Friday, August 14, 2009

Toyota Supra (93-96)

The Toyota Supra is an amazing twin-turbo supercar that not only looks like a sci-fi space vehicle, it goes like one, too. The huge rear spoiler looks like it should improve rear traction and grip at high speed, and the ride is very firm. Supras are rare and very expensive to run, but the engine performance alone more than justifies the running costs. So, if you're after a stylish sportscar that goes like lightning, you could do much worse than joining the exclusive Supra club. Official UK cars were only available between 1993 and 1996, so anything registered outside of these date will definitely be a private 'grey' import.

With Ferrari-beating acceleration, the Supra boasts a top speed and delivery that is unbelievably effortless. The engine purrs innocently, providing no real clue to the potentially mammoth power that it possesses. Although the gearchange is heavy and notchy, the six-speed manual three-litre twin turbo has an top speed limited to 155mph, accelerates from 0-60 in under five seconds and feels like it will keep pulling relentlessly.

The Supra handles surprisingly well for a big car, with generally good traction – helped massively by the vehicle’s weight and large rear wing - though the back end can twitch through twisty bends. The agile and sophisticated chassis design ensures that the ride is comfortably smooth, plus the steering feedback is fantastic, giving you a real feel of the car’s capabilities.


The air-conditioned cabin is snug enough for two, but passengers in the rear may find it a bit of a squeeze, due to the shallow sloping rear window and shelf-like seats. The leather-upholstered seating is very soft and gives great support, while the nice fascia encompasses a wealth of nifty gadgets and gizmos. The sporty suspension is a touch too firm however, causing the ride to be a little uncompromising over long distances.

The three-door design makes rear access a little awkward, although the Supra’s back seats aren't best suited to frequent family use anyway. There is a reasonable level of boot space and it is sufficiently large enough to easily accommodate the weekly shop or holiday luggage. The Supra is simply too powerful for mundane, inner city driving - behaving like a bull in a china shop if faced with urban congestion – so keep it to the A- and B-roads to maximise its performance capabilities.

The twin-turbo Supra from 1993 has rear-wheel drive, a limited-slip differential, independent suspension, and traction control. Six-speed manual transmission is standard, and four-speed automatic transmission was optional. Equipment includes a large body-coloured rear spoiler, circular rear lights behind flush lens, front spoiler with large front air intakes, five-spoke alloy wheels, cruise control, electric driver’s seat adjustment, heated front seats, leather upholstery, leather-rimmed steering wheel. A high-level brake light and CD autochanger were added in October 1994

Behid The Wheel.
The driving position is reasonably good, though there are a few blind spots that could make overtaking and reversing a little awkward, caused by the thick rear window columns and obstructive bulky spoiler. Everything within the driver’s grasp is clearly arranged, while the leather rimmed steering wheel and electrically adjustable driver’s seat give a great sense of sporty style.

Reassuringly, all models come with power steering and ABS as standard, as well as twin airbags and traction control. The remote alarm and central locking system seems to be up to the task of deterring thieves, but fitting a tracker advice might keep the insurers somewhat happier, as these cars tend to attract a lot of attention.

apanese manufacturers tend to epitomise the term 'dependability' and Toyota are no exception to the rule. Superbly engineered, the Supra is generally very reliable if properly maintained. Specialist or main dealer servicing is essential for reliability and to retain value and saleability, as there's an awful lot of specialist and highly stressed machinery involved that should have been well looked after.

Car check problem points

Body: Watch out for crash repairs.

Engine/Gearbox: There's an awful lot of specialist and highly stressed machinery involved, so full Toyota service history is essential.

Other: General abuse and neglect.