Someone drives the only 1995 Toyota MR2 GT1 road car ever built

  • This is the only Toyota MR2 GT1 in the world
  • It’s a road-legal version of a race car
  • It’s powered by a Lexus that delivers 590 hp

Published on Jun 19, 2024 at 12:11 PM (UTC+4)
by Alessandro Renesis

Last updated on Jun 19, 2024 at 5:46 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

This is the Sard M8, the only Toyota MR2 GT1 road car in the world.

It’s based on the MR2, which used to be a readily available production car, but this one is unique because it’s a road-legal version of a car that was built for the race track.

And the best part about it is somebody actually uses this car daily.

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The owner goes by MC8 Channel on Instagram, and he uses the car as his daily driver.

Even though it’s based on the road-going Toyota MR2, which is basically just a joyride convertible, this car was designed for the Japanese Grand Touring championship.

Back in the 1990s, constructors had to build at least one homologation (ie, road-going) car in order to be able to compete with the racetrack-only equivalent.

And that’s why the car you see here exists.

This one-off has been re-engineered by Toyota’s tuning branch, which is known as Sigma Advanced Research Development (SARD), which is why the car is also known as Sard M8.

Despite the carbon fiber body, low stance, and the big wing at the back – the Sard M8 is perfectly road-legal.

1995 Toyota MR2 GT1 performance and spec

Under the hood of the Toyota MR2 GT1 beats a 4.0-liter heart (borrowed from a Lexus), delivering 590 horsepower.

It does 0 to 60 mph (0-97 km/h) in just over three seconds.

Partly because of the power, but also because the car is so light.

It only weighs a hair over 1,000 kg – or 2,200 lb.

Whatever happened to the MR2?

The Toyota MR2 is an inexpensive, nimble, and simple convertible sports car, and as such, for its entire life cycle, it had to compete with another inexpensive and simple car, the Mazda MX-5.

The MX-5 is the best-selling convertible in history, and there’s a new one coming, so that tells us everything we need to know about who won this particular battle.

The MR2 also fell victim to the SUV craze that started nearly 20 years ago.

Lightweight sports cars aren’t exactly popular these days, because it seems everyone just wants an SUV.

And no one is exempt, from Rolls-Royce with the Cullinan (already on its second generation), to SUVs that ‘borrow’ the name from old icons, such as the Mustang Mach-E or the Ford Puma.

As for the MR2, we wouldn’t be surprised if Toyota decided to bring it back as an SUV.

# Tags - Cars, Toyota


Alessandro Renesis

Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.