The successor of the Toyota Celica—the Supra enjoyed its supercar status in the 1980s and 1990s, as a pioneer of Toyota’s breakthroughs in the automotive history. It was Toyota’s first sports car to obtain the powerful electronic fuel injection and to be equipped with both a turbocharged engine and antilock brakes. It was a legendary sports car that appeared in numerous video games and movies. Unfortunately, this supercar would bid an early farewell.
1978-1981: The pioneering Toyota Supra Mark I
Inspired by the body style of the Toyota Celica, the first liftback Supra (or Mark I) debuted in 1978 to compete with the Datsun Z-car—the most popular car at that time. In 1979, a 110-hp 12-valve SOHC inline-6 engine Mark I—equipped with its benchmark electronic fuel injection—was released in the United States. An impressive overdrive gear with either 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission that could run up to 35 mph (56 km/h) made the Supra a certified eye candy for performance car enthusiasts. The next year marked another breakthrough in Toyota, as the Japan-made Mark I utilized a turbocharger for the first time in the automaker’s history.
1982-1986: The bigger and better Toyota Supra Mark II
With a larger engine, linger wheelbase, and altered fascia, the Supra was incomparable to its predecessor. Two distinct models of this Supra were released in the North America: the Performance Type (P-type) and the Luxury Type (L-type). Fiberglass fender flares, sporty 8-way adjustable seats, 14x7 inch aluminum alloy wheels, and optional headlight washers were some of the features of the P-type. Whereas, the L-type boasts of its optional digital dash with trip computer, complete with all the information the driver can use. Both types, however, have the same mechanical build-up. Towards the end of this generation, the Mark II underwent minor changes in terms of its engine and its standard features.
1986-1992: The exclusive Toyota Supra Mark III
The third generation Supra completely stepped out of the shadow of Toyota Celica. It was powered with the Toyota 7M-GE, the automaker’s flagship engine. It contained four valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams. The Supras in 1986 were oozing with modern and futuristic concepts and technology. The 1986 model was powered by a 200-hp 3.0 L DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, and the first Supra Turbo came the year after. It was the intercooled, turbocharged version of the 1986 engine. However, with these innovations, the Supra became very expensive as well. And although Toyota modified the Supra once in a while, still, its sales dipped year after year.
1992-2002: The last Toyota Supra Mark IV
Despite the plummeting sales of the Supra, Toyota continued to envision it as its serious high-performance car. Two new engine upgrades were available for the new Supra: a naturally aspirated Toyota 2JZ-GE producing 220 hp and 4800 rpm of torque, and a twin turbocharged Toyota 2JZ-GTE producing 276 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. The overall look was inspired by Toyota’s first grand touring sports car, the Toyota 2000GT. Although a bit heavy compared to other sports cars, the Supra Turbo showed no problems in terms of speed and control. However, the model still failed in the emission standards, which prompted its end of production in Japan in 2002.
2003-present: The rumored Supra Mark V
A V8-powered Mark V is expected to debut in the coming years, and the Supra’s revival is hoped to be the flagship of the Toyota lineup. While this rumor is yet to be proved, the world awaits for Toyota’s shocking revelation on either 2014 or 2015 of the Supra’s successor.