Toyota began building this high-performance model back in 1979. As it evolved through four model generations, it remained one of the most popular sports cars in its class for 20 years.  Unfortunately, Toyota halted the production of the Supra in the U.S. in 1999.  A decade after Supra production was halted, it is one of the most sought after car in the world.


Toyota introduced the Celica Supra in 1979. Its styling was based upon the popular Celica liftback design, but it was both longer and wider. It was the engine, though, that made the Supra stand apart from the Celica.

The Supra's 2.6-liter inline-6 engine was the first Toyota production engine to be equipped with electronic fuel injection. The Supra was available with both a manual and automatic transmission, and  came standard with 4-wheel-independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes.

In 1981, Supra was given a 2.8-liter single overhead cam engine, a revised 4-speed automatic transmission and final drive gearing, and was optionally available with a new Sport Suspension package.


Supra's second-generation featured a 2.8L DOHC engine. The new Supra won Motor Trend "Import Car of the Year" for 1982.

1982 saw a complete redesign of the Supra, along with the entire Celica line-up. Now available as two distinct models, L-type and Performance, Supra also received another engine upgrade. The new 5M-GE engine still displaced 2.8 liters, but now sported double overhead cams. Both the L-type and Performance package vehicles were mechanically identical, with differences limited to fender flares, wider wheels and tires, and a sport interior on the Performance package.

Slight changes on the 1984 models were limited to minor engine modifications on the manual transmission-equipped vehicles (higher compression ratio and larger diameter intake).


The next major change was 1986 1/2 when the Supra was finally given its own identity. No longer part of the Celica range, the 1986 1/2 Supra was equipped with a 3.0 liter DOHC engine and retained the 4-wheel disc brakes and all-independent suspension of its predecessors. In 1987, Toyota added a turbocharged model to the line, making it the first Toyota model in the U.S. to be available with both a turbocharged engine and anti-lock brakes. The 1987 Supras were available with an optional targa-type Sport Roof for open-air driving.


With the exception of minor styling updates, the next major redesign occurred in mid-1993 with the fourth and final generation of Supra -- when the Supra entered the realm of "supercars." available in both Turbo and non-Turbo guise, the new Supra was a radical departure from Supras of old. Performance was now the name of the game, and many weight saving measures were employed -- Toyota went so far as to equip the vehicle with hollow carpet fibers and make the rear spoiler (optional on Turbo models) hollow. The Turbo model was hailed by many major magazines as a true worldbeater and in '94 won Popular Mechanics' "Design and Engineering Awards." With 320-horsepower, this was the highest level of performance, and the strongest commitment to performance, Toyota had ever placed in one vehicle.

[Home] [Forums] [List] [Register] [Tech Articles] [Photo Gallery] [History]