The Toyota Supra has long been the object of my affection. I’ve lusted, needed, wanted, and loathed others driving by in their sexy Japanese import. It wasn’t your typical rice burner, something you could laugh at and one definitely not driven by the typical pimply faced 16 year old. No, the Supra is and was what dreams were made of.
Believe it or not, the original Toyota Supra was not what most think of when they hear twin turbos spooling up. The original Supra was more like a Celica rip off, boxy, ugly, just like any other import in the late 70’s. Originally the Supra was released in Japan (obviously) in 1978 and then made it’s way over in 1979 with barely over 100 horsepower.
By 1982 the Supra had undergone a few changes most notably in the engine bay, where the inline 4 was swapped out for an inline 6. Further changes included some typical 80’s flares for the skirts and bumpers, along with the option of a performance or luxury model. This new 80’s makeover even included a semi-advanced stereo system, complete with 7-Channel graphic equalizer. I love the 80’s.
By the time the late 80’s rolled around we were starting to get a little more serious. The Supra was starting to brand itself a sport import and less like a 2-Door family car. The inline six was massaged over and was starting to breathe out just at 200 horsepower. It was in 1989 that Toyota also offered a Turbo, that netted an additional 30 horsepower over the base 200 on the 3.0 litre inline 6. The bigger power gains and lighter weigh components allowed the Supra to be a real contender in a domestic controlled market.
It’s 1993 and we can start talking about the Supra design that us in our late 20’s came to know and love. When I hear the word Supra, this is the model that immediately comes to mind and the turbo whine I associate it with. This is also the year the Supra got it’s largest horsepower increase, which allowed the inline 6 cylinder Turbo to produce over 300 horsepower. This increase in power coupled with it’s lightest components ever, with sport tuned suspension, would allow the twin-turbo Supra to rocket from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.
Yes, the Toyota Supra is quite possibly the only importa that makes my pants tight. It’s also the only ‘rice burner’ I’d ever be caught dead in. It makes this love even more bittersweet that Toyota haulted production in 2002, making the Supra a collectors item.
Depending on who you believe, there have been numerous believers that the Supra will be revived, even as early as 2005. Some of these rumors stated that the next generation Supra will included a V8, going against years of inline 6 superiority. According to some publications 2008 was supposed to mark the return of the Supra, but obviously that has come and gone. In todays automotive landscape and economic crisis, I don’t think even Toyota will be taking risks with developing a new sport import to lust over.