WHEN A SNOW STORM CALLED TIME ON THE MAPPING OF KARL HULL’S CARBONCLAD TOYOTA, THE 520BHP POWER FIGURE WAS WELL BELOW THE CAR’S CAPABILITIES. BUT, WITH PLANS TO UNLEASH THE FULL 700BHP+ POTENTIAL, THIS IS ONE MR2 THAT’S SNOW JOKE…
34 Track-tuned Toyota MR2 turbo packs a 520bhp punch and Abflug styling
Picture this: Sighing down the scenery, dusting the deck, fleck by florid fleck the snow begins to fall. Swirling and whirling, gathering pace, gaining density, it coats the world in white. It’s winter, somewhere around the Cambridgeshire border, on a minor road near Fensport’s Chatteris base. An arrow of glimmering black crests the vanishing point and rushes forwards, a concentrated cloud of speed and noise and all that is good.
Racing closer, its form becomes ever more tangible and distinctive. Soon, you can make out a pair of pop-up headlights and a squat, low glasshouse, offset by the jutting mouth of a radiator grille. It’s a second-generation Toyota MR2, you’re pretty sure of that. Squinting and straining, you make out vivid flashes of red, frazzling from the towhook and rollcage. A breath later, your sight is drawn to the sticky glimmer of carbon-fibre, rolling up the bonnet and over the rear wing.
Sound comes next: that hard-edged 3S-GTE gargle amplified by a three-inch custom exhaust. With every frantic upshift, the sounds die away, replaced by the triplechirrup of air escaping through the wastegate and out of the screamer pipe. Then the bassy growl returns, always overlaid by the whistle of a massive Garrett GT3582R turbocharger, as the car surges forwards through the snow. When is too fast, fast enough?
Not yet, anyway. The car searing through the snow belongs to Karl Hull and it’s halfway through a mapping session. Adrian Smith, Fensport head-honcho, is behind the wheel, laptop perched on the transmission tunnel. He launches hard, taps at the keyboard, then launches hard again and again and again… ‘He was in his element,’ Karl explains, ‘and his expression never changed. Mine did though! We kept turning the car up until we reached 1.8 bar of boost, which is more than enough in the