Among sports car gurus, the Toyota Supra is well-known for its superb engine and classy style. It practically ruled as one of the kings of the ’80s and ’90s. While everyone is familiar with its fantastic power and force, there are actually quite a few interesting facts that may be less known. With the newest model of the Supra finally ending the model’s break away from the limelight, it is a perfect opportunity to re-explore the history and origins of this fantastic car series. Keep on reading to enrich your knowledge about the Toyota Supra’s very interesting history and facts!
10 First Navigation Computer was installed in the Celica XX, a version of a Supra.
Who knew that modern technology was already prevalent in the ‘80s? While we tend to think of vehicle GPS systems as a thing of the 21st century, engineers and scientists were already coming out with the first navigation systems as early as 1981. The Celica XX (Japanese version of the Celica Supra) featured a navigation computer for the first time ever!
Rather than using satellites and location systems, the first navigation system featured a simple inertial system that used your starting location and direction. Although it surely cannot compare to the touch-screen dashboards of today, it was a huge technological innovation success that changed lives.
9 Certain models compete with Corvettes.
Since its introduction, the Corvette has gone down in American history as one of the most famous and iconic sporting vehicles of all time. To say that certain models of the Supra are even comparable to the infamous Corvette is no small feat. However, facts are facts!
Since the introduction of the Toyota Supra Turbo in 1987, owners have compared the powerful engine to that of the Corvette. With the new 2020 model achieving a 0-60 in under five seconds, the powerful-yet-affordable car will definitely be a strong competitor for recent Corvette models. After all, people love good value coupled with great performance!
8 There are four main generations.
The Supra is actually split up into four generations, with each one holding its own benefits and drawbacks. The first generation, from 1979 to 1981, featured a 110 horsepower engine and didn’t contribute much to the model’s sports car fame. The second generation that lasted until ‘85 was better: it won an award as the fourth best-handling car!
With the third generation (‘86-’93) came the Turbo version that boosted the engine up to a whopping 320 horsepower. The car also attracted fans from its debut in the Fast and Furious movie franchise. Lastly, the fourth generation introduced the beloved, modernized version of the Supra that we all adored... until 1998 when it stopped production in the United States.
7 The newest one is a collaboration with BMW.
The BMW is an infamous German car that has been treasured as a luxury car for decades, so it is certainly exciting that the 2020 Supra is a collaboration with them! As the first car of the fifth generation, the 2020 Supra will feature a beautiful blend of traditional attributes with all-new, high tech designs.
BMW made sure to preserve the nostalgic features such as a curved hood, short cabin, and rear wheels that give the vehicle a muscle car vibe. The engine is BMW-sourced, with a solid 335 horsepower to suit both commuting and racing needs. The perfect blend of BMW characteristics with traditional styling will certainly make the car eye-catching, inside and out.
6 Starred in movies, TV, and video games!
That’s right! The Supra of the ‘90s also doubled as a movie star! Featured in the iconic franchise The Fast and the Furious, the ‘94 Supra jumped in both value and popularity, reaching prices of over $100,000! In fact, it’s about twice as expensive as the new 2020 Supra. However, the popular movie series wasn’t the only thing the Supra has starred in.
In fact, it is estimated that the Supra has shown up in a grand total of 78 TV shows and movies! Interesting enough, the Supra has also made various appearances in multiple video games, including Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, and Need for Speed.
5 Every single one comes with an inline 6 engine.
The inline-six engine is one of the most staple car parts for many brands, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar. Its signature smooth handling and longevity makes it hugely popular in the world of luxury cars. The engine’s many benefits are also why every single generation of the Toyota Supra came equipped with it.
The infamous six cylinders provide a natural, graceful balance that eliminates harsh vibrations, and this is what makes up the attractive, low purr of the Supras. Although popularity for this engine is beginning to go down due to its large size, certain BMWs, as well as the new Supra, continue to hold on to its buttery smooth performance.
4 Supra did not split from Celica until 1986.
Although the entire first generation of Supras existed since 1979, the Supra technically did not become their own model until 1986. Prior to that, they were joined with the Toyota Celica. Part of the reason behind this is that at first, the Supra was simply a slightly bigger version of the Celica (in order to accommodate the larger engine).
It wasn’t until the Supra built a reputation for itself as a famed sports car of the ‘80s did they part ways. With the 1986 version of the Supra, (the start of gen 3) the exterior became sleek, unique, and highly fashionable, making it the perfect model to finally become independent with.
3 There is a highly prized limited edition with only 500 ever made.
This one’s for rare car lovers! Designed to participate in touring championships in Japan, only 500 Toyota Supra ‘88 Turbo A cars were ever made. Available only in black, this limited edition car features special badging and higher horsepower than any Supra before it, at 267.
The fact that all 500 were released in Japan makes it even bigger news in the United States, where more than a few seekers have tried to get their hands on one of these babies. Known for its satisfying reaction times and performance speeds, the Turbo A lives up to its prized name. Even now, the Turbo A is highly valued by collectors and car lovers alike.
2 A huge complaint throughout its history is… its mpg!
Having an efficient car with relatively high miles per gallon will not only save money but help conserve resources as well, making it an increasingly important factor in judging the vehicles of today’s modern world. This is precisely why one of the biggest downsides of Supras throughout the model’s history remains to be its rather mediocre mpg. In fact, the miles per gallon remained to be 17-23 almost throughout its entire series!
The less-than-awesome mpg combined with the fact that owners tend to drive these cars hard makes it a rather expensive vehicle to maintain. However, things are turning around with the new 2020 supra, which is advertised to have a 24-31 mpg!
1 The newest one will start at under $50,000.
Featuring a clean iDrive display, a responsive high-tech dashboard, and a wonderfully comfortable and tech-focused cabin amongst other luxuries, it’s hard to believe that (when adjusted for inflation) the 2020 Supra can be obtained for cheaper than its 1993 model! It’s true, you can get the brand new Supra for a little under $50,000. Keep in mind that this vehicle is also infused with the infamous BMW technology and design, holding a perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a relatively lighter body. It’s what everyone has always loved so much about the Supra with exciting new twists added, making its affordability absolutely unbelievable! If you’re into sports cars but don’t quite have the budget, the 2020 Supra is right for you.