The Story of

The life of a legend

Supra. A Latin word meaning ‘above’ or ‘transcending’. And fittingly, for a vehicle loved by so many, the name of Toyota’s most famous sports car.

Today, over 16 years since production ended, the Supra still enjoys iconic status among sports car fans. From a starring role in the first Fast and the Furious movie to the choice of wheels for gamers in Gran Turismo® as well as for a generation of passionate tuners and drifters, the Supra has cemented its place in popular culture and inspired young and old around the world.

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The influence of an icon

The Supra bloodline can actually be traced back to the beautiful Toyota 2000GT of the ’60s. With its long, sweeping bonnet, rear-biased cabin and in-line, 6-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive layout, the 2000GT’s influence can be felt in every incarnation of the Supra.

Evolution of the A
Over its 24-year production life, the Supra evolved from a sporty and luxurious grand tourer to the pure, uncompromising, sports car we know from the ’90s. Like fans of many of the world’s most influential cars, enthusiasts often refer to Supra’s four generations by their internal chassis code: A40, A60, A70 and A80.

Soul of Supra

A clear thread runs through each generation of Supra: two fundamental ingredients that define our iconic sports car and can be traced as far back as the 2000GT. A smooth, responsive straight 6-cylinder engine and a front engine, rear-wheel drive configuration for the purest possible driving experience.

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“Just as athletes test their capabilities by competing with all their strength in the Olympics, automakers use racing as an opportunity to push a vehicle’s performance to the limits and compete for supremacy, enabling them to discover new ways of advancing automotive technology.”

Kiichiro Toyoda (Toyota’s founder) 1952

Racing roots

Thanks to the launch of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s GR Supra Racing Concept, the link between racing and the Toyota GR Supra A90 has never been clearer. But for Toyota, the importance of motorsport in the development of its road cars has been felt for decades.

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A man on a mission

Behind every great car, lies a great mind. In the case of the new Toyota Supra, the vision and drive came from a veteran of Toyota, Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the A90 project.

Growing up as the son of a rally driver, obsessed with car magazines rather than manga comics, it comes as no surprise that Tada-san became the petrolhead he is today. After a spell as his father’s co-driver, he progressed to rally driving, and fondly recalls tweaking and adjusting the settings of his first car, a Corolla AE86, so that it handled the way he liked it.

After joining Toyota in 1987, Tada-san spent his time developing cutting-edge ABS technology for Toyota’s rally team. In the late-90s he worked with his then boss Isao Tsuzuki, chief engineer of many of Toyota’s greatest sports cars including Celica, MR2 and the A80 Supra, gaining the broader skills and experience he needed on vehicles like the family-orientated Toyota Raum.

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The return of Supra

Some years later, the opportunity he’d been dreaming of finally arrived: to make a car that delivers pure driving pleasure and bring sports car fans back to Toyota. That car was the GT86. Toyota’s new sports car excelled at giving drivers of all abilities the confidence to have fun at the wheel again and garnered plaudits from the world’s media for the purity of its drive.

Just as the GT86 began to hit our roads in 2012, Tada-san’s ultimate brief came in. This one would call on all his experience, determination and tenacity. This was his chance to make a sports car without compromise, one that delivered the pinnacle in driving pleasure and with it a name that had been away too long.

The return of Supra.

More about TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

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