It's hard to imagine the last time we've seen a Toyota MR2 that's this clean and so well built, and yet it's even more surprising to have found it halfway around the other side of the world, in Thailand of all places. Which just goes to show that enthusiasm for using the proper execution to nail these projects is a global trend—you just need to be willing to look in the unlikeliest of places. This MR2 has a very unique style about it—not quite USDM or JDM, which we like, and packs a great deal of power, which we really, really like.
Never mind that this car is now 25 years old (let that sink in for a second—whoa, that's old!), the SW20-generation MR2 is easily one of the trickiest platforms to modify. But anyone who can unlock the secrets of this mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe receives a car that can take on big power through its near-bulletproof and turbocharged 3S-GTE engine. It was built primarily for Time Attack racing, and Smicha Thiramongkol took it upon himself to craft a car of this nature completely on his own—and the details are staggering.
The engine bay looks unlike most SW20 bays we've seen: a huge BorgWarner turbo hangs off the custom exhaust manifold developed by local tuner Prechar, which connects to other specially fabricated piping that's also made by Prechar, including the downpipe, intercooler piping, intake manifold, and exhaust. The bottom end has been rebuilt and the cylinder head upgraded with JUN components so that altogether it can produce a reliable 666 hp. Future plans do call for more power, and Smicha expects to make 750 hp soon.
You might come to the conclusion that the bodywork was influenced by a certain Rocket Bunny with its riveted over-fenders, but this is an original aero kit from Garage Unique based in Bangkok. The front bumper reminds a little of Veilside with a few extra canards, and a little more of the Rocket Bunny influence can be seen with the four lights that sit below the custom headlight housings. The rear fenders create a wider arch over the 11-inch-wide Work S1 wheels, which meet the carbon-fiber air ducts that Smicha fabricated to help draw in more cool, fresh air to the intercooler. From the rear view, it's a wide-open concept that reveals a twin-exit exhaust, oil cooler kit, and a deck that the large GT wing is mounted to.
It took close to $30,000USD and a year to complete this crazy SW20 build, but Smicha doesn't seem phased by that figure at all. "Even though it was very difficult [to build], I love this car because of how crazy and unique it is," he says. "For a 20-year-old car, it still feels very modern...not to mention very fast."