1982 - 1986 Toyota Supra

The relative success of the first-generation Supra left Toyota with a huge task on its hands. It wasn’t enough to just build on the popularity of the sports car ; the company had to exceed it with the new version. So in a lot of ways, the second-generation Supra was created to make sure that it wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan model.

The model ran from 1982 to 1986 and in that time, the Supra evolved and underwent a handful of changes, resulting in the model that cemented the Supra’s place in history as one of Toyota’s finest sports cars .

In the North American market, the second generation Supra, which was still known as the Celica XX in Japan, came in two different versions: Performance Type (P-Type) and Luxury Type (L-Type). Both versions were roughly identical to each other, except for some noticeable changes to the aesthetics and the available technology contained in the models.

The success of the second-generation Toyota Supra turned a lot of people into fans of the sports car, elevating its stature in the eyes of many as one of the best sports cars of its time. It even caught the attention of Motor Trend and Car and Driver, two magazines that awarded the Supra with their own honors, including MT’s "Import Car of the Year" and Car and Driver’s "Top Ten Best List" in 1983 and 1984.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1982 - 1986 Toyota Supra.

Exterior

Toyota Supra
Toyota Supra
Toyota Supra

Evolving from the first-generation model to the second-gen version was no easy task but for Toyota, the company recognized that keeping it relatively similar would just curtail the momentum the Supra had. So it did away with the open headlights from the first incarnation and opted for pop-up headlights. Not only did new feature fully embrace the Supra’s sporty characteristics, but it also gave it its own identity free of the Celica, cementing the sports car’s own uniqueness and aesthetic awesomeness.

An increase in length and wheelbase were also in store for the second generation Supra, a decision Toyota came to in order to accommodate the larger engine of the model.

Other than that, the fastback 2+2 dimensions are still there and of particular note for the second-gen Supra was Toyota’s decision to use a rear hatch sun shade so as not to mistake it with it’s biggest competitor at that time: Nissan’s Z models.

Changes for 1983

  • Power antenna added
  • Standard mudflaps
  • Headlight washers on P-Type
  • B-pillar and nose badges changed to "Celica Supra"
  • Two-tone paint on P-Type

Changes for 1984

  • Wraparound front repeaters
  • Redesigned taillights
  • Large "SUPRA" sticker on hatch
  • Revised hatch
  • Revised rear bumper (color-keyed to body)
  • Outside door handles top-hinged instead of side-hinged
  • Optional two-tone paint on P- and L-Type

Changes for 1985

  • Two-piece spoiler
  • Sideview mirror defoggers added
  • Auto-off headlights

Changes for 1986

  • L-Type discontinued, P-Type offered in first quarter of MY1986
  • Third brake light added on hatch

1982 - 1986 Toyota Supra - Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase102.9 Inches
Length183.5 Inches
Width67.7 Inches
Height52.0 Inches
Curb weight3,000 Pounds

Interior

Toyota Supra
Toyota Supra
Toyota Supra

The interior of the second-generation Supra was redesigned to give owners a more sophisticated cabin that blended well with the model’s growing reputation as a popular sports car.

A lot of the optional features on the first-gen model of the Supra were made standard for its successor. That included the automatic climate control, the retractable map light, two-tone paint finishes, a sunroof, and a 5-speaker AM/FM/MPX tuner with cassette. The cassette player was an option for the second-gen Supra, but Toyota paired this high-tech-for-the-era option with a 105-watt power amplifier and a seven-band graphic equalizer to give the cabin a more sophisticated audio experience.

Other standard features of the second gen Supra include power windows, power door locks, power mirrors,a tilt steering wheel, and an analog dashboard, among other things

Changes for 1984

  • Redesigned controls and steering wheel
  • 130-mph speedometer added
  • Auto climate control fascia redesigned
  • Cassette player and graphic equalizer made standard

Changes for 1985

  • Illuminated entry with "fade out"
  • Optional leather on P-Type only

Drivetrain

Toyota Supra

The second generation Toyota Supra used a 2.8-liter, DOHC, inline six-cylinder, 5M-GE engine that initially produced 145 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. The engine mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed auto, and both transmissions shipped power off to a 3.72 axle. This drivetrain allowed for a 0-to-60-mph time of 9.8 seconds.

