Gazoo Racing is Breathing New Life into the MkIII and MkIV Toyota Supra in a Porsche-Approved Style
Old-school owners of the Toyota Supra have waited a long time for this day to comeby Kirby, on
The all-new MkV Toyota Supra is all everyone is talking about these days. But soon enough, two of its predecessors, the MkIII and MkIV Supras, will grab slices of the headlines now that Toyota’s Gazoo Racing has announced plans to start up production of original parts for both models, as part of the GR Heritage Parts Project. The specifics on when, where, and what parts will be available will be announced at a later date, though if you own a MkIII or MkIV Supra, you’re not waiting for the information to arrive before you start celebrating. The important thing is your precious Supras can once again see the light of day with all original parts in tow.
Mk3 and Mk4 Toyota Supra Official Replacement Parts
There’s a reason why a lot of people went bonkers when Toyota announced that it would bring back the Supra. The Japanese sports car was an icon, and it remained that way even after the nameplate was retired in 2002. We bid adieu to the fourth-generation model (A80) 17 years ago, not knowing if the Supra name would ever return. It took 17 years of waiting, but it finally happened. The Toyota Supra is back, and it’s back with, well, a mixed reaction.
See, as excited as a lot of people are with the Supra’s comeback, the early returns haven’t been as overwhelmingly positive as Toyota probably expected.
Part of it can be attributed to the sports coupe’s divisive aesthetics. Part of it can even be placed on the fact that very few people have actually driven the new Supra. The perception can still change over time, but for what it’s worth, the new Supra still has a long way to go before it can reach the same iconic status as its two predecessors, the MkIII and MkIV Supras, or as they are now more commonly known these days as the A70 Supra and the A80 Supra.
The A70 and A80 Supras were icons of their time. They represented the pinnacle of Toyota’s sports car program.
More importantly, their popularity elevated the Supra nameplate to cult status. The A70 Supra was one of the slickest sports cars of the ’90s, and it’s successor, the A80, Supra, parlayed its stature into a few starring roles in one of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchise of all time. What’s up, Fast and Furious?
There’s no hint or tingle of exaggeration there. The fanaticism that followed both models to their respective graves is the very reason why the hype behind the return of Supra sustained itself for almost two decades. It’s also the reason why, even with the A90 Supra’s arrival, a lot of these fans, owners, and collectors, still pine for the day when they can bring their A70 and A80 Supras out of their garages and proudly show them off to the world. It turns out; they now have the opportunity to do that.
Toyota Gazoo Racing boss Shigeki Tomoyama dropped the bombshell during the Japanese launch for the new Supra.
Beginning in the not-so-distant future, Toyota will start up production of original parts for the A70 and A80 Supra models as part of its GR Heritage Parts Project.
Gazoo Racing will be spearheading the effort, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for owners of the third- and fourth-generation Supras, a lot of which have spiked up in value as a result of the return of the Supra name.
|2020 Toyota Supra||1993 - 1998 Toyota Supra Base||1993 - 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo||1986.5 - 1992 Toyota Supra Base||1986.5 - 1992 Toyota Supra Turbo|
|Engine||turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder||Naturally Aspirated I-6||Twin-Turbocharged I-6||3.0 liters straight 6||3.0 liters straight 6 turbocharged|
|Horsepower||335 hp at 5,000 rpm||220 HP @ 5,800 RPM||320 HP @ 5,600 RPM||200 HP @ 6,000 RPM||230 HP @ 6,500 RPM|
|Torque||365 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm||210 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM||315 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM||196 LB-FT||246 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM|
|0-60 mph||4.1 seconds||6.8 Seconds||4.6 Seconds||7 seconds||6.5 seconds|
|Top Speed (no limiter)||175 mph (est.)||155 mph||155 mph||149 mph||155 mph|
|Transmission||eight-speed automatic||six-speed manual||six-speed manual||5-speed manual/4-speed automatic optional||5-speed manual/4-speed automatic optional|
The specific original parts are not yet known, but in a translation of Tomoyama’s comments provided by Japanese Nostalgic Car, the Gazoo Racing chief said that the GR Heritage Parts Project “will make every effort to meet the expectations of owners.” Those are comforting, if not exciting, words from the man who’s spearheading the operation. I don’t want to get too excited about the possibilities, but it’s entirely possible that the GR Heritage Parts Project will soon offer parts for the MA70, JZA70, a JZA80 engine that Toyota used on the A70 and A80 Supras. There’s also a chance that the GR Heritage Parts Project will be able to create a modern and sturdier version of the A70 Supra’s head gasket, one of the faultiest parts of that model’s engine. Granted, there are ways to replace a blown head gasket if needed, but owners of the A70 Supra would surely prefer an original part from Toyota, right? I certainly would. A blown head gasket on the A70 Supra is a big headache, as owners of the model would surely attest. When that part fails, the engine’s coolant can either mix with oil or leak into the combustion chamber, leading to bigger and more serious problems for the sports car’s engine. If the GR Heritage Parts Project can remedy that, then, by all means, it should. Just imagine all the problems and issues this new initiative will solve for existing owners of the OG Supras. It could change the whole market for these cars.
