History of the Toyota Supra

History of the Toyota Supra

Nearly 40 years ago, Toyota changed history with the launch of the Supra as a premium sports vehicle. This car became an iconic symbol of Japanese technology and innovation over the years. With this launch, the company was looking to break into the segment of the Grand Tourer in American and Japanese markets. Soon after its launch, the Supra became one of the most superlative sports cars in the world. The visual cues and platform of this vehicle were based on the Toyota Celica. Here is everything you need to know about the history of the legendary Supra.

1979-1981: Celica Supra

Initially, Toyota named this vehicle as the Celica XX. It was launched in American markets in 1979 with its robust 2.6-liter six-cylinder inline engine. It emanated power of up to 110 hp with 136 lb-feet torque. The initial version of the Celica Supra was made available with a standard five-speed automatic transmission although it also had the option of a four-speed transmission. This vehicle was integrated with many innovative features like air conditioning, optional leather interior, tilt steering wheel, AM/FM stereo and many other features. Toward the end of this generation, Toyota introduced a bigger 2.8-liter engine in Supra models.

1982-1986: Introduction of the Stronger Celica Supra

With the start of 1982, Toyota gave a new facelift to the Celica Supra. A new version of this vehicle came onto the market with a strong six-cylinder inline 2.8-liter engine. It produced up to 145 horsepower and 155 lb-ft torque. This vehicle soon became a successful sports car with a powerful engine that produced 169 lb-ft of torque and up to 161 hp of power. This second generation Toyota Celica was launched in two versions that included the luxury L-type and Performance type. The luxury L-type Celica came with automatic climate control, five-speaker audio system, digital instrument cluster, sunroof, power windows, trimmed interiors and power mirrors.

1986-1992: The Supra Goes Solo

The third-generation Supra was introduced as a solo act by Toyota. In this vehicle, the company provided a 3.0-liter six-cylinder inline engine with rear-wheel drive. It produced up to 200 ponies of power and 196 lb-ft of torque in the initial model years. This power was enhanced to 240 lb-ft of torque and up to 230 hp of power in later tubo versions launched in 1987. The Turbo models have some additional specifications including headlamp washers, adjustable suspension, limited slip differential, automatic climate control and eight-way adjustable seats.

1993-1998: Supra as a Super Performer

As the Supra entered its fourth generation, it evolved as a performance-centric vehicle. Its trimmed weight made it an amazing sports car. To reduce its weight and improve its performance, the automaker focused on smaller parts like a magnesium steering wheel and plastic fuel tank as well. This vehicle was also introduced with two engine options that included a turbo six-cylinder 3.0-liter producing up to 320 horsepower and 315 lb-ft torque. The second engine option included an inline six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine emanating up to 220 horsepower with 210 lb-ft of torque.

Today, Toyota is contemplating the return of the Supra in a new avatar. The company rolled out an interesting FT sports car in 2014 at the Detroit Auto Show where it gave hints about a re-launch of the Supra.