Toyota is certainly a well recognized name in the automotive industry. The company is well known for producing great cars throughout its history. The Toyota Supra is no exception. The Toyota Supra has a long and colorful history and continues to be a car that is enjoyed today. Toyota Supra owners would do well to have the Toyota Supra repair manual on hand to make sure their car is running smoothly. The Toyota Supra MK4 is no exception.
A Brief History
The Supra was first produced by Toyota in 1978. Between 1978 and 2002, the company would produce 4 generations of this car. The Supra was originally intended to be a sports car. Although originally based off of the Celica, the Supra had its own unique touches.
This original Supra was also heavily influenced by the 2000GT. In fact, the first 3 Toyota Supra generations had certain qualities in common. It wasn’t until the 4th generation that there were radical changes and differences.
The MK 4
By the time Toyota rolled out the 4th generation of the Supra, they were ready to make some drastic changes. It was in this generation that Toyota began to redesign the Supra to be a more serious sports car.
Sports Engines were added to the lineup
In order to make the Toyota Supra MK4 a more high performance car, Toyota began to use 2 engines in the Supra. The first engine that they used was the 2JZ-GE engine. This was a naturally aspirated engine. This type of engine does not rely on forced induction through a turbo charger. It gets its power when the internal combustion gets power from its oxygen intake, which depends solely on atmospheric pressure. This is a type of engine used by sports car, because it helps to avoid turbo lag. This engine was capable of 220hp.
The MK 4 also featured a twin turbocharged 2JZ-GTE engine. This engine variation increased hp to 320. It is interesting to note that the twin turbo chargers worked sequentially, instead of in parallel. It works by sending all of the exhaust first turbine, which results in reduced lag. At 3500 RPM, some exhaust is then rerouted to the 2nd turbine. By 4000 RPM, the second turbines output is used to augment the first one’s output. This resulted in a greater boost and enhanced torque. Using the twin turbos in this way gives a much higher RPM boost. To go along with this new engine, Toyota also added a new 6 speed gearbox.
In addition, the newer and faster turbo modes were able to give the car a quicker low RPM response and an increased high RPM boost. To better help the air compression pulse in the engine, Toyota also added the Acoustic Control Induction System. This system helped to manage the air compression pulses, and ultimately gave a boost of energy to the Supra.
Other additions to the sports performance Supra MK 4
To go along with the newly released sport performance Supra, Toyota also added some new touches besides the engines.
This MK 4 generation was equipped with a new 6-speed Getrag/Toyota V160 gearbox. This new gear box was added to the turbo charged models. The naturally aspirated engines were given a 5-speed manual W58 transmission. Each model was also available with a 4-speed automatic as well.
The Supra MK 4 was also given new wheels to go along with its sports performance status. All of the sports car had 5 spoke aluminum alloy wheels as standard. The MK 4’s with the naturally aspirated engines were equipped with 16-inch wheels and the turbo charged models were given 17-inch wheels. The reason for giving the different models different sized wheels had to do with the brakes. The turbo charged model was built with larger brakes as standard, so this accommodated the larger wheel size. Both Supra models had a space saver spare tire on a steel rim included. This helped in two ways- it saved space and it kept the weight of the car low.
More additions to the sports performance
In addition, Toyota worked hard to keep the Supra lightweight. It was designed to have a lower weight by using aluminum. Engineers used aluminum for the hood, top, front crossmember, oil and transmission pans, and forged upper suspension A-arms.
The Supra MK 4 also featured other weight saving measures. The designers used hollow carpet fibers, a magnesium-alloy steering wheel, a plastic gas tank and lid, gas injected rear spoiler, and a single pipe exhaust.
Even though the Toyota Supra MK4 was a sports performance car, many safety features were included. This car had dual airbags and traction control. Despite having these safety features, an additional turbocharger and the larger tires and wheels, the MK 4 still weighed 200lbs less than its predecessor.
Toyota Supra Racing History
The Toyota Supra MK4 has a long history of professional drag racing in Japan and the United States. Vinny Ten, one of the first Pro Mod drivers in import drag racing, drove a Supra and held national records for drag racing in the United States between 1997 and 2000. He was also the first in the US to build a 1,000 bhp (700 kW) Japanese engine which did not need alcohol fuel or nitrous. In addition, Vinny Ten has since taken his Supra into the six second barrier.
Other notable Supra racers include Craig Paisley. He also drove a nitrous-assisted Supra, and is known for a best of 8.2-second e.t.s at more than 160 mph. Paisley was also the first compact sports car racer to receive factory sponsorships.
It is also interesting to note that Toyota was the first Japanese car company to be involved with drag racing.
In 2019 Toyota revealed a 5th generations of the Supra that will go on sale for the model year 2020. This time it will be a collaboration with BMW. Toyota has been working on the newest Supra for 12 years. This edition will have a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six up front. Fans will see that this newest edition will also have an adaptive suspension, an active rear differential, and launch control.
Awards and Acknowledgements
The Toyota Supra, including the MK4, has been used in many video games, movies and TV shows. The most notable being The Fast and The Furious movie series.
This car has also won many awards and much acclaim over the years. The Toyota Supra has been awarded Motor Trends “Import Car of the Year”. It has also been on Car and Driver Magazine’s “Ten Best List”. In addition, the Toyota Supra has won Popular Mechanics “Design and Engineering Awards”.
The Toyota Supra enjoys a long and exciting place in the Toyota family lineup. The long list of awards and acknowledgements are testimony to the power and popularity of this car.
The Supra is known for being a fast, high performance sports car. This car is so popular that it enjoys a place in pop culture as it is often featured in movies and video games.
Fans of the Toyota Supra have watched the car be used on the track in racing around the world and they have enjoyed the Supra on their own neighborhood streets. Clearly the Supra is a proven winner for Toyota and its legacy will continue.