What would you pay for the bragging rights to the ownership of the very first 2020 Toyota Supra that rolled off the assembly line?
The car is a legend among legends, first off – and a tough-as-nails one, at that. We’d first see the Celica-Supra introduced in 1979, and the formative years of the Toyota Supra would have to endure the biggest emissions-crackdown the federal government had ever initiated (at that time).
Being a product of the early ’80s, it’s surprising the little guy even survived the troubled decade. The engine cowling had to be extended nearly 6″ to accommodate the long six-cylinder engines (which were only initially capable of pumping out 125psi) but the car would weather the decade with grace, and emerge as its own model, the Toyota Supra. (The Supra and Celica were officially segmented into to separate cars in 1986.)
So, What’s The Big Deal?
Understanding what the Supra meant to people required understanding what it was – the JDM icon didn’t fully find its stride until the MK4 (1993 – 2002) when the design truly began to embody the quintessential tuner ideology. The MK4 would make the Supra legendary.
The basic Supra many have had a semi-impressive, 220hp, 3.0L inline; but the twin turbo added another 100hp, allowing it the ability to out-shoot just about everything you could put it up against.
It could out-pull the Nissan 300ZX Turbo, the Porsche 968, the Mazda RX-7, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, and even the Corvette!
5.2-second 0-60mph times were bunched up on spec sheets next to the 13.8-second quarter-mile times (in 1993 remember). The aerodynamic exterior worked in tandem with a 200lb weight reduction to maximize all 315 pounds of torque, shooting towards the rear differential through the Getrag six-speed.
The base model, by comparison, would lack the forced-induction, over 100ft/lbs of torque, and nearly the same in horsepower. The naturally-aspirated inline reflected the sluggishness in the MSRP; $33,900 for the Supra, compared to the $39,900 twin-turbo powerhouse.
The car was a fan favorite, and they quickly gained a reputation in the JDM circles as a showdown champion. The reliable 2JZ-GE engines were beefy enough to handle 500-plus horsepower with stock internals (which we found out the hard way, more than a few times)
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The Toyota Supra gave definition to an ideology and a voice to the less-mainstream performance enthusiast. It was truly nothing short of a legendary car.
All that would come to a screeching halt, however, as the steamroller of regulations would tighten emissions standards beyond what the Toyota Supra was prepared to deal with. 1998 was the last year the Supra was sold in the United States, and wouldn’t even be offered a turbo.
We would be left without a Supra for 20 years.
Toyota is bringing it back, however; and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. If you analyze manufacturer trends lately, we’ve been inching back into a “muscle car era,” again, as cars are getting more and more powerful. Old technology is out, and cleaner, more efficient methods of power generation are employed. State-of-the-art fuel delivery and emissions systems give us the power we want, while keeping the planet safe, just like CARB (Californa Air Resource Board) wants. (They’re the ones who killed it in the first place, after all.)
The new A90 Toyota Supra forgoes the herculean 2JZ, and instead, uses a turbocharged B58 3.0L variation from BMW. The 335hp mill promises to blow socks off – in a good way – and the car couldn’t be more anticipated by the public.
Here We Go Again!
In fact, the car is so long overdue, people are literally throwing money at it. In a hype-initiating publicity stunt, Toyota auctioned off the very first 2020 production Supra, VIN 20201, at a Barrett-Jackson auction to the tune of $2.1 million. The proceeds benefit the American Heart Association and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, so it’s not just a tasteless money grab – and hyping up a resurrected legend for a few million isn’t even going to make a dent in Toyota’s bottom line anyway.
What it will do, is catapult the A90 Toyota Supra straight into the eager minds and hearts of a population that’s been trying to cope with a small, Supra-shaped hole in their heats; one that never properly healed. Toyota claims 0-60mph-times are in the 4.1-second range, but I don’t think too many people even care about that, at this point. The Supra is coming back, and Christmas is coming early.
Toyota is only selling 1,500 Launch Edition Supras in the United States, and we can expect them to be instant collector’s items. If you want your own, save your $2 million – the Supra starts at $50,920, and that’s for the big motor!