Toyota halted exportation of the MR2 to the U.S. in 2004, primarily due to slow sales and fierce competition from other manufacturers (read: Miata/MX-5). However, in the MR2's home country and in the U.K., sales have continued, albeit at a slower rate than when it was introduced in 1999.
Now, the same trend that killed the mid-engine, drop top Stateside, has spread throughout the world and Toyota has decided to end production of the MR2 altogether in early 2007. However, the automaker has decided that one last limited edition version will be manufactured before production ceases, with 1,000 "V-Edition" MR-S' being sold in the U.K. and Japan in mid-January.
The "V-Edition" will come equipped with distinct wheels, new aero bits and a helical limited slip differential, while the driver is greeted with a new three-spoke wheel, instrument panel and titanium accents inside.
It's disheartening to think that when Toyota kills off the MR-S, as it's known outside the U.S., there won't be a single sporting offering from the Japanese automaker for the first time in decades. We know that the LF-A is on its way and that a new Supra is in the pipeline, but both the heritage, and the devout enthusiast community that has formed around the MR2, will be let down if the esteemed coupe doesn't make a return to market soon.