Toyota Supra

Toyota created something magnificent in the Supra: A “curvalicious” Japanese muscle car with precision, beauty and brawn. What the hell happened? Where is the new Supra? Why doesn’t Toyota build another sports car like this? The new A86 is a good little handler – but it wouldn’t pull the foreskin off a pre-pubescent peewee!!!! It’s got no guts, no grunt no real excitement…

Our new car world is so boring, politically correct and scared to build exciting cars! The bean counters have well and truly taken over the world of car production with global platforms, badge engineering and truly mass production in a slick world of marketing…

It amazes me as a vehicle importer that we have been able to continue importing and selling the same cars that we have been bringing in from Japan for the last 15 years! These cars have held their value amazingly well, they’re still popular and we continue to get custom orders for these older but brilliant vehicles every week!

So what has happened?

The Supra was a part of the epoch of a booming Japanese domestic economy in an era when Japan had risen to be the best auto manufacturer in the world.

The Supra was created around the same time as the new generation Toyota Soarer LS400 and twin turbo versions – this is the car that caused Mercedes to literally have to change their Bavarian diapers – the1990s quad cam Soarers make the old Mercs of the same era appear to be 1980′s dinosaurs in build quality and technology… Craig Dean’s twin turbo Soarer coupe won Targa Tasmania outright in 1998 – the toughest road race in the world – against an open field of Europe’s most potent metal.

The booming Domestic economy was the driving force – when Japan is cranking – it’s own domestic car buying population is massive. (This is the 3rd biggest economy in the world) In the late eighties and early nineties – the Japanese car buyer wanted the best and manufacturers were willing and able to build niche cars and “super-cars” at an affordable price – firstly for themselves, and secondly for export markets.

The Supra is a prime example… The 2JZ engine is a smooth straight six twin turbo beast. Introduced in 1993 – this was the best 6 cylinder performance motor in the world. Bullet proof strong, efficient an infinitely tuneable…

Around this phenomenal power plant Toyota built a classic front engine rear drive machine with everything a sports car purist could want: Massive brakes, independent suspension, almost perfect weight distribution front to rear… this is a car that our own Jim Richards raced and Craig Dean achieved a 3rd outright in the 2000 Targa Tasmania in a near stock Supra coming in behind Jim Richards and Gary Quin in GT3 Porsches – cars that were purpose built race cars and 5 times more expensive to buy! (check this link for a good read on this Supra adventure

These cars are amazing especially in today’s bland world of pseudo sports cars. The non turbo versions are also brilliant drives. The torquey 3.0 litre packs a 160 Kw punch in standard guise – a brilliant power-to-weight ratio by todays standards and still prove to be one of the most popular choices of young sports car enthusiasts still on their P-Plates (and legal!).

Global Market resurgence.

Now we are seeing an interesting phenomenon – no one is building affordable sports cars with balls today – either – here or in Japan or anywhere – the result is that prices of clean and original Supras in Japan are on the rise. The Japanese export market has developed and matured into a brilliant global export machine – countries from all over the world go shopping for used cars in Japan – and these shoppers are competing with Japanese domestic market shoppers for these same sports cars and the prices are stronger than ever…

Despite this Japan is still the best place to go shopping for clean mint condition Supras with low milage. Aussie buyers that want us to import cars from Japan are generally not bargain hunters – but they are genuine enthusiasts that want the best they can buy in the Aussie market-place – and these are not cars that we imported 5 – 10 or 15 years ago – they are generally cars that been nestled away in Japan and used sparingly. Tokyo is one of the best places to find Supras that have usually been garaged and low milage examples can still be found.

To import one these original Supras direct from Japan – give us a call at Edward Lee’s 02 9744 0539 or call Phil Lee direct on0416285333

Also called Toyota Supra MK IV
Production 1993–2002
Assembly Motomachi, Japan
Platform JZA8x
Engine(s) 3 L (2997 cc) 2JZ-GE I6
3 L (2997 cc) 2JZ-GTE I6
Transmission(s) 5-speed W58 manual

6-speed V16x manual

4-Speed A341E automatic

Wheelbase 2550 mm (100.4 in)
Length 4515 mm (177.8 in) (1993-1998)
4514 mm (177.7 in) (1999-2002)
Width 1811 mm (71.3 in)
Height 1265 mm (49.8 in) (1993-1998)
1275 mm (50.2 in) (1999-2002)
Curb weight 1460 kg (3219 lb) (non-turbo)
1581 kg (3486 lb) {turbo}
Fuel capacity 70 litres (18.5 US gal)

Mark IV

Toyota Supra

The last generation Supra that Edward Lee’s imports and complies was a massive improvemant over the older model in the direction of a more serious high performance car.

