If you have wondered what the VIN number of your MR2 means, here's the decode. 

1st digit: Country

2nd digit: Make

3rd digit: Vehicle type
4th digit: Engine Family
5th digit: Chassis Family
6th digit: Generation
7th digit: Right or Left Hand Drive
8th digit: This one escapes me still. For all SC it is "J"
9th digit: Check digits, this is a single number or letter x used to verify the accuracy of transcription of vehicle ID number
10th digit: model year
11th-17th digit: actual serialized manufacturing number


MR2 SC Model codes consists of 2 letters followed by 2 Numbers.
LHD SC models seem to be AW16 while RHD models seem to be AW11.

Manufacturing Country ---------------------------x||||||||||     |
  J - Japan                                       ||||||||||     |
Manufacturer -------------------------------------x|||||||||     |
  T - Toyota                                       |||||||||     |
Vehicle Type --------------------------------------x||||||||     |
  2 -  ????                                         ||||||||     |
Engine Series---------------------------------------x|||||||     |
  A - A series Engine - 4(A)G                        |||||||     |
Chassistyle   ---------------------------------------x||||||     |
  W - MR2                                             ||||||     |
Revision   -------------------------------------------x|||||     |
  1 - MK I                                             |||||     |
  2 - MK II                                            |||||     |
SubClass ----------------------------------------------x||||     |
  1 - SC with RHD                                       ||||     |
  6 - SC with LHD                                       ||||     |
????????  ----------------------------------------------x|||     |
VIN check digit (Manufacturer's Internal Code) ----------x||     |
Vehicle model year ---------------------------------------x|     |
  G - 1986    H - 1987    J - 1987    K - 1989             |     |
Sequential production number ------------------------------xxxxxxx


Approximate North American Sales Figures for the 88-89 SC

Number Sold In US: 1000 (approx)
Recalls: Only One. AUG 88 - Modification of Center High Mounted Stop Lamps
Price 1988: $16,418 Supercharged
Current Price (1/98):  $4,500 - $6,000 for extra clean examples
Supercharged engine introduced as option. This marks the first model ever introduced by Toyota with a Supercharger.  The Supercharger is of Toyota's own design, and features an electromagnetic clutch to disengage the blower assembly  when not necessary so as to improve economy.  Supercharger increased power output to 145 hp and Torque to 165 ft/lb.

Number Sold In US: 600 (approx)
Recalls: None.
Price 1989: $17,628 Supercharged
Current Price (1/98): $5,500 to $7,000 for extra clean examples
Rear stabilizer bar added to supercharged model.This is a  very desirable model year.

There was no official 1990 model year of the MR2.  1989 model year cars were sold until March of 1990, when the all new MkII 1991 MR2 became available. Really.  You don't have a  90.  It's an 89 or a 91.  Read the sticker under the hood.

How to Decode the Model number of your Toyota

Model code consists of 2 letters followed by 2 or later 3 numbers.

Example: MR2 model code is AW-11 in North America or AW-16 in Japan, Australia and the UK.

the first letter means that this model has a A-series engine, in this case a 4A-GZE

the second letter relates to the chassis family, in this case a W which is a MR2

        S        Crown
        X       Cressida, Mark II, Chaser, Cresta
        A       RWD Carina Celica, Celica Supra, Supra
        V       Camry, Vista
        T       Corona, FWD/4WD Celica, FWD Carina
        W       MR2
        E       Corolla
        P       Starlet
        L       Tercel

The first (+second, if a total of 3) number stands for the model revision, in this case 1, for MR2s produced 1985-1989. Similarily, MR2s produced 1991-1998 are of revision 2.

The last number will specify left or right hand drive.

Decoding Engine Codes

The letters before the hypen:

The letters indicate the engine family, for example in 18R-G the engine family is R, in 2JZ-GTE the family is JZ. The number(s) at the beginning is the number of the are for a certain bottom end version (block, bore, stroke). The larger the number, the newer the bottom end version. It may seem like the larger the number, the larger the displacement but this is not always true.

The letters after the hypen:

G = twin cam (wide angle, 45 degrees or more between the intake and exhaust valves)
F = "economical" twin cam (narrow angle, around 22 degrees)
T = turbocharged
Z = supercharged
E = fuel injection
i = single point fuel injection
L = lean combustion
B = twin carbs
R = air injection
U = emission package (Japan)
C = emission package (California)
LPG = LPG fuel