straight line. We tested this, though the 2ZZ did have a tune on a PowerFC.

MR2 has more interior room, though much worse quality interior. S2K has a trunk and can fit much wider tires. S2K is probably going to be a better performer on the track, when modded simiarly to a 2ZZ MR2. But the MR2 really won't be far behind at all. That's an educated guess, maybe the MR2 would be better, I'm not sure.
 

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I never drove an S2K, but I can tell you I have been in one and unless you’re small, it’s a tight fit (narrow seat bolsters so you’re sitting on the bolsters and not the actual seat and a wide console)- that’s what made me decide to get the Spyder instead.
 

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It's a different experience

I owned a AP1 ('00) S2k for over 6 years. I picked up a 2ZZ '03 MR-S back in April. I think @Avatar is pretty spot on. The manufacturing quality on the S2k is fantastic. The MR2... ehhh... Not so much. They drive quite differently. I had to respect my S2k a lot more in the corners considering that over-steer was a huge complaint in how they engineered the early AP1's. I don't feel like my MR-S is going to kill me as much lol
I do really miss that trunk though... and the gauge cluster (AMAZING!), the Trans, the 9k Redline, VTEC (just for the sake of finding a reason to say 'VTEC' in a Honda related post) and the center console... Pretty much the entire interior lol
Overall though, the Spyder is a ton of fun to drive and I plan to turbo it. Additionally, both are "technically" mid-engined cars even though the engine is in front of you.
 

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the driving experience of each are quite different. I'd suggest test driving each and see which you like better.

I personally hate driving the s2k, but my MR2 just feels right.

in the s2k you're almost sitting on the rear axle and you swing around with the rear end. the front end feels disconnected since it's so far away and the steering feel isn't great with the eps. I prefer an nc mx5 to the s2k. I would probably get an nc and supercharge it before buying an s2k. s2k steering wheel does not adjust, so make sure you can get comfortable.

the MR2 steering feel is much better if you add caster with camber plates. you sit in the middle of the car so you are the center of rotation. the front end is light so steering response is unmatched. the one thing I don't like is that the chassis is flimsy and there is still some cowl shake and creaking even with a bunch of chassis bracing. I might try to add some door bars to my roll bar to stiffen it up. it takes some time to get used to how it drives. you have to be very aware of what the rear end is doing since that's where all the weight is. but once you get the hang of it, nothing will be as satisfying to drive fast.

if you don't care about any of that, the s2k interior is definitely a better place to be if you fit and it should hold value well. the aftermarket is also endless with that car unlike the MR2... the f20/22 is a much better engine than anything Toyota and can be tuned infinitely more easily than the fragile 2zz.

OR... you can K swap the MR2 and get the best of both worlds like I did...
 

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They are very different kind of cars. The Spyder is like a mid-engine Miata where as the S2k is in the same segment as a Z4 or Porsche Boxster which will out perform Spyders and Miatas of the box.
In my opinion the Spyder was dumbed down probably so it can be in the Miata segment as far as versatility and lower insurance rates. Things begin to be a little murky once the MR2 Spyder is modified because there is no substitution for starting out with an already light weight car that you can make lighter, more powerful and handle better. Other cars in the higher segment were already exploited for its potential from the factory to sell a higher level of performance so when you go to modify them it might cost a small fortune with compromises to get more from them. When you start with a car that has far more potential the experience in adding modifications makes it fun because you make exponential gains.

As far as street driving goes its not about who is faster its about the sensation of speed, danger and reward. The Spyder is a lively car that gives you that go-kart feeling that you have to work for being precise with your movements and timing. There is no gingerbread traction control or any of that crap, its as pure as it gets as a drivers car because you are deeply connected.

As far as overall potential I think the Spyder has it and it seems like to me that Tecnospirits car Is a fine example of the potential of what this car is capable of on tight winding roads. 
We have also seen other examples of Spyders doing exceptionally well once modified.
 

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The s2k has better build quality and is aging better than the spyder.

Good low mileage s2k are now expensive. You might be able to find a good clean 2zz spyder for under $10k. For under $10k it's hard to find a clean title low mileage s2k.
 

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What about a brand new 2019 Mazda Miata? They tweaked the engine and will have 181 hp and revs to 7500 rpm stock. 23xx lbs curb weight, so pretty comparable to a 2ZZ MR2 power to weight ratio.
 

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What about a brand new 2019 Mazda Miata? They tweaked the engine and will have 181 hp and revs to 7500 rpm stock. 23xx lbs curb weight, so pretty comparable to a 2ZZ MR2 power to weight ratio.

I saw the headlines about the car having a higher redline and more power too. I was very disappointed when I clicked. I mean only 181hp from an engine that size!? It's a 2.0L for gods sake!
 

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I saw the headlines about the car having a higher redline and more power too. I was very disappointed when I clicked. I mean only 181hp from an engine that size!? It's a 2.0L for gods sake!
Mazda has always lagged behind in engine development. Miata fans rav about how efficient the ND engine is but the old NC engine made the same power. When you consider the 2zz made 180hp, reved to 8000rpm, got over 30mph in a celica that was 500lbs heavier than the ND, out of a 1.8L that is 20 years old, it's hard to see why the ND so great.

