The Toyota Supra was designed to be a sporting machine that could compete with many of the major powerhouses of the day , but it wasn’t until the fourth generation Supra bowed in 1993, that the car gained its status as one of the all-time greats.
It featured an all-new exterior design that was more aerodynamic and much sportier looking than its predecessor. Gone were the sharp edges and pop-up headlamps to be replaced with long smooth curves. Along with the new look, the car also went on a diet losing 200 pounds or more, depending on the trim level.
As is the case with almost all major changes, fans of the car were worried Toyota was softening the intentions of the car. That was until they turned the key on the new drivetrains. While everyone thought Toyota was creating a friendlier, slower Supra, what it actually created was a supercar -eating monster that would grow into a cult icon.
Click past the jump to read more about the 1993 - 1998 Toyota Supra.
The exterior of the fourth generation Supra was a major departure from the Supras of the past. The car still had the hallmark long hood and short overhangs that signified its sporting pretentions, but the aggressively angled body had given way to a more 90’s-friendly rounded style. The signature pop-up headlamps had been dumped, and a rear wing that could be seen form space become an option. That rear wing would soon come to be one of the most defining characteristics of the car.
With the new body and chassis changes came a fairly drastic drop in curb weight. Depending on the exact model configuration, this generation car could weigh more than 200 pounds less than its predecessor. This weight loss would go a long way in helping to solidify the new car’s performance credentials.
The heaviest car you could order was a turbocharged model with the automatic transmission, and the weight came in at just over 3,400 pounds. A base-level machine with the manual only weighed a hair over 3,200 pounds.
1993 - 1998 Toyota Supra - Exterior Dimensions
|Curb weight (Turbo)||3,417 lbs|
While the exterior received its massive overhaul, it seems like the interior designers took a vacation. The interior had exactly zero changes from the last year of the third-generation car to the first year of the fourth-gen. There was some modified standard equipment choices, but the overall layout, design and shape of every part and piece was identical.
It may be that Toyota felt the car was perfect the way it was, and to be fair it still receives precious few complaints, but it is striking to think about the work that transpired on the outside to have Toyota change nothing in the cabin.
The cabin was well designed and filled to brim with standard equipment, and that made the Supra an expensive car when compared to its peers. In 1996, three years after the car debuted, Toyota created a new SE trim package that cut down some of the amenities to cut the price of the car down. Incidentally, this also helped cut some more weight from the car as well.
The outside changed a lot, and the interior wasn’t changed at all. So what did Toyota do under the bonnet? A hell of a lot actually. For the fourth-generation car, Toyota completely threw out the old engines. The base engine was now 3.0-liter straight-six that was good for 220 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of twist. Transmission choices included a nicely-built five-speed manual and rather tragic four-speed slushbox.
The base engine gave the Supra enough speed to keep up with its main rivals, but it didn’t exactly set anyone’s hair on fire. If you really wanted to experience the true capability of the new Supra the Turbo model was the only choice. Powered by the now legendary 2JZ-GTE engine, this twin-turbocharged mill sent 320 horsepower barreling towards the Supra’s rear tires. The standard transmission was a six-speed manual unit from Getrag, a big deal back in the early 90’s. If you were afraid to row your own gears, the same awful automatic from the base car was available.
During the Supra’s lifespan very little was altered under the hood. The base engine received a modest bump of 5 horsepower and 10 pound-feet thanks to the addition of variable valve timing in 1998, but that was it. Thanks to a collection of emissions issues some model year cars were only available with the automatic transmission. Something to be wary of if you are looking to buy one of these machines.
1993 - 1998 Toyota Supra - Drivetrain/Specifications
|Type||Naturally Aspirated I-6||Twin-Turbocharged I-6|
|Output||220 HP @ 5,800 RPM||320 HP @ 5,600 RPM|
|Torque||210 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM||315 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM|
|0–60 mph||6.8 Seconds||4.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||-||155 MPH (electronically limited)|
In 1993, the Supra based at $33,900 and the Turbo model started at $39,900, and the price continued to balloon up to $38,600 for the base model and $50,400 for the Turbo model. Shockingly, Toyota revealed massive price cuts on the Supra in 1997, when the base model dropped to just $29,500 and the Turbo fell to $39,900. In its final year, 1998, the base model shot back up to over $30k and the Turbo model crested the $40k mark again.
|Model Year||Toyota Supra||Toyota Supra Turbo|
Everytime the Toyota Supra moved to a new generation model, it seemed that it was always in response to Nissan’s Z sports cars. In 1990, the fourth-generation Z model made its debut with a new and completely redesigned 300ZX that came with a new look and even more power under its hood.
The 300ZX became so popular that it achieved the rare feat of being among the top 10 best cars in America for all seven years it was in production, culminating in winning "Import Car of the Year" and "Design of the Year" awards from Motor Trend.
The model was technically coined as the 300ZX Z32 and upon its arrival, it was offered in a choice of two engines: a 3.0-liter, naturally aspired, V-6 engine that produced 222 horsepower and 198 pound-feet of torque and a twin-turbo version that netted 300 ponies and 280 pound-feet of torque, allowing the 300ZX to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in six seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph.
Gallery Nissan Z-Car
Today the Supras of this era are some of the most sought after cars Toyota has ever built. The engines are capable of incredible power under higher levels of boost, and the chassis can be tuned to out handle the best modern sports car. Sadly this was also the last of the Supra’s Toyota has ever built. There has been talk of a new car coming for more than a decade now, but it never seems to materialize.
If you ever wanted to see a true representation of the power and engineering ability that Toyota possesses, there is no better specimen than this Supra.
- Capable of achieving incredible power and speed
- Features now iconic looks
- Solidified Toyota’s position in the world sports car arena
- It was very expensive
- Several years only have automatic transmissions
- Difficult to find one that hasn’t been destroyed