MR2 SpyderChat banner

1 - 20 of 69 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Seems like both Honda with its S2000 and Toyota with the MR2 models all failed in the market segment which lead to the discontinuation of both vehicles worldwide as well as in the US market.

The only thing left standing after all this while are the Mazda Miata and Porsche Boxster. Well, the Boxster is in a whole different market segment together so, it does not really apply in this case, so lets concentrate on the Mazda Miata or MX-5.

Granted I have not driven the Miata before, so I cannot give a subjective opinion on how the car drives, but just purely on cosmetic alone, the Miata is a bit too girlie in my taste. I must prefer our spyder with its more masculine boxier body style. Although from spy pics on the Internet the 2012 Miata has very aggressive more modern look. Price wised, it is on par with the Spyder and slightly more cheaper than the S2000.

So, what is the winning Mazda formula here ?? :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,968 Posts
Seems like both Honda with its S2000 and Toyota with the MR2 models all failed in the market segment which lead to the discontinuation of both vehicles worldwide as well as in the US market.

The only thing left standing after all this while are the Mazda Miata and Porsche Boxster. Well, the Boxster is in a whole different market segment together so, it does not really apply in this case, so lets concentrate on the Mazda Miata or MX-5.

Granted I have not driven the Miata before, so I cannot give a subjective opinion on how the car drives, but just purely on cosmetic alone, the Miata is a bit too girlie in my taste. I must prefer our spyder with its more masculine boxier body style. Although from spy pics on the Internet the 2012 Miata has very aggressive more modern look. Price wised, it is on par with the Spyder and slightly more cheaper than the S2000.

So, what is the winning Mazda formula here ?? :confused:
It's less expensive than both the MRS and the S2000. It is also produced in larger quantities over a longer period of time, resulting in more of them on the road. People in general like what they are familiar with and will therefor choose a vehicles everyone else drives over a strange new comer.

The S2000 was at a higher price point and marketed to a different segment, and isn't really comparable to the MRS or Miata. It was competing more with the Boxer, 350z, Sti, Evo, and similar sport cars. On that level, it suffered from Honda fanboiism reputation, and lower power numbers than its competitors. It's arguably not as good looking either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's arguably not as good looking either.
+2, completely agreed, I looked at the S2000 also before getting the spyder and it is a generic no soul no style Honda convertible. In fact I much prefer the current miata styling than the S2000.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,972 Posts
I think you have it wrong. The Spyder was nothing more then an extracurricular exercise by Toyota and it wasn't expected to make any profits. The S2k has had a great run much longer then most production cars and the reason why there is no replacement is simply because there is no longer a market.

In general there no longer marketability for any sports car and it has to do with the economy and the current direction these car companies have taken with fuel efficiency as well as practicality. The next generation of youth that have graduated HS and are starting college are not really interested in sporty cars and that Fast and furious bubble has popped.

The reason why the Mazda Miata is still in production is because it what is left out of a small line of up cars that this small automaker has to offer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
People in general like what they are familiar with and will therefor choose a vehicles everyone else drives over a strange new comer.
I'm the opposite. The only reason I don't want to buy a miata is because they are so damn common. I like my little unique Spyder. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The next generation of youth that have graduated HS and are starting college are not really interested in sporty cars and that Fast and furious bubble has popped.
I dont think I can agree with this, there is market for sporty cars, otherwise there wont be the Nissan Z's , the WRX-Sti, Evo, Civic-Si, Scion Tc and the upcoming Scion FR-S.

But I do agree on the fuel economy argument, the RX-8 is such a fuel guzzler that it has the same fuel economy as a SUV. The spyder is way ahead of the pack in terms of fuel economy back 10-12 years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,972 Posts
I dont think I can agree with this, there is market for sporty cars, otherwise there wont be the Nissan Z's , the WRX-Sti, Evo, Civic-Si, Scion Tc and the upcoming Scion FR-S.

But I do agree on the fuel economy argument, the RX-8 is such a fuel guzzler that it has the same fuel economy as a SUV. The spyder is way ahead of the pack in terms of fuel economy back 10-12 years ago.
Nissan Z is has turned into more of a GT luxury car, it's days are numbered.
WRX-Sti is just a adaptation on a econo design and not a stand alone design.
Civic-Si again just an an extra added value package.
Scion TC really
FR-S is something to appease a small segment of enthusiasts but since there is no Toyota motor it and since it's will sport the Scion badge it speaks volumes on the overall direction Toyota is taking in general.
If it was called the new Toyota Celica then I would see it as something a bit more serious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
I am waiting for midshipman to chime in.... didn't he sell his spyder for a honda?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,968 Posts
I'm the opposite. The only reason I don't want to buy a miata is because they are so damn common. I like my little unique Spyder. :)
Sure, and many here on Spyderchat feel the same. I'm not terribly concerned with being particularly unique, but even I derive some satisfaction from the fact I don't see MR2's around too often.

But think about the general market these cars are attracted to. Most people want the Miata/mr2 for the image. Specifically, the image of a convertible sports car, aka roasdster. They don't care about the particulars. Since their decision is based on image, and since they are not enthusiasts, they will be sways by what car they find more attractive. Familiarity will trump new and strange every time. And the MR2 is definitely strange. I'd even consider it unattractive in stock form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,748 Posts
So, what is the winning Mazda formula here ??
It's really hard to say. Having driven several Miatas, I can attest that the Spyder is much more of a driver's car. So it isn't the driving feel or experience that won the day for Mazda.

