The third generation MR2 had three different names, depending on country; Toyota MR-S in Japan, Toyota MR2 Spyder in the United States, and the Toyota MR2 Roadster in Europe. With the previous MR2 having been in the market for almost ten years, the new MR2, designated "ZZW30," took a drastically different approach than the outgoing model. The new MR2 was a part of Toyota Project Genesis, a plan to attract buyers from the younger age bracket in an effort to increase sales in the United States. The most obvious change was the switch from a hardtop/open-roof option to a true convertible soft top, giving the car the 'Spyder' designation. It is distinguished from previous MR2s (and virtually all modern passenger cars) in the fact that all body panels are removable and non-structural; this appeals to kit-car builders as the entire appearance of the car can be changed with bolt-on panels. It is also the only Toyota MR2 generation to not be sold in Canada.Many claim that this car was inspired by Porsche Boxster which was released in 1996, due to its similar appearance. However, the first prototype of MR-S appeared in 1997 at the Tokyo Motor Show, which had slightly more angled and rigid appearance than the current production model, which included additional curves for a more aerodynamic and appealing look. The MR2 Spyder chief engineer Harunori Shiratori said, "First, we wanted true driver enjoyment, blending good movement, low inertia and light weight. Then, a long wheelbase to achieve high stability and fresh new styling; a mid-engine design to create excellent handling and steering without the weight of the engine up front; a body structure as simple as possible to allow for easy customizing, and low cost to the consumer."The only engine available for the ZZW30 was the all-aluminium 1ZZ-FED, a 1794 cc I4. Like its predecessors, the engine used dual overhead camshafts and 16 valves. The intake camshaft timing was adjustable via the VVT-i system, which was introduced earlier on the 1998 MR2 in some markets. Unlike its predecessors, however, the engine was placed onto the car the other way round, with the exhaust manifold towards the rear of the car instead of towards the front. The 138 hp (104 kW) maximum power was quite a drop from the previous generation, but thanks to the lightness of the car it could still move quite quickly, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 to 8.7 s depending on the transmission option, the Sequential Manual being unable to launch and shift as quickly as the clutch operated manual. Curb weight was 2,195 pounds (996 kg) (SMT cars weigh slightly more), making this model the lightest of the MR2 series in most markets. In addition to the 5-speed manual transmission, a 5-speed or 6-speed Sequential Manual Transmission (SMT) was also available starting in 2002. SMT is standard feature in Australian market; however, air conditioning was optional. After 2003, a 6-speed SMT was an optionThe MR2 Spyder was also distinguished from most of its competition (including the Honda S2000, Mazda Miata, and Porsche Boxster) due to the standard-equipment heated glass rear window. At the time of its debut, most convertibles were still using a plastic rear window. A hard top was also available from Toyota in Japan and Europe, though it was expensive.