Why the Supra is keeping Toyota cool to this day!
If you had to name your top five coolest car makes, or even your top ten come to that matter, it is likely that Toyota would not feature among them. The long-serving Japanese manufacturers have been churning out vehicles since 1936, but they’re hardly the most exhilarating of brands. They gave us the conservative Prius and their UK operation trundles out of a warehouse in nowheresville, Derbyshire.
However, there is one vehicle, one model that enables this staid, stamp-collecting, jackets-with-leather-elbow-pads, manufacturer to retain a sense of cool and keep it clinging onto fashionable and desirable by its very regulation finger nails, and that is the Toyota Supra.
An all-time classic sports car, the Supra was first produced by Toyota in 1978 for the Japanese market initially, before launching overseas a year later. The Mark I Supra was derived from the Toyota Celica and though initially a 110hp vehicle it had its pace nudged up to 116hp in its latter years. Within four years the Mark II Supra had emerged, angular and 80s and with a suspension tuned by Lotus it took the Supra to a new level and new audience collecting an Import Car of the Year Award in the US.
The awards picked up by the Mark II, plus a successful venture into the British Touring Car Championships helped to make the Supra a firm favourite as it continued to develop to the Mark III, with its 3 litre 200hp engine, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
However, it is arguably the Mark VI version of the Supra that made the biggest impact. Launched in 1993, the curvier body effectively remarketed the Supra as a would-be coupe. Having gone on to feature in films such as The Fast and the Furious and the game Need for Speed the Mark VI has become a highly sought-after classic, and it is this demand for the car, 12 years after it last rolled off the production line that helps Toyota retain a sense of cool in an otherwise beige world.
Just to give you a little more background the Mark VI was a naturally aspirated iteration compared to its sibling and produced 220bhp and revved up 6,000 rpm. But what made it really stand out was the two twin turbo’s strapped to the engine which gave it an additional 100 horsepower and the torque that it generated would give any car enthusiastic wet dreams.
A once-in-a-lifetime car, so, if you know someone who owns a Supra, then you need to butter them up, take out one-day car insurance and get them to let you take it out for a test drive immediately. You may never get another chance, and with it now being a rare sight on the roads most people still hold the upmost respect for it, a true engineering marvel without any of the electronic gizmos we get today.