The Toyota Supra is an iconic Japanese sports car with humble beginnings. Unlike Nissan, which took until 2009 to offer the really cool GT-Rs in the United States, the Supra was always a part of the U.S. market.
In this video by Donut Media, we learn the history of the Toyota Supra.
The Supra's roots are planted in the Toyota Celica. Toyota decided it wanted a piece of the booming pony car market after the Ford Mustang exploded onto the scene, so in 1970, the Celica arrived. It wasn't until 1978 that the "Supra" name would actually come about, though. Toyota originally called a new variant of the car the "Celica XX," pronounced "double X." Toyota's North American operations didn't dig the name, so it was soon changed to Celica Supra. The car featured an inline-6 developed from the engine in the legendary 2000GT sports car of the 1960s.
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The Supra represented a more powerful version of the regular Celica, but in 1986, Toyota officially spun the Supra away from the Celica to form two distinct cars. This is the A70, or Mark III, Supra. Despite all of this great history, the first three generations of the Supra were never really all-stars with regard to performance. Even the A70 was heavy, and the inline-6 engine was just adequate. Then, someone decided to slap a turbocharger on the engine to create the 7MGTE. With a turbo, the party was started.
With 230 horsepower, Toyota rebranded the car as the "Supra Turbo" and it began to break through in the contested sports car segment. Then, as a double whammy, the 1JZ engine came into play in 1992. The new inline-6 made the Supra an even better car, especially when it was turbocharged.
We all know it didn't stop there. Toyota followed up the Mark III Supra with the icon we all know and love: the Mark IV Supra, or A80. It ditched the wedgy, boxy look of past Supras for something incredibly modern looking. The first examples hit the road in 1993, and it still looks fresh today. Of course, it also arrived with the near-bulletproof 2JZ inline-6 engine.
The car would earn such a cult following that, even though it was pulled from the U.S. market in 1998, it was chosen as the star car for 2001's "The Fast and the Furious." The rest of the love affair is history.
Once again, it may not be the end of the road. Toyota has all but confirmed a Mark V Supra will return very soon, and it has partnered with BMW to build the next-generation sports car.