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Is This Ferrari F355-Bodied Toyota MR2 an Abomination or Art?

Few cars are more provocative than fake Ferraris, but how do you feel about a Ferrari kit car that's badged as a Toyota?

If there’s one thing the majority of car culture agrees on, it’s that trying to pass off a kit car as a real supercar is disgraceful. Faux-rraris impress the kind of person you don’t want in your life, and embarrass you in front of the people whom you do. It’s better to forego pretense, and enjoy the cars we have for what they, rather than chase the unfulfilling abstraction that is social status—real or otherwise.

With that in mind, what would you think of a dupercar that didn’t try to obscure its origins? What if instead of presenting itself as one of Maranello‘s finest, a kit Ferrari came out and admitted that it is, in fact, a Toyota?

That’s the approach Instagram user @status_error took to their inauthentic exotic, which started out life as a second-generation Toyota MR2. Due to the MR2’s mid-engined configuration, it’s often used as a donor car for unconvincing supercar clones, commissioned by poseurs trying to portray wealth they don’t have. Such a fate befell the MR2 you see here, and though its builder went whole-hog by swapping in the V6 from a Toyota Camry, it was still a pretentious, embarrassing piece of work. That is, until it entered the stewardship of @status_error, who chiseled off its prancing horses, and emblazoned it with symbols of its true Toyota origin.

Now that this car is no longer presented as a Ferrari, but as an unusual-looking Toyota, is it guilty of the same sins as a full supercar clone? If you think it is, you’d better be ready to condemn Toyota for making this generation of MR2 look so much like the 348 and F355. In our book, this is a Japanese car in an Italian suit, and as the Pininfarina-derived Acura NSX showed so long ago, that has never been a bad thing. Nobody’s trying to hoodwink anyone else here, so we’re going to say live and let live.

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