In response to a new wave of roadsters from MG, Fiat, and BMW, Toyota unveiled its MRJ prototype at the 1995 Tokyo show. Designed by Toyota's Brussels design office, it was the company's first-ever open mid-engine car. The roof was a so-called "aero cabin" hardtop, which retracted electronically at the flick of a button.
A major focal point of the Toyota exhibit in 1996 was the MRJ concept vehicle. The prototype was on revue to gauge public reaction to the sports car's compact exterior styling. Featuring a retractable hardtop roof, the MRJ used a mid-engine, DOHC 20-valve 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with variable valve timing and 170 horses. The instrument panel consisted of LCD monitors and an analog tachometer. One LCD monitor alternated between displaying the speedometer and a cluster of gauges. The other monitor could be switched between the navigation mode and the audio/air-conditioner mode. You could arrange the MRJ seats to suit a range of needs. The rear seats folded down or pushed up and away to reveal an unexpectedly large luggage space. And the standard 2+2 configuration allowed for 4-passengers.
Source: www.is-it-a-lemon.com; www.chicagoautoshow.com