Before the swap, the 2.0 3S-GE was way too tame and underpowered for the look and feel of the car. (Okay I am a biker and most cars feel that way for me, but I know my "fast" for cars too)
After the swap I was VERY impressed with what I now had. With the standard backbox I have two imensly different expriences to behold when driving my 2.
First comes LIMO MODE, where you can drive around almost all day using just 3rd and 5th. The engine note and noise are almost unoticeable and if you were a pedestrian, you probably wouldn't even notice the difference from any other MR2. The power to be had down low is phenonenal. I can pull away in third like it was 1st. It will pull from 20mph in 5th (if you tickle the throttle) I doubt there is a hill large enough in the world, that it would not amaze you in climbing speed). Onto roudabout in 5th ? ...no problem. Overall smooth, quiet, lazy, forgiving, power when you need it not a problem. Bliss.
The you have FERRARI MODE, (okay "mini" Ferrari Mode), but wahey...when you nail it, the noises that come from a few inches behind you head...wow. I mean it was good preswap, but now it is indescribable. The induction roar is just right, the low down burbles, blurgs, borps and THAAABorps plus the classical "V Engine" noises that go on back there, are truly awesome, they echo around the cabin perfectly in millio-phonic pana-sound. The pull is pretty amazing for an NA car (untweaked engine too - there have been 3VZs churning out 375BHP in NA form!) it reaches 60 in about 6.5 (8.0 before) and I estimate 0-100 in about 10-11, its not long that for sure. And it just keeps coming...and the fifth gear roll-on is a superb experience (if you can find a road long enough to enjoy it to the max on)
I say again...these engines were DESIGNED for the mk2 !!! ,Jon.