• Sep 11, 2008
Click above for a massive gallery of the MR2 Carputer

Upon first inspection, MR2forum.de member LaroCroft's second-generation (SW20) Toyota MR2 is simply a tastefully modded example of a cult favorite. However, peer inside and all preconceived notions are immediately thrown out the targa top.

Any "For Sale" thread that requires "Knowledge in electronics, skills in PC technology and knowledge of programming (especially Visual Basic)" is a clear indication that things inside have gotten thoroughly out of hand. Just check out the gallery and you'll see what we're talking about.

The entire instrument cluster and center console have been replaced with three screens displaying every conceivable function and parameter of the MR2's systems. The trio of displays are controlled by either a touch screen interface or a center console-mounted knob (ala iDrive), and allows the drive to manipulate everything from fuel consumption to engine temp; climate control to GPS functions; mirrors, radar/laser, the wireless transfer of music from a home computer, lights, fog lights, and on and on and on.

It's pure insanity and incredibly cool. And the best part: it's for sale in Germany – assuming you've got the programming chops to actually leave your driveway.


[Source: MR2Forum.de]


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  • 42 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice, except those hideous rims. He shoulda went with something with less spokes to complete the clean look.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, the rims make it look like a hotwheel car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      These cars are looking very nice and the standard gauges and indicators in the car have been removed, replaced with touch screens and a console mounted idrive knob, offering the pilot of this machine control over almost every aspect of its operation.
      =============
      cadeburton
      Used Cars
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very smooth & good looking. But ...
      As good as it looks, I would not trust a consumer grade computer OS, in this case Windows XP, to display important driving data such as " temperature with acoustic warning + overheating warning of speed on 5000/min when engine cold ".

      A general purpose or consumer grade OS has no guarantees as to how it will operate when faced with failures or system stress. This is why the industrial & manufacturing world uses Real Time OS or embedded OS. They may not look as cool and do all the things we would love for them to do, but they are engineered & tested to behave with expected results.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, they should have at least used Server 2003.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @James P:
        well....he got it done!... using easily accessible resources. Sometime, pragmatism, simplicity, got the job done, and that's what matters in this case.
        Like they said, those who can...do, those who can't...comment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Three (?) words: Glare-o-vision.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well the germans do like their Hasselhoff!
      • 6 Years Ago
      nice rims. they look too big for the car tho.
      • 6 Years Ago
      THAT is what I am talking about. I am a fan of the SW20 MR2 anyway, but this is amazing.

      Add a HUD to that (given that much work, a HUD would be a bolt-on), and convert it to a Subaru STI turbo boxer/porsche transaxle drivetrain layout, with say, 350-400hp... Brembo brakes... wouldn't want to neglect the sport in the sports car.

      Fan-bloody-tastic.

      Digital driver information systems, AND mid-engined sports car.

      The only thing that could have been done better is the ergonomics on the control knob. Behind the shifter would have been better. Reaching forward inboard of the shifter, between that and your right knee, would seem like an awkward reach.

      BMW, and even Subaru's iDrive put control knobs aft of the shifter area for a reason.

      I can think of a few things that would be fun to add, as well.

      Tein EDC, or Bilstein PSS9 electronic controllable suspension dampers, perhaps even with and electro-pneumatic springs (airbags, but performance oriented for ride height and anti-roll, not for bouncing the car around.)

      Pirelli is supposedly developing digital tire monitoring for more than just pressure, but temp, wear, and other things.

      infrared night vision, and rear view video systems in place of rear mirrors, and sonar parking systems front and rear. (perhaps with differential display rather than just a beep.)

      Active aerodynamics, like recently showcased here on a BMW track car.

      all sorts of things could be incorporated, with the right know-how and inventiveness.

      The question is... why are no companies pushing this frontier?

      The Lamborghini Reventon's adaptive display barely comes close the processing power in this thing, and granted, it is a lamborghini, but I would think they would have the budget to push the envelope.


      • 6 Years Ago
      If this isn't the work of someone in the automotive electronics industry, either this is an absolutely brilliantly executed timebomb or this guy has more ambition and talent than 90% of the guys I know working on just this area.

      Having said that, as BoxerFanatic said, the ergo is a bit off (including the on-screen layout & graphics) and it's pretty clear that, as fast as in-car integrated electronics are evolving (if not revolving? revolting?), a lot could be added or executed differently if "done today".

      Doesn't take away from a high level of execution, as much as we can see from still photography.

      Well Done!
      • 6 Years Ago
      That is amazing.. a lot of time went into that setup... I don't want to see the size of the relay pack I'm assuming is hidden behind that dash...
      • 6 Years Ago
      How's the guy going to hit control-alt-delete at 80MPH on the freeway when that crashes?
        • 6 Years Ago
        my thoughts exactly... wait... i have to do it my laptop again...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Jeff's right, THIS is the ultimate KITT. And Back to the Future, and StarTrek. Amazing. Hats off.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      star trek called...
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