How can one simple car be such a rev head's dream - Toyota Supra - 1JZ - 2JZ

The powerful Toyota Supra

How can one simple car be such a rev head’s dream?

WHEN you think of Toyota, a high performance sports car doesn’t first spring to mind. Most think of the brand’s high selling Hilux or Land Cruiser and smaller vehicles like the Corolla but between 1986 and 2002, the Toyota Supra was one of the most reliable and powerful sports cars on the market, outperforming many big brands like Porsche and Aston Martin of the day.


The famous Toyota Supra MK IV

The car was made even more famous thanks to its starring role in 2001’s Fast and Furious, presenting fans of the blockbuster franchise with a 1994 Toyota Supra MK IV. Today, the car, which was bought new for about $40,000 back in the day, can sell for a sweet six figures. The Supra wasn’t born to be special but thanks to Toyota’s reliability, it could be easily modified to become a rocket.


“It was reliable and easily modified to become a rocket”

The history behind the car


Originally built as a stylish, mid price sedan with a big engine, the Supra was a spin off of the brand’s popular Celica, which hit the market in the 1970s. In 1978, Toyota produced the Celica XX. In North America, Toyota didn’t like the name so they changed it to the Toyota Supra instead and marketed it as a more powerful version of the base model with a longer hood.


The powerful Toyota SupraFor its 1982 production year, Toyota redesigned the Celica Supra as well as the entire Celica line-up. In Japan, they were known as Celica XX, but everywhere else the Celica Supra name was used. The XX was still based on the Celica platform but there were several key differences, including the design of the front end and fully retractable pop- up headlights, and the increase in length and wheelbase to accommodate a larger engine.


In the coming years, the engine continued to develop – in 1983, there was an increase in power output to 150 hp, in 1984, power output was increased on the 5-speed models with a bump up to 160 hp. In 1985, power output was increased to 161 hp and the engine received a redesigned throttle position sensor as well as a new EGR system and knock sensor. With this increase in power, the Supra was able to propel itself from 0–60 mph in 8.4 seconds and netted a 16.1 second quarter-mile at 137 km per hour.

Toyota welcomed the third generation of Supras in 1986. The ties between the Celica and the Supra were cut and the cars were sold as two completely different models. The Celica changed to front-wheel drive, while the Supra kept its rear-wheel-drive platform. The engine was updated to a more powerful 3.0 L inline 6 rated at 200 hp though it added quite a bit of weight to the car. Although initially only available with naturally aspirated engines, a turbocharged engine was added in the 1987 model.


The new Supra would continue to upscale and become a showcase for Toyota. In 1987, the first A70 Supra Turbo was introduced. The inter-cooled, turbocharged version of the 3.0-litre inline 6-cylinder engine boosted power to 230 hp. The Turbo model also included an engine oil cooler and integrated rear spoiler.


Fast-forward to 1993 and the Supra had evolved to its best form. This blasted past the old engine and was completely redesigned – lighter, with rounded body styling, featuring two new engines – a naturally aspirated Toyota 2JZ-GE producing 220 hp but Toyota upgraded the Supra’s turbo engine with smaller, steel wheeled turbochargers and bigger fuel injectors. This increased the power output to 320 hp. The 2JZ engine was virtually indestructible thanks to Toyota’s reliability and any mechanic who knew their way around the tools could modify this engine, some reportedly reaching 800 hp, more than a formula one car of the time. Few engines have been easier to modify into and with a Toyota engine and better turbo, and Toyota’s first 6-speed gear box, this engine got famous fast, turning it into a movie star. Next to Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, this car got the lead role in the original Fast and Furious.

The dream will never end

Unfortunately, Toyota pulled the car from its floors in 1998 due to poor sales and ceased sales in 2002. However, car enthusiasts have continued to keep the dream alive, buying, selling and modifying Supras, creating a hype around it and making it one of the most in demand vehicles on the second hand market. In mint condition, a Supra can sell for six figures meaning you could be sitting on a gold mine if you have a Supra lying around.


What can we expect for the future?

So what does the future of the Supra look like? In June 2016, a trademark application for the Supra nameplate was filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and according to Autocar, the new Supra is set to debut some time this year. The car will likely feature rear wheel drive, four-cylinder engines and it has been confirmed that the car will offer a turbocharged inline-6 engine with BMW believed to be suppling the engines. Either way, the future is bright for the future of the Supra and even better for devoted fans.

Generations and powertrain

Also called




First Gen. A40

Toyota Celica XX April 1978 – June 1981 1,988 cc (1.988 L; 121.3 cu in) M-EU I6
2,563 cc (2.563 L; 156.4 cu in) 4M-E I6
2,759 cc (2.759 L; 168.4 cu in) 5M-E I6
5-speed W50 manual
4-speed A40D automatic
4-speed A43D automatic

Second Gen. A60

Toyota Celica Supra Mark II
Toyota Celica XX
Dec 1981–1986 1988 cc 1G-EU I6
1988 cc 1G-GEU DOHC 24-valve I6
1988 cc M-TE/M-TEU turbo I6
2759 cc 5M-E I6
2759 cc 5M-GE I6
5-speed W58 and
W55 W57 manual
4-speed A43DL automatic
4-speed A43DE automatic

Third Gen. A70

Toyota Supra MA70 May 1986 – May 1993 1,988 cc (1.988 L; 121.3 cu in) 1G-GTE I6
2,491 cc (2.491 L; 152.0 cu in) 1JZ-GTE twin-turbo I6
2,954 cc (2.954 L; 180.3 cu in) 7M-GE I6
2,954 cc (2.954 L; 180.3 cu in) 7M-GTE turbo I6
5-speed W58 manual
5-speed R154 manual
4-Speed A340E automatic

Fourth Gen. A80

Toyota Supra JZA80 April 1993 – August 2002 2,997 cc (2.997 L; 182.9 cu in) 2JZ-GE I6
2,997 cc (2.997 L; 182.9 cu in) 2JZ-GTE twin-turbo I6
5-speed W58 manual
6-speed V16x manual
4-speed A340E automatic
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