That’s an important thing to consider given the rising demand for old versions of the Supra. As it is, the fourth-generation Supra sells on eBay at around $22,000 to over $100,000 depending on the state, condition, and version of the model. Mind you, most of these models already use aftermarket components, either by choice or necessity.
Replace those aftermarket parts with original parts from the GR Heritage Parts Project and the value of these models could go through the roof.
It’s a tremendous thing that Toyota is about to do this, though, to be fair, it’s far from the only Japanese automaker that’s taken advantage of this new business model. For its part, Nissan started a similar initiative, called Nissan Heritage. Like the GR Heritage Parts, NISMO Heritage started building and offering entirely new parts for its older models, including for its own iconic sports car, the Skyline, specifically the R32 and R34 versions of the model. Earlier this year, Nissan even announced that it would reboot production of the Skyline GT-R’s iconic RB26DETT engine, or at least parts of it, as part of the NISMO Heritage catalog. Mazda’s doing the same thing, too, with first-generation Miatas, as is Honda with old-school versions of the NSX sports car. Toyota’s decision to jump into this pool is long overdue, though perhaps the Japanese automaker timed the announcement until after the all-new A90 Supra’s debut.
So, what can we expect from the GR Heritagarts? We know that Gazoo Racing will take charge of the initiative. On the other hand, we still don’t know the extent of what the plans are for the new program. Details on exactly what parts will be made available when they’ll enter production, where you can buy them, and how much they’ll cost will come later. For now, we can look at what a certain German automaker has done in building its own classic car restoration program.
If there’s one car brand that Toyota can look at for some guidance on how it can approach this new corner, it’s Porsche. The German automaker’s Porsche Classic program not only creates original parts for a lot of its classic vehicles — the program’s catalog has over 50,000 parts and accessories for classic models and classic services at certified dealers — but it also offers full restoration services for many of its older models. Porsche takes its restorations serious, too. It has two facilities in the world, one in Stuttgart and another in Atlanta, Georgia. The latter is a part of the automaker’s $100 million Porsche Experience Center. While most of the services and restorations take place in Stuttgart, Porsche Classic’s facility in Atlanta has steadily worked on a number of its own restoration projects, including a Porsche 356, Carrera RS 2.7, and Carrera GT. Porsche has curated this business model to such great lengths that, according to the company, classic parts and accessories account for 10 percent of its overall spare parts business.
That’s the kind of level Toyota needs to aim for. It’s unlikely that it can get to Porsche’s level overnight, but in announcing its plans to build original parts and accessories for the A70 and A80 Supras, it’s laying the groundwork for a sub-business that could take off if handled properly. At the very least, there are no two cars better than two of the most iconic Supras in history to serve as the launching pads for the GR Heritage Parts Project.
Read our full driven review on the 2020 Toyota Supra.
Read our full review on the 1993 - 1998 Toyota Supra.
Read our full review on the 1986 - 1992 Toyota Supra.
Read our review of the 2020 Toyota Supra