The Story Behind the Toyota Supra


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If you are a die-hard car enthusiast, then you understand the hype and significance of Toyota bringing back the Supra after more than 20 years. If you don’t understand, that’s ok! We’re going to take a trip down Supra memory lane. At Steve Landers Toyota of Northwest Arkansas, we are proud to be able to sell the new 2020 GR Supra to the residents of the community. It is a stunning car and we’re excited to see more of them on the roads.

Click here to view our Supra inventory. 


The Supra nameplate traces its lineage all the way back to the 1979 Toyota Celica Supra. A keen Toyota historian will recognize the middle name. The Celica was the smaller sports coupe in Toyota’s lineup and the two models eventually split in the mid-1980s. The reason the early Supras shared their name with the Celica is because they were built off the same common chassis. Because the Supra had a larger engine, Toyota had to stretch the wheelbase 5.1 inches. 


The original 1979 Celica Supra was powered by a 2.6L inline-six cylinder producing 110 horsepower. This engine had a five-speed manual as standard and a four-speed automatic available. The 0-60 time of this engine was 11.2 seconds -- not a number even comparable to today, but that was acceptable back then! 


The second generation Supra was introduced for the 1982 model year, and Toyota made several suspension and powertrain improvements that allowed it to beat Ferrari, Lotus and two Porsche models in a 1984 “Car and Driver” comparison test seeking the best-handling imported car. It placed second behind the Audi Coupe GT in the contest to determine the best sports coupe in America. 


Fast forward to the middle of 1986, and the third-generation Supra is revealed. This model sheds the Celica name completely and while the Celica gets a smaller four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, the big daddy Supra gets rear-wheel drive and an inline six-cylinder. In 1987, the Supra gets turbo power and allows this model to get to sixty miles per hour in 6.4 seconds --  a significant improvement from where the Supra first began. 


Now we get to 1993, when the Mark 4 Supra is released. This is the Supra that made its name famous. The styling was beautiful and unlike any Toyota to come before it. The Mark 4 Supra also had a modern powertrain, including an available twin-turbo engine that produced 320 horsepower. This rocketed the Supra to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, and that was faster than all its competitors at the time. 


1998 was the last year for the Toyota Supra in the United States, but that didn’t stop its fans from continuing to praise the Supra name throughout the years. “The Fast and the Furious,” released in 2001, featured an orange Supra as its halo car and increased the fame of our beloved sports coupe. As the years went on, the 2JZ motor found in the Mark 4 Supra turbo began to be transplanted into other vehicles by tuners for its ability to produce high horsepower numbers while staying strong and reliable. 


Toyota teased the reintroduction of the Supra for many years by bringing concepts to auto shows, but we got our first look at our modern A90 generation Supra by way of the FT-1 concept car. We saw it come to life after the Gazoo Racing (GR) Supra race car concept was shown at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show. 


We finally saw the production-ready Supra at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show! All the waiting and speculation has been brought to an end now that we have the 2020 Mark 5 Supra available on our lots. It is co-developed with BMW and is an excellent performer. Once you lay your eyes on the gorgeous exterior and listen to the crackling sport exhaust, you can’t help but want one. At Steve Landers Toyota NWA, you can have one! Contact us if you’d like more information regarding our Supra inventory or would like us to locate your dream Supra.

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