The stock US market MR2 Turbo model was able to accelerate from 0–60mph in 6.1 seconds and finish the 1/4 mile in 14.7 seconds.
The Revision 1 Turbo SW20 can pull 0.89g at the skidpad, with later revisions averaging 0.90g - 0.94.
A 2nd generation 3S-GTE (left) and a 4th generation 3S-GTE (right). Note the side feed intake on the 4th generation.
Revision 2 cars were fitted with Yokohama A022s, coincidentally the NSX also uses a special variant of the A022.
A stock Japanese market Rev 3 GT-S Turbo was able to run the 1/4 mile in 13.1 seconds, beating out more expensive and higher powered automobiles such as the Honda NSX, Toyota Supra RZ, and even the Ferrari 348 TB.
Best Motoring, a popular Japanese automobile TV show featured an episode that had them battle a factory stock Rev 5 GT-S Turbo versus other Japanese market contemporaries on Tsukuba Circuit, with the MR2 winning the circuit race. In the rankings of personal bests, though having achieved a best time of 1:08.00, the Rev 5 MR2 was slower overall by about a second against the Supra RZ, RX7, R32 GTR, and NSX, whilst being more than two seconds faster over the Legacy RS and Silvia S14 K's.
It is popular among enthusiasts to replace the stock 3S-GTE with the "4th Gen" 3S-GTE from the Caldina GT-T (ST215). This updated engine features coil on plug electronics, higher compression, a reinforced cylinder block, a higher flowing cylinder head, and a larger integrated to manifold turbocharger colloquially named the CT15. All of these help produce a higher output of 198 kW (265 hp) and with just a turbocharger boost pressure controller, 230 kW (310 hp) is reliably attainable.
Revisions and model year changes
The second-generation MR2 underwent a variety of changes during its 10 years of production, grouped in four different periods:
1989 (Revision 1)
Introduction of the new generation.
January 1992 (Revision 2, MY 1993)