The Toyota Supra – one of the most iconic names in JDM history. And for 2019, there’s a new one primed to hit showroom floors. Though highly anticipated, the nameplate’s return has proven somewhat controversial due to the new model’s BMW-sourced engines and automatic gearbox – not to mention its bold styling.
Of course, without driving one there’s no way to make a final verdict, but Toyota has released some all-important facts and figures. The new Supra will use a 3.0-litre straight-six engine with 335bhp and 500Nm of torque. That’s good for a 0-60mph sprint of 4.3 seconds.
Two 2.0-litre versions are being developed for Japan, though it’s uncertain whether they’ll be coming to Europe.
So, with the new model getting closer and closer, let’s look back at the legendary bloodline of the Toyota Supra…
It may be well established in its own right now, but the legendary sports car actually debuted as a trim level rather than its own bloodline. Based on the Toyota Celica (pictured above), the Celica Supra (chassis codes A40/A50) started production in April 1978. Built at the brand’s Tahara plant, the plan at the time was for the car to take on the popular Datsun Z-cars. The Celica XX, as it was also called, was offered with a choice of a 2.0-litre, 2.6-litre or 2.8-litre inline-six. Power outputs ranged from 110bhp to 123bhp.
In 1981, a complete redesign in the form of the A60 was introduced. With four inline-six engines on offer, and the option of a manual or automatic gearbox, the second generation Supra stuck to the ideals of the original – fast and practical. Although still based on the Celica platform, the A60 differentiated further than its predecessor did, and by the third generation the Celica and Supra became two separate entities.
Speaking of the third generation, here it is – the A70. The car featured Toyota’s new flagship engine, the 7M-GE (a straight-six), and performance really stepped up this time around – equipped with the 3.0-litre naturally aspirated engine, the A70 Supra produced 200bhp. What’s more, when this motor was turbocharged, it put out 232bhp. That may not seem like a lot nowadays, but back in the late ‘80s and early ’90s, it was.
Even more so than the A70, the fourth-generation model (A80) took its powertrain to the next level. It had a choice of two 3.0-litre engines – the naturally aspirated 2JZ-GE, and the legendary twin-turbocharged 2JZ-GTE. The latter was the first time the Supra offered more than 300bhp. All this power resulted in a 0-60mph time of under five seconds and a top speed of 177mph (restricted to just 155mph in most worldwide markets and 112mph in Japan).
Since its arrival in 1993, this became the Supra that solidified the name into the history books – most notably by starring in The Fast and the Furious. Furthermore, the car’s also famous for being modified to produce crazy amounts of horsepower.
And that brings us to today, where we await the arrival of the fifth gen (A90) Supra. Will it be a hit and set the car world alight, just like its predecessors? Only time will tell…