GALLERY: The Toyota Supra – from 1978 to 2002

The Toyota Supra is one of the brand’s most popular nameplates of all time, and a modern successor to the model that last appeared over 10 years ago has often been talked about. Last we heard, reports suggested that a hybrid concept would appear at this year’s Tokyo motor show, ahead of a 2017 launch.

With the said motor show just a few months away, however, Toyota has been keeping mum over the matter. Odd timing, then, that Toyota UK’s official blog site has posted up a history chart of the Supra, chronicling all four generations of the sports car.

The Supra story started in 1978 as a designation for a longer, wider and more powerful derivation of the second-generation Celica coupe. Powered by six-cylinder engines instead of four-bangers, the Celica Supra (badged Celica XX in Japan) was Toyota’s answer to the Nissan/Datsun Z-cars.


In 1981, the luxury grand tourer was replaced by a sharper Mk2 Celica XX (again named the Celica Supra in all export markets), bringing with it independent rear suspension, stretched long wheelbase to fit a 2.8 litre twin-cam straight six motor, flared wheel arches and pop-up headlamps.

The Supra achieved true ‘independence’ in 1986 when it was separated from the Celica model lineup. Now simply called the Supra (the XX designation dropped), the third generation model employed double wishbones on all four corners, with forged aluminium upper arms, no less.

Focus has now moved from being a comfortable cruiser to an outright sports car, and the top Japan-only 3.0GT Turbo A model boasted a 3.0 litre turbocharged and intercooled twin-cam in-line six with 270 hp. It was the fastest Japanese car of its time, before the sports car market went on a power craze with the Z32-series Nissan 300ZX, FD-series Mazda RX-7 and Honda NSX.

Then came the Mk4 Supra that we all know and love in 1993. Shorter, lower and wider than the car it replaced, the new Supra’s proportions and flowing design owed more to the 2000GT of the Sixties than its predecessors. It was made to be aerodynamic and light too, weighing 100 kg less than before.

Allied to a simplified engine lineup of either naturally aspirated or twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre JZ-series straight six offering between 220 hp and 326 hp (limited to 280 hp in Japan), top-spec turbo versions with Toyota’s first six-speed gearbox now offered supercar performance. It was often compared to more expensive European thoroughbreds.

The Supra’s impressive run came to an end in Europe in 1996, and it was withdrawn from the North American market by the end of 1998. Toyota continued to sell the Supra in Japan before finally axing it in July 2002. Total production of the two Celica Supra and strict Supra generations stood at 593,337 units.

Interestingly, the article ended with this line: “time will tell whether that figure (production total) will increase in the future…” which is rather suggestive (no, not that way), don’t you think? Read into it what you will, but we think you’d all agree that a Toyota Supra replacement is long overdue. With the new Honda NSX due soon, the timing couldn’t be any better too.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with Carro.

Certified Pre-Owned - 1 Year Warranty

10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Hafriz Shah

Preferring to drive cars rather than desks, Hafriz Shah ditched his suit and tie to join the ranks of Malaysia’s motoring hacks. A car’s technical brilliance is completely lost on him, appreciating character-making quirks more. When not writing this ego trip of a bio, he’s usually off driving about aimlessly, preferably in a car with the right combination of three foot pedals and six gears.



  • Mamat on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    next supra anyone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1
    • Hope Toyota and Honda bring back their sport cars! Hybrid is boring!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
  • Come on Toyota. Just revive the Supra. We need the GT-R and the upcoming NSX rivals..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0
    • dugong on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      NO need new Supra. We already got awesome TRD Vios which can smoke NSX, LFA and GTR!!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 17
  • shawal on Jul 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    The GT-R raised the bar indefinitely ..
    makes other jap automaker sweat under their collars…
    Lexus LFA with its exorbitant price tag is nowhere near as capable as godzilla …and it took toyota years to build it, and not make any money as well…not to mention its impracticalities
    The NSX tries to play it smart by offering something thoroughly different , all wheel drive hybrid , and looks to kill…
    toyota shud just plonk the LFA’s v10 in the new supra.. at least we’d know it’ll sound amazing

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 2
    • 1. LFA is intended to be a toyota exotic car..and godzilla is nowhere near that…besides, LFA is among jeremy clarkson’s favourite know why?
      2. There’s nothing wrong with what the next NSX is trying to offer..people and company MOVED ON and should you

      those trying to be sentimental…come on la..a car is an engineering feat. let them improvise and hopefully they don’t get dragged with their old timer taste..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 22
      • Mann Bel on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        why so emo bro?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
        • theanswer on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:03 pm

          emo..but he’s right. u cant get used lexus lfa under rm500k. but what nissan did with gtr is absolutely wonderful..affordable and highly capable supercar.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • Reiner on Jul 31, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    where are those comments.. “It’s still a Toyota” ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5
  • JustForFun on Jul 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    TOYOTA CEO: Sorry Dear Supporter, TOYOTA already number 1.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7
  • the legendary toyota! unlike the current toyotas we’re having right now….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6
  • namanama on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Long live the straight 6 twin turbo 2JZ-GTE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • frenzyaustin on Jul 31, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Most iconic car ever from Japan. The legendary indestructible 2JZ-GTE and up to few hundred HP without giving any problem. MKIV Supra FTW!
    Toyota, please came out something that can rival the GT-R like in the 90’s. And please revive the Celica GT-4 to rival with Evo and WRX.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • 86 not enough? Need another one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17
    • What the? Do you actually know what category the 86 is in and which category the Supra belongs to? Do some research before randomly commenting like this.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • BMW BEST on Aug 01, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      LMFAO do u know Supra is something that 86 can’t even beyond? How can u even compare two of them?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • jolly_idiot on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Where is the celica too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Jaybond on Aug 01, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Why Toyota is so hesitant to come out with the Supra replacement is still unknown.The current GTR is already in its 4th or 5th production year, and still no sign of new Supra.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • otyongok on Aug 01, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      they would rather sell tin milo kosong vios to other countries and laugh all the way to bank

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • lexus lf-lc is the replacement for next supra,hope toyota/lexus offer wide variety of engine for this new super supra.lfa is the first supersport car from lexus

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • NeedForSpeed_UndergroundV2 on Sep 06, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Supra … what a car!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Add a comment