Nothing handles quite like a mid-engine car, but if you're buying new, they're not cheap. The most affordable is the Porsche 718 Cayman, which starts at $55,000, and the only other two under $100,000 are the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Lotus Evora 400. That makes a car like this modified second-generation MR2 Turbo incredibly appealing.
If you do the right modifications on an MR2, you can get Cayman levels of performance and handling for far less money. The Smoking Tire's Matt Farah just drove , and walked away incredibly impressed.
This car's owner swapped out the original MR2's naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine for a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit from a Japanese-market Toyota Caldina, which now makes around 320 hp. Its brakes come from a later MR2 Turbo, and the owner did pretty much every suspension modification possible for this chassis.
Of course, it's not enough to fit the right parts to your MR2. The owner put special attention towards getting the car dialed-in perfectly, with all of its new parts functioning in harmony. The car feels like it came this way directly from Toyota's factory.
It takes a lot of time and effort to get an MR2 to perform at this level, but it seems like its incredibly rewarding in the end. And, isn't that cooler than just going to a Porsche dealer?