I’m about to drive out for a meeting at Lexus corporate offices, but before I do, I just thought I’d post up this cool video clip I found on Youtube. The video clip features the Cusco SW20 MR2 Turbo demo car, at the All Japan Gymkhana event in 1998.
I’ve been admiring this particular MR2 for quite a while, as many of my AE86 friends also own AW11 and SW20 MR2s, so I always enjoy flipping through their HyperRev and other Japanese MR2 special magazines to admire the cars. I even had an MR2 as my daily driven car for quite a while, thanks to the generosity of my friend Herbrock One (he let me daily drive his MR2 for several months after I spun a rod bearing on my AE86’s engine at the track). During that time, I really grew to appreciate the body styling and handling of the SW20 MR2. I liked everything about it, and thought it was a great car for autocross as well! Just look at how that Cusco SW20 rotates around the pylons – it definitely has a Cusco LSD in there, as a normal peg-leg MR2 couldn’t do that.
I even took it up to the local canyon roads a few times (Oh! I never told Herb that, so pls don’t tell him about it if you know him personally, haha) and thought the car handled well, but I experienced a lot of frustration with the laggy shift linkage. It’s hard for me to explain, but I just prefer the direct-and-instantaneous shifting of transmissions in cars like AE86s, S13s, S14s, S2Ks, 350Zs, etc. Those cars don’t use linkage for shifting; the gear shifter mounts right up to the transmission, and the ball at the bottom seems to select gears a lot more quickly and effortlessly than in cars with linkage-based trannies.
Anyway, I think AW11 and SW20 MR2s are awesome. I am planning on running an AW11 feature soon, and would have loved to feature a nice SW20 on Speedhunters this month, but haven’t been able to find any local ones that seem to fit the style of the site. I do have a friend with a built up 3SGTE SW20 that does 12 second quarter miles, but his car is unavailable because he’s in China this month! Anyone have some suggestions on other S-dubs?