Serious production started 1993. This Supra was a new design from the ground up, with curvaceous and sexy styling and two fresh engine variants: a naturally aspirated 2JZ-GE producing 220hp (160kW/220PS) at 5800 rpm and 210ft·lb (280N·m) at 4800 rpm of torque and a twin turbocharged 2JZ-GTE making 280hp (210kW/285PS) and 319ft·lb (432N·m).

Toyota modified the Supra turbo’s turbochargers to a smaller steel wheeled version for US and European ecports versions and included bigger fuel injectors. This increased the power output to 322hp (242kW/322PS) at 5600 rpm and 316ft·lb (430N·m) at 4000 rpm.

The twin turbo Supra can achieve 0–60 mph in as low as 4.5 seconds and 1/4 mile (402 m) in 13 seconds at 110 mph (179 km/h). The turbo version was tested to reach over 292 km/h (182 mph) all-stock – but here is the fun part – the cars are restricted to just 180km/h in Japan and 250km/h for export markets.

Some Euro Spec cars also with a sexy air intake on the bonnet that we don’t see on Aussie import cars.

Supras are slippery little puppies with a drag coefficient of .31 .

The Supra’s twin turbos work in sequential mode which works beautifully to eliminate turbo lag at low revs – a pair of CT-12b turbos are used with ceramic blades for the domestic Japanese market and steel blades for export markets.

A typical tuner mod is to fit one massive turbo in place of the twin setup for drag racing…

The sequential setup works by initially sending exhaust gasses to the first turbine resulting in more boost and enhanced torque as early as 1800 rpm.

At 3500 rpm, a chunk of exhaust is sent to the second turbo for a “pre-boost” mode.

At 4000 rpm, the second turbo is used to ad boost to the first turbo.

The twin setup kills any turbo-lag and provides instant low rev response and increased high rev boost.

The RZ Supra and SZ-R Supra comes with a bullet-proof German made 6-speed Getrag V160 gearbox.

The SZ non-turbos come with the slick shifting and light 5-speed manual W58 that is a tried and proven manual gearbox improved from the earlier model. This gearbox is the favoured choice for many V8 manual conversions in US musclecars!

All Supras come with auto option and the series 2 from 1997 onwards came with a paddle shift version or manumatic mode.

RZ turbo cars and also SZ-R non-turbos came with larger 4-piston brake calipers on the front and 2-piston calipers for the rear.

Most SZ carscame with 2-piston front and a single piston rear calipers.

Massive weight saving measures ware adopted to reduce the girth of these Supras compared to the earlier model.

Aluminium bonnet and arga roofs, aluminium front crossmember, aluminium gearbox casings, and suspension upper A-arms are used. Further weight reduction was achieved by hollowed out head bolts, hollow carpet fibers, lighter alloy steering wheel, plastic fuel tank and lid, gas injected rear spoiler, and a single pipe exhaust.

So even with a much improved shopping list of features such as dual airbags, traction control, larger brakes, larger wheels, larger tires, and extra turbo, the car was almost 100 kg lighter than the old Supra.

GZ or Aero-top models added 18 kg to allow for chassis strengthening while the automatic transmission added 25 kg.

The SUpra has precisely 51% of its weight over the front wheels and 49% over the rear.

RZ manuals weigh 1,590 kg, with autos weighing 4.5 kgs more.

Cosmetic updates for the range occured in 1996 and again in 1998.

The SZ non turbo was enhanced with a VVT-i which raised power by 4 Kw.

Toyota was unable to sell the turbo Supras in many US states after 1998 due to stricter emissions laws which the Supra did not pass.

In Japan, the turbo engines were installed with VVT-i as well from 1997.

Supras have also proven to be a brilliant platform for roadracing, with several top 20 and top 10 One Lap Of America finishes in the SSGT1 class in the US.

The Supra is lighter than the Nissan R33 and R34 Skyline GT-Rs which the Supra hashistorically been raced against in Japan.


The Supra was also lighter than the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 and the Nissan 300ZX Turbo. Despite its curb weight, in 1994 the MKIV managed a remarkable skidpad rating of 0.95 lateral g’s (200ft) or 0.98 lateral g’s (300ft) due in part to a four-sensor four-channel track tuned ABS system with yaw control whereby each caliper is sensored and the brakes are controlled individually according to the speed, angle, and pitch of the approaching corner. This unique Formula One inspired braking system allowed the Supra Turbo to record a 110 km/h -0 braking distance 45 m, the best braking performance of any production car tested in 1997 by Car and Driver magazine. This record was finally broken in 2004 by 0.91 m by a Porsche Carrera GT.