In 1983, Toyota increased the output to 150 horsepower and 159 pound-feet of torque. This extra power came courtesy of an electronic-advance distributor in place of the old and imprecise vacuum-advance distributor. The 1983 model also received a 4.10 final-drive in the P-Type and 3.73 in the L-Type. The last change for the 1983’s drivetrain was a high-tech, electronically controlled, optional automatic transmission — the A43DE. This transmission’s electronic controller could modify the shift patterns from performance to economy via a "Power/Normal" switch. This transmission was the first of its kind, showing that Toyota was already well ahead of its time in developing the Supra.

Then in 1984, Toyota again bumped up the output of the Supra models with a five-speed transmission to 160 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque, thanks in large part to redesigning the engine’s intake manifold with D-shaped intake runners while also increasing the compression to 9.2-to-1. Additionally, five-speed-equipped Supras received a new 4.30 final drive ratio, while automatic models all received 4.10 gearing.

The 1985 model year brought in yet another bump in output, as all Supra models — automatic and manual — produced 161 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. This change allowed the`Yota to hit 60 mph in just 8.4 seconds and sprint the quarter-mile in just 16.1 seconds at 85 mph.

1982 - 1986 Toyota Supra - Drivetrain/Specifications

Type2.8 liters 12-valve (2 valves per cylinder) DOHC 5M-GE
Output145 HP (150 HP in 1983, 160 HP in 1984, 161 HP in 1985-86)
Torque155 LBS-FT (159 lbs-ft in 1983, 163 lbs-ft in 1984-86)
0-60 mph9.8 Sec. (8.4 Sec. 1985-86)
Quarter mile17.2 Sec. @ 80 MPH (16.1 Sec. @ 85 MPH in 1984-86)
TransmissionFive-Speed Manual/Four-Speed Automatic (Optional)

Prices

Toyota Supra

In 1982, the Celica P-Type based at $14,598, while the L-Type came in at $13,598. The price jumped to $15,398 for the P-Type in 1983, and $14,148 for the L-Type. 1984 saw more price hikes, with the P-Type coming in at $15,724 and the L-Type hitting $15,074. In 1985, the P-Type rose to $16,558 and the L-Type hit $15,998. In 1986 the Supra P-Type checked in at $16,559 — there was no L-Type this year.

Model Year L-Type MSRP P-Type MSRP
1982$13,598$14,598
1983$14,148$15,398
1984$15,074$15,724
1985$15,998$16,558
1986Discontinued$16,559

Competition

Nissan Z

Nissan Z-Car

When the 80’s rolled around, the Supra found itself in a pretty heated duel with the Nissan Z sports car. To be fair, the Z’s second generation iteration was actually released in 1979, three years before the arrival of the second-gen Supra.

The second series of the Z wasn’t a far departure from the original and this time around, it only came in one trim — the 280ZX — that was offered in either a two-seat or a 2+2 configuration. The 280ZX was more refined and luxurious than the previous Z models, largely because increased competition from the Supra compelled Nissan to up its own game.

On its first year after launch the 280ZX was powered by a 2.8-liter, inline-six engine with an output of 145 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and a peak torque of 144 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm. It made the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 9.3 seconds and had a top speed of 121 mph. That output later on evolved into 180 horsepower for turbocharged versions, resulting in a car that was so successful in the U.S., Nissan actually sold 500,000 models in just one year.

Conclusion

Toyota Supra

Jumping from one level to the next is always a tricky thing when it comes to building off of a successful sports car. But Toyota managed to accomplish it by not overthinking the second-generation Supra. It stuck to some design elements, while also refining others. It also added more standard features that were optional in the first incarnation, adding value to the new car.

But the most important was it continued to improve the Supra’s performance capabilities nearly every year the second-generation model was in the market. That showed a relentless pursuit of excellence that Toyota and the Supra came to be known for in the 80’s.

LOVE IT
  • Retractable head lights were pretty cool back then
  • Lots of standard features
  • Performance numbers kept improving every year
  • State-of-the-art automatic transmission
  • Performance and Luxury Type available
LEAVE IT
  • Not very fast even by 1980s standards
  • Still didn’t imbibe the true spirit of a sports coupe with its fastback design
  • Nissan’s Z lineup was still imposing at that time.

What is your take?

Back to top