Toyota Supra generations: The exciting journey through 40 years


Everyone loves the Toyota Supra. Come with us as Naijacarnews takes you on a spin through the years with the generations of this icon of performance and style.

The six-cylinder Toyota Supra has been in existence for the past 40 years. Its root is not farfetched, as it is connected to the first 1979 Toyota Celica sports coupe. The word Celica was taken from the six-cylinder Celica sports coupe, which was a bit smaller, but similar in chassis to the Supra that was longer and wider.

However, the Supra dropped the name Celica in the mid 1980s, thereby breaking that connection. A major setback came for the Toyota Supra when its sales dropped rapidly in the 1990s. This setback made Toyota to stop the production of the Supra in the US in 1998, though, it continued to produce it in Japan till the early 21st century. This withdrawal, however, was not enough reason for the Americans to forget the Supra. Instead, it cleared the way for the production of a new model for the 2020 year.

Let’s check out the amazing evolution of Toyota Supra over the years, collected by!


Over 40 years old, and still roaring strong; the Supra's journey has been remarkable!

1. First-gen Toyota Supra

  • 110-hp 2.6-literinline-six.
  • A standard five-speed manual transmission.
  • Live rear axle.
  • Single cam unit.
  • Four speed automatic.
  • Torque-rich six, drives it to 60 mph in 11.2 seconds, and quarter mile in 18.4 second at 76 mph (not so spectacular for the period).
  • Later, in that year, the engine moved up to 2.8-liter inline-six, producing 116 horsepower.
  • Tight cabin.
  • Numb steering.

2. Supra Celica XX

2.1. First-gen A40/A50 Supra Celica XX (1978 - 1981)

  • Independent semi-trailing arms replacing the live rear axle.
  • New twin-cam 2.8 –liter inline-six corrals 145 horses (29 ponies stronger than the first generation’s single cam unit).
  • A40 chassis code.
  • Retractable headlights.
  • More aggressive flare to wheel arches.
  • Rear suspension.
  • Six cylinder engine range.
  • 92 kw (123 hp, 2.0L), 82kw (110 hp, 2.6L) and 87 kw (117 hp, 2.8 L).
  • Four manual–five speed manual.
  • 4.615 mm in length.
  • 1.651 mm in width.
  • 1.290 mm in height.
  • The interior had optional power windows, cruise control, special door trim and power locks as a convenience package.
  • Dashboard had AM/FM/ MPX 4-speaker stereo radio, and analog clock.
  •  Tachometer as a part of the instrument panel.


The A40/A50 Supra was still called a Celica then

2.2. Second-gen A60 Celica XX (1981- 1985)

  • Heavier than previous generations.
  • Supra retains rear-drive (Celica moved to wheel-drive platform).
  • 200-hp 3.0-liter inline-six.
  • Introduction of a 3.0GT turbo.
  • 230 horsepower.
  • 246lb-ft of torque.
  • Five speed manual transmission, leading to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds (faster than previous generations).
  • Twin-cam engine.
  • 2.8-litre 5M-GE twin-cam engine.

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A60 Celica XX, you can begin to see the iconic Supra lines emerging

3. Third generation A70 Supra (1986-1993)

  • Fractionally shorter body.
  • An elegant body, almost blending with an outright sports car, and a comfortable cruiser.
  • 320 horsepower.
  • Six speed manual transmissions, leading to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and quarter mile after 13.8 seconds at 106 mph., previously, in that year the Supra Turbo was coaxed to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and quarter in 13.1 seconds at109 mph. Later in that year, it reached 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.
  • Double wishbone suspension.
  • A standard rear spoiler.
  • Metallic paint, leather upholstery and automatic gearbox.
  • BMW M3 defeated the Supra Turbo to claim the first place on comparison-test throne in August 1997, and in the same year, the Chevrolet Corvette took the second place.
  • Media praise and factory price cuts couldn’t return its price sales to its place.
  • In 1998, Toyota Supra stopped selling in the US.


The first real "Supra", the A70 Supra was beset with low sales in the USA

4. Fourth generation (1993-2002) A80

  • Low bonnet line.
  • High-rise optional rear spoiler.
  • Extensive use of lightweight to make it lose 100kg of mass.
  • Hollow carpet fibers.
  • Twin turbocharged 3.0 liter JZ-series.
  • 220bhp - 326bhp.
  • Peak torque from 1,300 - 4,500 rpm.
  • Aerodynamic enhanced stability.

Fortunately, the youngsters picked up second-hand Supras in the markets and turned them into machines. An example of what was made out of the parts was the Mark 4 model used in 2001 “Fast and Furious” street-racing flick. Later that year, Toyota tried to produce the FT-HS concept car which had features like the Supra, and which promised to reach 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds with the help of its 400 horsepower and 3.5-liter V-6. Unfortunately, this fell through and was never seen by the public.

Seven years later, Toyota made the FT-1 which was like the Supra in styling. After a while, pictures of a car carrying a similar styling and proportions of the Supra were spotted around. In the mid-2017, Toyota filed a trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office for Supra. This action made the fans of the Supra believe that Toyota wants to bring back the Supra after twenty years. In 2018, to the fans’ greatest surprise, Toyota unveiled at the Supra race car concept, the stunning Gazoo Racing, which exhibited some parts from the Supra that was yet to come.

>>> If you have ever wondered, here's the answer: Purposes of the coloured lines on Toyota backup camera


The modern Supra, the A80 ()mark 4) was used in films like "Fast and Furious"

5. Fifth generation (J29/DB/A90) March 2019 - present

Borrowing its development and engineering from the BMW, but styling it in its own way, Toyota made the new A90 generation Supra that appeared at the 2019 Detroit Show. Some of its features are:

  • Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six.
  • ZF-sourced eight speed automatic transmission.
  • 335 horsepower (a bit lesser than the capacity of the BMW).
  • Power output - 255hp (2.0L) and 335hp (3.0L).
  • 2,470 mm wheelbase.
  • 4,380 mm in length.
  • 1,865 mm in width.
  • 1,290 - 1,295 mm in height.


This is the Supra we have all come to know and love, the A90 is as iconic as the line

>>> Get caught up with the Supra by checking out the 2020 Toyota Supra expert review here: 2020 Toyota Supra Review, Test drive & Price tag

6. Achievements of the Toyota Supra

These are some milestones the Toyota Supra has recorded:

  • The Supra MK4 is the most successful in the history of motorsport.
  • Winner of the Swiss Mountain Races, in its category.
  • Competed at Le Mans 24hr race, consecutively.
  • Competitive in American SCCA racing.
  • A dominant force in the ALL-Japan GT Championships, from 1995-2003.

Best of Toyota Supra mk4 (2JZ) Compilation!

The Supra has indeed come a long way, and with Toyota engineers claiming there might be an electric Supra option soon, just like the Toyota Prius, it would seem the Supra will be with us for a long time yet. 

>>> Get more trivia, car facts and Auto Fun gist right here on!

Joshua-Philip Okeafor