“Driving Matters.” That’s Mazda’s newest tagline. Unfortunately, it won’t matter much longer. With this in mind, TeslaMondo just bought a 2000 MR2 Spyder. This 9/10 scale Boxster embodies Toyota’s closest brush with insanity. Or consider it the closest you can get to a Lotus Elise without the blue smoke. A Tesla Roadster is the next-closest, sharing some Lotus DNA and all, but it’s too expensive.
This Mister Two is grandfathered in from another era. Maybe great-grandfathered in. It doesn’t have Autopilot or emergency braking, or blind spot monitoring, or a rear camera, or sonar. It doesn’t even have a limited slip differential, or stability control. Or a USB port, or Bluetooth. But it does have perfect weight distribution, perfectly flat cornering, perfect torque curve, perfect harmony of clutch/shifter/throttle, perfectly optimistic attitude and a cassette player. Of course, you must leave your cassette in the player at all times, because there’s nowhere else to put it. The engine hogs the trunk, the spare tire hogs the frunk and the jack toolbag hogs 1/4 of the cubby behind the seats.
When car and driver suffer their inevitable divorce in a few years, making the world a safer, quieter and greener place, this dirty little deathbox will live on at TelaMondo’s headquarters, the cost offset by a well-timed sale and re-purchase of some TSLA shares. The sale came within minutes of the Consumer Reports snub, and the re-purchase a few days later. TeslaMondo does not advocate market timing, except in hindsight.
Speaking of Consumer Reports, it did recommend the Spyder over the Miata and the BMW Z3, so this midship runabout has a perfectly sober rationale buried somewhere in your local library’s magazine archives, probably rubbing shoulders with an in-depth review of personal digital assistants.