Due to the strength of the stock non turbo engine, the 2JZ series 1994-1996 has remained a popular import platform for modification. This non-turbo engine pulls from 0-100 km/h in as few as 6.2 seconds and has 220 hp (160 kW/220 PS) from factory.

Sales to Canada were ceased in 1997 (there were no 1996 Celicas), and in the US in 1998. Production continued in Japan until August 2002, ceasing due to restrictive emission standards to be adhered to by 2003.

Mark V

Throughout the past couple of years, major print and online auto publications have hinted at a possible revival of the Supra, pointing the car in different directions. The vehicle was originally thought to be the flagship or halo model in the Toyota lineup, be powered by a high output V8, and have an estimated cost anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000. Other rumors hint at a V10 F1-inspired powerplant, like the current BMW M5 and M6, though 2006 saw F1 engines change to V8s. Power is 500 bhp (373 kW/507 PS) or more, as this was likely due to the increasing number of sighting of a high performance sports car being tested throughout Europe and, more specifically, on the Nürburgring. These vehicles turned out to be the test mules for Lexus’ future Lexus LF-A. was among a number of publications that claimed that there will be a return of the Supra in 2008 but Toyota disclaimed this rumor on August 15, 2006. The same numerous publications that originally speculated on a future Supra all stated no new vehicle was being developed. According to an AutoWeek article on current and upcoming Toyota vehicles, all rumors on the Supra’s return are false. Automotive News also claim Toyota has absolutely no plans for a Supra in the future.

” All the rumors of the two-passenger sports car’s return are false.” – Automotive News

The Toyota FT-HS (Future Toyota-Hybrid Sport), which debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, was stated to be a concept for a vehicle that could fill the gap in Toyota’s line-up left by the Supra. According to Automobile Magazine, Toyota is planning to launch a production version of the FT-HS in 2009. Toyota has yet to make an official announcement so it is unknown if it will wear the Supra nameplate.


The MK II, with its all-new design, quickly became a success in the US where it was awarded the Import Car of the Year by Motor Trend. It also made Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list for 1983 and 1984. In 1994, the MK IV Supra won Popular Mechanics “Design & Engineering awards”.

Toyota Supra

1993 – 1993.5 MK IV Supra introduced with 3 L (2997 cc) turbo (2JZ-GTE) or non-turbo (2JZ-GE) DOHC engine.

1996 – Turbo only available with Automatic transmission due to OBD2 certification requirements. Targa roof standard on all Turbo models.

1997 – Manual transmission available on turbo models. Restyled. All 1997 labeled as 15th Anniversary model. Japanese production stopped in September.

1998 – Slight restyling of interior. VVT-i on non-turbo models which increased power. Turbos not available in states that require California emissions.

1999 – Export of MK IV Toyota Supra halted in the U.S., production in Japan continues.

2002 – Production of MK IV Toyota Supra halts.

Supra Motorsport History

Drag racing

The Supra has a history of professional drag racing, mainly in Japan and the United States. The HKS team have used both the Mk III and Mk IV to showcase its products, known as the HKS Drag Supra. Mainly built on a custom chassis with a carbon fiber body, the Mk 3 version housed a de-stroked 2.89-liter twin-turbo 7M-GTE, good for 800 bhp (600 kW) at over 9000 rpm, giving a best quarter mile time of 8.09 seconds. One of the first Pro Mod driver in import drag racing, Vinny Ten used a Supra to hold national records for drag racing in the United States between 1997 to 2000 as well as being the first in the US to build an 1,000 bhp (700 kW) Japanese engine without the need of nitrous or alcohol fuel. Ten also achieved the first for the Supra to break into the 12 to 8 second barriers as well as achieving a speed of over 120 to 160 mph (260 km/h). Ten has since taken his Supra into the six second barrier.

Craig Paisley, another pioneer of sport compact drag racing, also used a nitrous-assisted Supra, his first sport compact, to compete in the same category. He achieved a best of 8.2-second e.t.s at more than 160 mph (260 km/h) and would switch to the factory supported Tacoma by 2002.

After years of competing in other cars, in 2002, HKS returned with the Mk IV version of the HKS Drag Supra, driven by Tetsuya “Dryhopp” Kawasaki, its 4.0 liter 1UZ-FE V-8, equipped with two prototype HKS GT3540 turbos, HKS rods and billet crank and stock valves, producing in total of 1,479 bhp (1103 kW).

