We know wheel fitment can be a complex and confusing topic so we have compiled a bunch of resources to help owners out. This definitely does not cover everything but is a good start
Handling and Stagger
For handling, ideally, you would want to keep tire stagger around 20-40mm or so.
20-30mm is the ideal perfect balance between agile and being stable. This range offers quick and easy rear end rotations with throttle or lift off when needed, without being overly twitchy. Makes the MR2 exciting to drive. 20mm is what factory offered.
0-10mm stagger would increase response further while being more twitchy (we do not recommend anything below 20mm unless you are a professional comfortable with car suspension tuning and driving around at the limits). I think being a mid engine setup, 10mm minimum stagger is recommended.
A 30-40mm stagger would start to make the car feel more sluggish and dull while also affecting its ability to turn/rotate around corners. It may tend to shift the car balance towards understeer and is a safe recommendation for keeping the rear end in check if you are not used to driving at the limits (i.e, 215/255 combo would be great for this). Anything more than 40+mm stagger is not recommended.
Think about your intended purposes, skill level, driving needs and expectations when choosing tire stagger. For my personal MR2, prefer 10-30mm range, 10mm for canyon carving is amazing, 20-30mm for high speed circuit/track
Wheel fitment calculations and visualizations
For fitment calculations and visualizations, i would take an example you like and run the numbers and compare to other wheel size/specs you may have in mind. Use this helpful calculator, https://willtheyfit.com/
245/40/17, 255/40/17 on 17x9 et22 wheels square setup on coil overs. This setup is great for response, grip, and aesthetics, does not rub for the most part, unless going over very big dips where the whole car compresses hard. This is as wide and close to the body edge as you can get it using the given specs. There is more room in the rear for wider tire but would require different wheel sizes. Please refer to willtheyfit calculator for visualizations and wheel size changes
Requires rolling/pulling fenders front and rear to the max. Also requires hammering down pinch welds flat in the front wheel well area and potentially cutting/removing the top portion of front fender liner. Requires coilovers and a 5mm spacer up front to clear struts.
Example 2 ["Hellaflush" without the rubbing]
205/40/17 - 17x9 +12, 235/40/18 - 18x10.5 +15 on coilovers, a double staggered wheel/tire setup. Fitment is matched front and back in terms of wheel sticking out past fender, tire stretch). Handles decent and does not rub at all, unless you fly into a crazy dip. Requires rolling fenders.
225/45/17 - 17x9 + 22, 245/40/17 - 17x9.5 +18. Front and rear fender roll required. Flare the fenders very slightly for a rub free experience. Requires coilovers and front 5mm spacers to clear struts. Click here to order
17x9 + 15 - 215/40/17, 17x10 + 12 - 235/40/17. Could use some front camber. On Coilovers
235/40/17 - 17x7.5 +43 but have 10mm spacer so +33, 18x9.5 +45 - 275/40/18. Rears are pretty much maxed inside and out. On coilovers. Requires rolling fenders. Rubs slightly on rather heavy dips
On Coilovers, this is the available space you are working with. These setups pushes fitment very close to the limits for both coilovers and fender lip contact, basically maximizing every bit of possible space available while keeping fenders OEM with rolling and pulling with a fender roller.
For rears, please note, there is about 4-5mm of space between tire and strut.
For Fronts, please note, there is less than 5mm of space from wheel barrel to coilover strut. A 5-10mm spacer was needed to clear as our wheel was originally +43 by 7.5 and +22 by 9 which created contact with the front coilover struts
Your results may vary. This is just a guide for what worked for me in my experience. Example 5 235/275 combo was done on H&R coilovers. Example 1 245/255 was done on Fortune Auto coilovers. Example 2 was done on BC Coilovers.
There may be very minute differences between coilovers such as piston diameter, spring diameter, locking collar diameters etc.
However, i believe with these setups, you can move the wheel further out towards the fender worst case or run camber plates or perform tricks to have more flexibility and space. Example 5 did not rub unless very massive bump. Same with Example 1 and 2. There is quite a bit of space left for Example 5 at the fender area as during that period, my fender was not pulled out as aggressively as it is with Example 1 during the later years.
If you need more assistance/info, please refer to the archives