History of the Toyota Supra
The Supra is a name to reckon with in the history of Toyota. It is the most famous sports vehicle produced by the Japanese carmaker and was launched nearly 40 years back in 1978. Basically, the company intended to beat rivals in the Grand Tourer segment of American and Japanese automobile markets. The roots of this vehicle stem from the Toyota Celica and soon gained the title of being the most legendary performance sports car in Japan. With plans of the automaker to launch a new version of the Supra soon, here is a glimpse of its journey so far.
Celica Supra: 1979-1981
The Supra was initially named the Celica XX by Toyota. In January 1979, it was introduced in the American market with a 2.6-liter six-cylinder inline engine emanating up to 110 hp and 136 pound-feet as torque. This earlier version came standard with a five-speed automatic transmission with an option of a four-speed transmission as well. The larger size accommodated its six-pot engine in the stretched front side. Toyota designed this lineup with interesting features, including a tilt steering wheel, optional leather interior, air conditioning, FM/AM stereo and much more. It was the first vehicle offering a cruise control feature in the USA. It received a larger 2.8-liter engine in the final year of production for this phase.
Celica Supra: 1982-1986
A new version of the Supra hit the market during 1982. It was powered by a stronger inline six-cylinder 2.8-liter engine that produced up to 155 pound-feet of torque and 145 horsepower. This generation of the Supra steadily climbed up the ladder of engine output with up to 161 horsepower and 169 pound-feet torque emanated by the 1986 models. In this generation, the Celica Supra was offered in two variants, the Performance Type and Luxury L-Type. The luxury models were integrated with digital instrument cluster, automatic climate control, power mirrors, power windows, five-speaker audio system and sunroof.
Supra Solo Act: 1986-1992
Toyota launched the third-generation Supra as a standalone model. With this development, the Supra offered rear-wheel drive and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder inline engine. The initial model years presented up to 196 pound-feet of torque and 200 ponies while it was accentuated to up to 230 ponies and torque of 240 pound-feet in the new Turbo models by 1987. The turbo cars had additional features like adjustable suspension, headlamp washers, eight-way adjustable seats, limited slip differential and automatic climate control. Optional features included a Targa roof and antilock brakes.
Supra as an Ultimate Performer: 1993-1998
The fourth-generation Supra was launched as a serious performer. It came with a trimmed weight and many other performance-oriented features. The focus was laid on smaller details that included a plastic gas tank and magnesium steering wheel. This vehicle was launched with two types of engine options that included a Turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine emanating up to 315 pound-feet torque and 320 horsepower. Another option was the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine producing up to 210 pound-feet torque and 220 horsepower.
A New Beginning
The company rolled out its FT Sports car version for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show and the return of the iconic Supra was hinted at this same event. It is definitely due for a solid comeback. Although, there are speculations if this model will be named as the Supra or will it gain the badge of the GT-1.