In 2003, the Supra was to compete in the NHRA Sport Compact Series, but the car became ineligible when the category it was to enter in, Pro V8, was axed at the beginning of the year, therefore it was permitted to perform demonstration runs throughout the season, where at a round at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, the Supra took the car’s record time of 6.893 ET at 193.13 mph (310.81 km/h), eclipsing its best in Japan of 7.277 posted at Sendai Highland Drag Raceway.

In 2002, at NHRA’s Street Tire Class, the unibodied Titan Motorsport Supra of Mark Mazurowski broke the all-season record breaking dominance of Ari Yallon’s Rotary Performance RX-7 to take the title and became the fastest uni-body Supra in the world with a time of 9.42 second and 157.56 mph (253.57 km/h) at Maple Grove Raceway, Pennsylvania, despite a quicker time at Houston Raceway Park of 9.002 at 160.40 which was unrecorded.

The Supra won all but the first round, losing at a final to Yallon . With the cancellation of the Street Tire Class, Titan would move to the Pro RWD class with a 2JZ-GTE powered Celica  The Supra was used by BF Goodrich to advertise its Drag Radials tires which it was equipped with.

Many cars that appeared in the series would appear in the NDRA (NOPI Drag Racing Association) BF Goodrich Tires Pro Street Tire series.

In the United Kingdom, Steve Whittaker used a 900 bhp (671 kW) Mk. III built around a Pro style chassis to achieve a best of 8.207 @ 169.89mph.

Touring car

During the Group A period, Toyota used the MkII for Division 4 category touring car racing, especially in JTCC, ETCC, BTCC and ATCC with the AE86 competing in Division 1.

The MkII Celica Supras, debuted in 1983, although relatively underpowered to be a serious contender against the Rover SD1 and BMW 635CSI, managed to be competitive despite this, being driven by drivers such as Win Percy, which he took it to win a BTCC round at Brands Hatch

When its star driver, Percy was tempted away by rival Tom Walkinshaw and his TWR prepared Jaguar XJS V12, Toyota GB took on Grand Prix motorcycle racing star Barry Sheene, following his retirement from motorcycle racing, for the 1985 BTCC season, but the car was outclassed by the newer turbocharged cars and Sheene’s performance was hampered by past motorcycle racing injuries. Nevertheless, he drew in the crowds and would retire from professional racing at the end of the season.

When the Mk 2 was replaced by the Mk 3 Supra, like the Mk 2, it had varying degrees of success but both TOM’S and SARD, who competed only in 1988, fared better domestically with the TOM’S team winning on its debut in 1987. In all, eleven MA70 Group-A turbos were built by TRD Japan for racing.

The reason for lack of success was due to its larger engine capacity requiring it to run at a higher curb weight required by the regulations and also its a lack of development. As the Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500, then the more advanced Nissan Skyline GT-R became the car to have. the Supra was abandoned at the end of the season in favour of the Toyota Corolla AE101 by 1991, but only a few was kept in competition by privateers until the end of the season.


Although, the Celica and Corolla Levin represented Toyota in rallying, the touring car spec Celica Supra was used occasionally in Group A with modifications to make it drivable. The Celica Supra managed to finish second in category at Circuit of Ireland Ulster Rally, Scottish Rally and the Welsh Rally during the 1983 British Open Rally Championship, driven by Per Eklund and Dave Whittock, allowing them to successfully defend their championship title.

Toyota sold the car off after the 1985 season.

Following the demise of Group B and upon insistence by Toyota management, its rally entrant Toyota Team Europe used the Supra to specialize in African rallies while the lighter Celica took the job for the other rallies.The Supra 3.0i made Toyota’s Group A debut with the Supra which was capable of producing 290 bhp (216 kW), despite its weight and size being a clear disadvantage, driven by Björn Waldegaard, it led the 1987 Safari Rally until its final day when engine overheated. The Supra scored its only win in the Hong Kong – Beijing Rally with the same driver. The NA version was shortly replaced by the 400 bhp (300 kW) turbo version, which on its debut at the Rallye Côte d’Ivoire, the Supra led but the team withdrew when their hired Cessna 340 crashed, killing the team manager, Henry Liddon and his assistant, Nigel Harris, plus a pilot and navigator . TTE would return for its African attempt for the following two years but was unable to repeat its performance and was replaced by the Celica which achieved better successes there.

Sportscar racing


The Mk III Supra, which replaced the MK II Celica, competed in the IMSA Camel GT series by Kent Racing and All American Racers in 1983 in the GTU (Grand Touring, under 3.0-liter) category, later in the season, AAR inherited the racing program of Kent Racing, although superior to the AAR cars, the semi-tube frame car Kent Racing used housed a 300 hp (220 kW), 2030 cc, 16-valve DOHC engine. Feeling that the car needs to be developed, it underwent further redesign by aerodynamicist Hiro Fujimori.