Looks are subjective. I really liked and ownedthe NC. It had the flared and wide nose. I think it looked better than the ND. The rear of the ND is somewhat ugly.

The S2k spanks them all.
 

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Wait, double wishbone front and rear plus wide tires makes for more grip? Not to mention the engine is worlds better.
 

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The S2000's interior makes the MR2 feel like a rickshaw. If you have a commute or enjoy a comfortable ride I would think twice about that. At this point I would kill for some armrests.

Fuel economy on the S2000 is considerably worse though.

I was actually in the market for an S2k but at the time, facelift S2K's were $15k+. I got my Spyder for literally half of that, and 8 years later I would do it all over again. I enjoy owning this rare, cult classic Toyota.
 

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Eh, I wouldn't knock the ND so hard, on paper it's a pretty good car. Yea the power could be better but...it's faster than a BRZ or probably even a 2ZZ Spyder, and that's pretty much good enough (still, I'd probably try to extract more power out of the engine for fun). Unfortunately my head is too close to the rollbar or too close to the roof when I sit in earlier Miatas, and it doesn't look like the ND has added enough room to solve that problem, though I might be wrong if I get around to sitting in one.

I told myself I shouldn't buy a car in the NYC area because I would never get to drive it but I really miss driving. Other than not really having a place to park, another thing that's been stopping me from blowing money on an S2k is that you have to chop up the interior to put a real roll bar in...and without a real roll bar, I feel like I run the risk of getting my spine crushed since you sit so far back in that car. I'll probably end up scratching the itch by renting one on Turo when I go on vacation.

Anyways on topic, I think the Spyder's interior is so bad it kind of does take away from the experience. They managed to pick the ugliest plastic trim I've ever seen with those little bubbles and each of the 2 Spyders I owned constantly creaked and rattled no matter how much time I spent taking it apart and adding padding, double sided tape, etc. I somehow suspect a Lotus would rattle less by virtue of having less parts in the interior... Driving-wise:
Theoretically if you took the shifter completely apart and made some really tight custom bushings, then added the solid shifter mount bushings and bearings to the cables, the shifting feel would actually be good. In practice, you're not going to do this because it's too hard, and the shifter feels really sloppy... I don't agree with one of the above posters, I think the steering feel is awful because there's too much assist. I can't feel anything, I just slightly touch the wheel and the car goes flying kind of like a BMW or Kia.

Other than that it drives really great though, great throttle response, surprisingly nice soundtrack coming from behind your head, good seating position and visibility due to the short nose. I haven't driven an S2k but it seems like you get much less mechanical noise and are sitting in a worse spot with that massive hood and most of the wheelbase ahead of you.
 

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Though a K20 and not a 2ZZ. There's this comparison on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-EDY4H8MOQ&t=860s

An EP3 Type R had 197hp. It could be comparable to a well tuned 2zz :confused:

In more recent videos the reviewer actually ended up buying the swapped MR2, which is worthy of note.

As much as I love S2000s. Every time I thought I found an affordable one - It was rebuilt or salvaged.
 

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Alright...can people talk me out of an AP1 S2K?

I haven't had a car for nearly 2 years now, feel like I have enough money (or will soon) to waste a small amount on a car, and I'm really getting the itch. I drove a racing simulator and found it extremely underwhelming since there's no real g-forces. I have no practical reason to have a car, it would just be a toy I take out on weekends to some random far away grocery store just to hear the engine rev a bit, and consume a lot of parking spot money.

The S2k sounds perfect...the engine is awesome from the factory (well, by 1999 standards at least), and no other car gives you that soundtrack for the money, so I won't be tempted to throw money at mods. It's reliable, won't kill me as easily as the Spyder (I think? with the bump steer correction toe links?), and will have great resale value. There's a couple non-molested cars for sale in the area that look pretty nice for what I think is cheap.

My concerns are 1. it'll feel too civilized and numb compared to my rattly 2ZZ Spyder 2. the roll protection looks sketchy (I'm on the taller side) but I don't want to tear into the beautiful interior to put in a roll bar 3. I kind of have high hopes for the 2021 Lotus Elise and am scared I might get too addicted to 9000rpm and spend too much money chasing that on future cars 4. Maybe I'm getting old at heart and need something even more GT-ey that can make a higher pitched noise using more cylinders...I was looking at 06' 07' V8 Vantages and Jag F-types maybe even E90 M3, the maintenance is pretty affordable in relative terms when you have to pay several k a year for a parking spot.
 

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The s2k is a better built car. It is one of best factor built sports car ever made period. It has one of the most reliable perfornance engines ever specially one that revs over 8000 rpm.

However a 2zz spyder can be bought for $7k. A $7k s2k is going to be basically junk. S2000 has increased in value a lot in the last few years a clean ap1 is close to $12k. A clean ap2 is closer to $15k.

If you can find a clean s2k under $10k it's a no brainer. Buy it.
 

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There's some rather high mileage cars (over 150k miles) near the 10k mark. Does that preclude them from being clean? 12k is fine, but given I'm probably not even gonna hit 2000 miles during my total ownership of one, I feel like higher mileage would mean less depreciation.
 
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