The Toyota Supra got its name from the Celica Supra, a 6-cylinder version of the second-generation Celica fastback, in 1978. The much more ambitious second-generation Supra was introduced in 1986.
The Supra, introduced in 1993, was compared with the Nissan 300ZX, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Stealth, Mitsubishi 3000GT or Corvette. In terms of objective performance and handling, ride and passenger accommodation, the Supra was at least a match for its competitors and generally superior. It had all of the components necessary to compete with the best of sports cars. Every chassis component was beautiful: the huge aluminum brake calipers, the cast aluminum front crossmember, a sophisticated suspension, excellent aerodynamics and the dual turbochargers. These last items were similar to those on the Mazda RX-7, a small turbo provided boost early, joined by a larger turbo as engine speed goes up, to provide the high volume needed to generate 320 hp. Turbo lag was greatly reduced with this setup.
The 2+2 coupe had an optional removable aluminum roof panel, a 4-speed automatic with a manual shift mode, or a 6-speed Toyota/Getrag manual gearbox. The Turbo wing, influenced by the Ferrari F40, actually provided 66 pounds of downforce to keep the rear wheels planted on the pavement at higher speeds.
The Supra and ultra-high-performance Supra Turbo are largely unchanged for 1995. Toyota wanted to see the Supra eat into Porsche's 911 market, not so much for the sales numbers but to share the prestige that the Porsche gained over its three decades.
Unlike the previous Supras, which were more like touring coupes than flat-out sports cars, the latest versions are closer to hard-edged sports cars. Nonetheless, they uphold the basic Toyota tenets of durability and quality throughout. Under its sloping hood, the inline 6-cylinder engine churns out 220 hp. Fitted with twin turbochargers, this same 3.0-liter engine achieves a 100-hp gain. Weight distribution front to rear is nearly equal—a requisite for outstanding handling. Forged light-alloy suspension components and a rigid body shell translate into race-car-like dynamics. Tracking the car straight down the road is simplified with the help of precise variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering that tightens up as speed increases. Just the opposite happens in a parking lot: less resistance in the steering for easier maneuvering in tight quarters.
Nonturbo Supras are equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, but a 4-speed automatic is also available. Turbo versions were once fitted with an optional Getrag 6-speed manual gearbox. That combination was eliminated due to ever-tightening exhaust emissions regulations. The more easily controlled (for emissions purposes) automatic is now the only transmission available on the Supra Turbo. Other changes for 1996 include the deletion of heated mirrors on nonturbo hardtop models, one new color and a manually adjustable cloth driver's seat. All Supras are available as a coupe or a targa (removable roof panel) that Toyota calls Sport Roof.
As of December 27, 1993:
- $36,900 (1994-1995 Toyota Supra)
- $44,100 (1994 Toyota Supra Turbo)
As of August 26, 1994:
- $46,600 (1995 Toyota Supra Turbo)
As of January 26, 1995:
- $31,100 (1995 Toyota Supra SE)
- $39,900 (1995 Toyota Supra Sport Roof)
- $49,000 (1995 Toyota Supra Turbo)
As of October 1, 1995:
- $38,600 (1996 Toyota Supra)
- $41,100 (1996 Toyota Supra Sport Roof)