The Toyota Supra Is Still AwesomeIt's one of the best recognised cars on the planet, so we thought we'd better have a look at where it came from.
-You know what this is. It's been ingrained on your mind for years. You may never have seen one of the metal nor even heard one, but you know what it is. It's a legend. It's the Toyota Supra, a car that was initially designed to take on its immediate rivals but ended up being on the best known cars on the planet. A tunist's favorite, it still has stopping power today. Here is its story. Various iterations of the Supra were released from the late 70s until 2002 and Toyota has yet to resurrect it. Initially built to take on the Datsun Zed car, the Mark I Supra was based on the Toyota Celica, but it was modified to make room for a larger 6 cylinder engine, which was based on the one found in the legendary 2000 GT Super Car. The second-generation Supra was again based on the Celica, this time featuring a [unk] design, popup head lamps, and more powerful engine. -That's the right stuff. -1986 rolled around and the Mark III came to be. This time, there was no Celica DNA to be found in there at all. While the Celica's powertrain swap ends and became front-wheel drive, the Supra stay pure. It also showed which way the car was headed. Initially available with the 3-liter 200 brake horsepower engine in 1987, Toyota added a turbo charge to the first Supra to get it blown. It produced 230 brake horsepower. Toyota didn't skimp on the tech either. Three-channel ABS and electronically adjustable suspension was available and every model came with front and rear double wishbone suspension, a standard. In 1992 though, the car we've all come to associate with the name Supra came to be. This one and it's awesome. One again, it came with a 3-liter 6-cyclinder engine and naturally aspirated. You could have one to 220 brake horsepower or you could have one with not one, but two turbos. And in Japan, 276 brake horsepower. U.S.A. 276, but that might not be the truth. It was probably nowhere near 276 brake horsepower in reality. Thanks to a gentleman's gentleman in Japan, performance cost numbers were kept at 276 to avoid a horsepower, you know, like the one the Germans are locked in right now. The rest of the world got a twin turbo with 320 brake horsepower. The top speed was limited to 155. Toyota said you can manage over 170 without changing anything really on the car. Now, that is in part down to its massive power and also the Supra super slippery aerodynamics, but also down to lightweight. You see, Toyota started experimenting with stuff like aluminum, putting in strategic places. So even though there was more kits on the Mark IV, it was actually up to 100 kilos lighter than its predecessor. But the Mark IV Supra's magic wasn't from its stock frame. I challenge you to find the Mark IV that has been modified in some way or other. I mean, it became the poster car for tunists all over the world. They are even featured in some fairly high profile media. It starred in the Fast and the Furious as well as being the poster car for the Gran Turismo games. Production ended in 2002 after Emission Rights made it impossible to continue. However, the U.S. imported its last in 1998 while the U.K.'s last arrived in 1996. Incidentally, this particular Supra was the last one to be imported into the U.K. by Toyota of Great Britain. It was a company director's company car. And in case you haven't guessed, it didn't start off quite like this. Now, this is the work of the U.K.'s Redline Magazine and their job was to create a replica of the Tachi Oiwa Motor Sport or TOM's Castrol racing Supra. Toyota thinks it has around 370 brake horsepower thanks to a list of modifications as long as my arm. Interestingly though, while the real Castrol Supra boasts a 500 brake horsepower 2-liter motor and to quote Toyota, "more electronic trickery than you were allowed in F1", the two cars share something. The livery. This livery isn't a hopeful knock-up. It was sent to Redline Magazine my TOM's. No, it doesn't have the manual gearbox that everybody wants it to have. It's got the rather rubbish 4-speed auto. It takes a while to get up to speed and to spool and all of that nonsense. It's just-- It's the slowest fast car you will ever drive. Yes, it's got nearly 100,000 miles on it, but that is not the point of this car right now. This is a piece of automotive theater. It's got big wings, big fence, and big noise. It's just big everything. It's an experience not only for the driver, but for everyone else. It's quite incredible. It causes a stir pretty much wherever it goes. Fun and drama from a Toyota. Oh yes. And it's just coming back now. The GT86 is at the foot of a mountain that Toyota has hold itself over before. The Supra was the jewel in Toyota's performance crown and it's a car that's still admired the world over for being particularly awesome. The death of the Supra marked the cars of the MR2 and Celica, rubbing the road of some of the most entertaining and engaging cars that was ever rolled along them. Now though, the GT86 is doing the job of its forbearers. It's getting people enthusiastic and excited again. And it's regaining an audience that Toyota very nearly lost, the enthusiasts and the drivers. We don't know whether Toyota is gonna make another Supra, but be in awful shame if it didn't have another crack at the high-performance whip.