We did have our resident ace drivers like Tracy Ramsey try to beat team Miata at Nationals and we learned that in an apples-to-apples match-up, the Spyder was not a superior racer. Pretty much all we could do is tie.

But if you wanted to buy a two-seater roadster and prep it, the Miata has always been so much cheaper - aftermarket parts in abundance at half the price we pay. The Miata has a great reputation for reliability, and it has a trunk.

At the end of the day, I think maybe it's the trunk.

Statistics show that big ticket items like cars usually have to be approved by the missus. The lack of storage space in the Spyder (not necessarily actual space, but perceived space during car shopping) probably cost Toyota a lot of sales.

Here's the math: Guy wants to buy the car, mostly for himself. Tries to convince wife that it will be fun, that they'll take sexy weekend getaway trips in it. She notes that there isn't any room to pack luggage. End of story.

Maybe that's sexist or overly simplistic. Doesn't apply to any of our excellent women owners on this board. But in showrooms around the country, I'll wager that's more or less how it played out.

Secondly, the Spyder was designed for the enthusiast. We know that Toyota intended it to be modified - that it was very much built to accommodate body kits. The early literature on the car confirmed it - fenders and bumper covers are simple to remove and modular for that purpose. And that's targeting the 2F2F crowd. Oops. But the car's price point was about $10,000 over what that crowd could afford to pay.

Instead, the market of actual buyers (for us original owners) was usually middle-class older guys with cash and affection for roadsters. The tweed jacket set. So they missed their demographic.

Add those items up and you have anatomy of a failed sports car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,232 Posts
The spyder lacked an identity. It was not a serious sports car. It had an anemic engine, was too slow and didn't have a rollbar. Toyota never really promoted it has a sports car and it lacked the luxury to compete with expensive cruiser convertibles.

Mazda spend millions to promote amature racing using the MX-5. Even today we see Mazdas in various racing series. Mazda created it's own aftermarket supports. The Miata is a crappy car but Mazda created the illusion that it's a true performance/race car.

It took 8 years for someone to make a real roll bar for the spyder to even drive on a track.

The s2000 is simply in a different class. It's probably the best affordable sports car built in the last decade. It's an amazing car. It simply just got old.

If a 2zz and a rollbar came from the factory in the spyder it would have been a performance legend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,053 Posts
I don't know that the Spyder failed. Seems like Toyota has a history of running the MR2 for 5 to 6 years and dumping it only to come out with the next iteration a few years later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,932 Posts
Well... it's hard to sell many units when it doesn't have a trunk... I love these little cars, but there is no way I could do it as a daily driver. A Miata with a hard top and a trunk might be doable...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Well... it's hard to sell many units when it doesn't have a trunk... I love these little cars, but there is no way I could do it as a daily driver. A Miata with a hard top and a trunk might be doable...
psshh, I just put a hard dog (removing the storage doors) in mine and it's my daily :cool: But yeah, the trunk I think is the kicker for most people. And once the miata started being more common, parts prices dropped, making it even more enticing as a budget racer (which it comfortably rules as king now).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
781 Posts
There was an article in a car magazine when the Spyder came out. I cannot recall which magazine it was, but it stated:

- the MR2 Spyder was built to prove that Toyota could still build an exciting car
- the limited production was planned from the beginning, not a result of slow sales
- the idea of an exciting car for a younger buyer would lead to the Scion brand; I thank God everyday that the MR2 is a Toyota MR2 and not a Scion, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bought it

I cannot speak for the S2000, but calling it a failure seems pretty ridiculous. The Supra is gone - was that a failure? What about Supersonic aircraft? :p :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,932 Posts
psshh, I just put a hard dog (removing the storage doors) in mine and it's my daily :cool: But yeah, the trunk I think is the kicker for most people. And once the miata started being more common, parts prices dropped, making it even more enticing as a budget racer (which it comfortably rules as king now).
But you are a young man--when you get old like me, you worry about things like where to store your walker:)...

Did you do that Hard Dog by yourself? If so, did you use jack stands, or did you somehow get a lift? This one is on my list... I'm sure ditching the storage doors actually increases storage capacity. You could always get that soft cover that Dev is pimpin'...

I hope things are not too stormy up there in Central FL... I'm already over the rainy seasaon here...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,972 Posts
There was an article in a car magazine when the Spyder came out. I cannot recall which magazine it was, but it stated:

- the MR2 Spyder was built to prove that Toyota could still build an exciting car
- the limited production was planned from the beginning, not a result of slow sales

- the idea of an exciting car for a younger buyer would lead to the Scion brand; I thank God everyday that the MR2 is a Toyota MR2 and not a Scion, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bought it

I cannot speak for the S2000, but calling it a failure seems pretty ridiculous. The Supra is gone - was that a failure? What about Supersonic aircraft? :p :rolleyes:
I read a similar article. Actually there is another nice article that I can't seem to find anymore which tell the tail of how the Spyder was developed. From what I remember the project was out of the prying eyes of Toyota Corporate. Like I said before it was an extra curricular activity for Toyota and it was not meant to rival a Miata or any other car. I also read somewhere that the vice chairmen of Toyota at the time was a Porsche 356 nut and his influence may have played a roll.

I think however this sums it up. Not a failure where I am standing.

chief engineer Harunori Shiratori said, "First, we wanted true driver enjoyment, blending good movement, low inertia and light weight. Then, a long wheelbase to achieve high stability and fresh new styling; a mid-engine design to create excellent handling and steering without the weight of the engine up front; a body structure as simple as possible to allow for easy customizing, and low cost to the consumer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_MR2
 
1 - 20 of 69 Posts
Top