THE Celica and MR2 have their fair share of fans but ultimately it’s the Supra that still garners the most admirers. Undeniably fast, advanced engine technology for the time and luxury style notes ensured the Supra’s place in the GT hall of fame.
Earlier this year, when Toyota announced a 5th Generation Supra concept, the passion for this Japanese legend was reignited in many.
Supra through the ages
- April 1978 – Toyota announced the Celica Supra (also known as Celica XX) a power heavy spin-off to the much-loved second-gen Celica coupé. Changes included an upgrading of the four-cylinder engine to a straight six-cylinder powerhouse.
- July 1981 – Having established itself within the saloon market. The Mk 2 Celica XX officially launched in Japan. Known in Europe as the Celica Supra it hit European shores in August 1982.
- 1983 – The Celica Supra made its British Saloon Car Championship debut under the handling of notorious racing driver Win Percy.
- December 1985 – The Mk2 Celica Supra came to an end and made way for the divergence of the Supra/Celica brand. From here the Supra redefined the GT, flying the flag for Toyota’s rear-wheel drive experience.
- February 1986 – Mk3 Supra launched with new updates including double wishbone suspension with forged aluminium upper arms helping to further reduce the overall weight.
- August 1989 – The UK finally receives the highly sought after turbo version of the Mk3. This means UK drivers get to experience the full force of the 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds that the top speeds of the 153mph Supra offers.
- Early 1990s – New series JZ 2.5-litre twin turbo engines are introduced to the Supra line-up, replacing the 7M-GTE. Production ceases on the Mk3 in 1992.
- 1993 – Toyota showcases the fourth-generation Supra at the Chicago Motor Show, with a now improved and more streamlined look at 100kg less than the Mk3. Widely regarded as the Supra’s greatest incarnation, the Mk4 was formidable across a range of motorsport disciplines. Over the years it went on to compete at the highest levels including the JGTC, American SCCA, Pikes Peak and Le Mans.
- 1996 – Saw the Supra discontinued in the UK. Two years later in 1998, the US also had the last of its Supras roll out.
- April 2018 – Many thought the day would never come but when the GR Supra Racing Concept was revealed at Gran Turismo Sport, it’s clear that the Supra will continue to race in one guise or another…
The Toyota Supra was undeniably a forerunner at its inception and today its a mainstay in the cannon of JDM vehicles. The development of the 2.8-litre 5M-GE twin-cam and later the revered 7M-GTE turbocharged 230bhp 3.0GT Turbo blazed a trail of power that has inspired almost every Japanese sports coupé since.