Now, before I start going into detail, I read some comments online regarding this bracing system offered by Phoenix Power. Comments such as “This system does nothing”, “Too much money for something that doesn’t work very well” and “just for show”. It makes me laugh how people can comment and review these things just from seeing photos. I will set the record straight here, hopefully.
Phoenix Power didn’t market this as a roll cage, it is designed as a chassis stiffening / bracing system. These are really rare, unicorn rare, and to be honest I do not think many were sold or produced. Here are a few photos from the official catalog.
A breaker in Japan must’ve obtained a Phoenix Power customer car. It had the Type II Front Bumper, Skirts and Spoiler… and the Chassis Brace. The auction was a buy it now and I didn’t hesitate. I jumped on it because it would be a nice addition to my Phoenix Power demo car build and I knew the chances of finding another were slim to none. Here are some photos from the auction in Japan.
I won’t lie, this cost me a small fortune to buy, ship and import (plus fees and duty). But it was worth it. Here are a few photos of the kit before I restored it.
Keep in mind that I had zero instructions for assembly. I spent hours analyzing the auction photos, matching welds, scuffs… labeling and photographing the parts just so I knew what was paired together and where it was fitted on the car.
I was tempted to have the kit powder coated white to match the exterior of the car, however, Phoenix Power only offered this in gold or silver. I kept true to the original and had it coated satin silver.
Install of this kit requires cutting of interior plastics and carpet. I’m a perfectionist and I’m glad to say i did it all cleanly and perfect first time. It also requires mounting of various brackets in the passenger and driver side foot well. All I received with this kit was bag of self tapping screws… I didn’t use these. Where possible I drilled and tapped M6 and M8 to mount the brackets to the chassis. Most of the kit actually mounts to stock locations such as the seat belt and grab handle bolt holes.
Here are a few photos of the install.
I’m really pleased with the final install! Everything in this kit is milometer perfect. The side bar clears the seat and door card perfectly, everything is snug and as it should be. The hours involved in making this kit, the jigs, welding etc must be mindbogglingly high. Hats off to the guys at Phoenix Power. Getting in and out is also effortless and the side bars actually stop me from ruining the side bolsters on my factory optional Recaro seats.
So, was it a waste of money and does nothing… like the photo critics proclaim? My answer is no! I own a t-bar and immediately after fitting this kit all of the annoying creaks and rattles caused by chassis flex were gone, no-more. The car also feels more planted on the road, especially in the corners. I do think it does the job it was designed to do, and does it well.
I weighed the kit, it came out at 15 kilograms total + fasteners. It was rumored that titanium was used in its construction. If it was regular mild steel I would expect the weight to be a lot more?
Overall this is a really nice addition to my Phoenix Power MR2 Turbo. It is functional and I really love the distinctive side plates visible in the rear quarter windows. It is piece of MR2 history and most likely the only kit that was ever imported into the United Kingdom.