For the 1985 season, AAR specially adapted a 2.1-liter turbocharged 4T-GT engine to one of their GTU car to be used at the GTO category, which scored a win at Laguna Seca, that car would later be used for engine development. Despite heavy copmpetition against the RX-7s, by the time they progressed to the higher GTO category in 1986 with a Celica, they had taken 10 GTU victories.


Since first appearing in 1995, Toyota has raced the JZA80 Supra as a GT500 race car in the JGTC series. Beginning with a four cylinder 2.1-liter turbocharged 4T-GTE mounted onto a stock bodyshell with wide arch body kit and spoiler.

Over the years, as demands for expensive GT1 race specials became common, the JGTC regulation drifted away from FIA rules, as a result, the Supra has progressively underwent numerous changes over the years, most noticeable, the numerous body changes and by the late 1990s, the Supra used a developed version of the 3SG, which was developed from the IMSA engine and similar to the 3SGTE engine found Toyota Corolla WRC car By the early 2000s, for the benefit of torque, the Supra moved on to 3UZ-FE V8 engine.

Altogether, the Supra has taken the title four times in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005. Despite being out of production since 2002, factory teams continued to use JZA80 Supras with continues successes. The car’s swansong competitive year was in 2006, when it was used by Toyota Team Tsuchiya and Toyota Team SARD, since then, the Supra has since being replaced by the Lexus SC.

Le Mans

The JGTC specification Supra made its Le Mans debut in 1995 by the factory backed SARD team which it finished 14th, the team returned again for the following year which they did not finish.

Supra LM GT

Supra HV-R

The Supra HV-R is a hybrid race car based on the Super GT Supra jointly developed by Toyota and Toyota Team SARD. The four-wheel drive HV-R combines a 4.5 L V8 (480 hp) from its Super GT 3UZ-FE engine, a rear-axle-mounted electric motor (200 hp), and two front in-wheel electric motors (13 hp each) to generate over 700 hp (520 kW). The car weighs 2,380 lb.

The Denso SARD Supra HV-R became the first hybrid race car in history to win a race when Toyota Team SARD took first place in the Tokachi 24-hour, a Super Taikyu race, on July 16, 2007. The car completed 616 laps, 19 laps ahead of the second-place finisher.

Toyota Supra HV-R

Toyota Supra HV-R

The Supra HV-R is a hybrid race car based on the Super GT Supra jointly developed by Toyota and Toyota Team SARD. The four-wheel drive HV-R combines a 4.5 L V8 (480 hp) from its Super GT 3UZ-FE engine, a rear-axle-mounted electric motor (200 hp), and two front in-wheel electric motors (13 hp each) to generate over 700 hp (520 kW). The car weighs 2,380 lb.

The Denso SARD Supra HV-R became the first hybrid race car in history to win a race when Toyota Team SARD took first place in the Tokachi 24-hour, a Super Taikyu race, on July 16, 2007. The car completed 616 laps, 19 laps ahead of the second-place finisher.


Despite the Supra’s heavy front end and uneven weight distribution, which made traction to the rear wheels difficult, some have used the Supra for top level drifting events, Most notably Manabu Orido, the D1GP judge turned competitor, who, for personal reasons, chose the JZA80 to be his personal car and his own racecar of Super GT series and Rhys Millen, who briefly converted his Supra race car for use in drift events before selling it on and switching to the works Pontiac GTO.

Orido’s JZA80 consisted of many parts from his JGTC racer including the tail lights, doors and foot pedals and boasts of over 700 bhp (522 kW) outputted from a modified 3.4 liter engine, but is set up to run at 600 bhp (447 kW) for reliability. The body work design is designed by fellow D1GP commentator Manabu Suzuki. In his car debut at Odaiba, he managed to get into the Best 8 round, after beating Youichi Imamura, but in the process, his differential (sourced from a junked Supra) broke and he was unable to get the car repaired on time, as Imamura did not get his car ready on time, Orido had to claim his Best 8 place, which he was unable to take part.

Throughout the season, Orido could only manage a career best of second place at Ebisu in his only year of drifting in 2005. His professional drifting career ended during a transportation accident, when en route to an Advan Drift Meeting, a sleeping truck driver collided into the back of the truck containing the RS-R Supra, severely damaging the car’s front end. When informed, Orido was relieved as he saw it as an opportunity to end his drifting career as it took a lot up of his time.