A brief history of the Toyota Supra

December 18th, 2020 by

At this point in time, if you haven’t heard of the Toyota Supra, you MAY have been living under a rock. This iconic sports car was incredibly popular from 1978 until 2002 when it was retired. Popular demand saw its revival in 2019 and since then, it’s continued to be a fan favorite for drivers who want an exciting experience every single time they get behind the wheel. Today Toyota of Orlando is giving you a brief history of this icon – buckle your seatbelts!

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What is the history of the Orlando Toyota Supra?

As noted, the Orlando Toyota Supra was introduced to the market way back in 1978. There are – to date – five generations of this sports car with the latest being introduced in 2019 after a period of retirement. Here’s the breakdown surrounding the different generations.

First generation: This generation was referred to as the A40/A50; it was based heavily on the popular Toyota Celica. It was first introduced in Japan as the Celica XX and then in America as the Celica Supra and had a 2.0L inline-six engine that offered 123 horsepower and electronic fuel injection. You could choose from a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission and the car came with disc brakes, four-link rear suspension, and MacPherson strut front suspension. Subsequent model years featured updates like power door locks and windows, an optional sunroof, and a four-speaker stereo system. This generation was available through 1980.

Second generation: The second generation of the Orlando Toyota Supra was introduced in 1981 and was called the A60. It was available in two models: The Performance (P-Type) and Luxury (L-Type). The two cars were identical when it came to mechanics, but had pretty vast differences when it came to appearance. The P-type had fender flares, headlight washers, and was also available in a manual transmission. The L-type showcased a leather interior, a digital instrument cluster, and came in an automatic transmission. In 1984, significant changes were made in terms of performance – power was increased to 160 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. In 1985, the Toyota Supra was redesigned again to feature slightly increased power, automatic-off headlights, and a theft-deterrent system.

Third generation: The third generation of the Toyota Supra, or the A70, was introduced to the market in 1986. It was now the Toyota Supra solely (not the Celica Supra) and had a rear-wheel drive layout, an updated 3.0L inline-six engine with 200 horsepower, and the option of a turbocharger in 1987. It also showcased major technology updates like a 3-channel ABS, an Acoustic Control Induction System, double wishbone suspension, and more. This model carried through to 1992.

Fourth generation: The fourth – and supposedly final- generation of the Toyota Supra was introduced in 1992 and was around through 2002. It was the A80 model and was a high-performance car. It offered two engines – a naturally-aspirated inline-six that got 220 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque, and a twin-turbocharged engine that offered 276 horsepower and 318 lb-ft of torque. It was also lighter despite the fact that it offered more features than previous generations (like dual airbags, bigger tires, traction control, etc.). Much to EVERYONE’s chagrin, this icon was retired in 2002 due to declining sales of sport coupes in North America and increased value of the yen (Japanese currency) pushing up prices.

Fifth generation: To everyone’s surprise (and happiness), the fifth generation of the Toyota Supra was introduced in 2019. This sports car was a collaboration with BMW and is based on the Z4; it showcases two engine options (a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four and a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six) and comes in an automatic transmission. And the best news? You can see it in person today at Toyota of Orlando!

See this iconic sports car in person today at Toyota of Orlando

Get behind the wheel today – call us! Toyota of Orlando is open seven days a week at (407) 298-4500.


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