The Toyota Supra is a sports car/grand tourer that was produced by Toyota Motor Company from 1979 to 2002. The styling of the Toyota Supra was derived from the Toyota Celica, but it was both longer and wider. Starting in mid-1986, the Supra (in its third generation, Mark III) became its own model and was no longer based on the Celica. In turn, Toyota also stopped using the prefix Celica and began just calling the car Supra. Due to the similarity and past of the Celica's name, it is frequently mistaken for the Toyota Supra, and vice versa.
The Supra also traces much of its roots back to the Toyota 2000GT with the main instance being its engine. The first three generations were offered with a direct descendant to the Toyota Crown's and 2000GT's M engine. All four generations of Supra produced have an inline 6-cylinder engine. Interior aspects were also similar, as was the chassis code "A".
Along with this name and car Toyota also included its own logo for the Supra. It is derived from the original Celica logo, being blue instead of orange. This logo was used until January 1986, when the Mark III Supra was introduced. The new logo was similar in size, with orange writing on a red background, but without the dragon design. That logo, in turn, was on Supras until 1991 when Toyota switched to its current oval company logo. (the dragon logo was a Celica logo regardless of what color it was. It appeared on the first two generations of the Supra because they were officially Toyota Celicas. The dragon logo was used for the Celica line until it too was discontinued.)
In 1998, Toyota ceased sales of the Supra in the United States and in 2002 Toyota officially stopped production of the Supra in Japan.
As an iconic sports car, the Supra has appeared in numerous video games, movies, music videos and TV shows. Some of the most notable appearances include the Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, Need for Speed, and Midnight Club series of video games and the 2001 film, The Fast and the Furious.
Mark I (1978-1981)
The first generation Supra was based largely upon the Toyota Celica liftback, but was longer by 129.5 mm (5.10 in). The doors and rear section were shared with the Celica but the front panels were elongated to accommodate the Inline-6 instead of the stock Celica's 4-cylinder engine. Toyota's original plan for the Supra at this time was to make it a competitor to the very popular Datsun (now Nissan) Z-car.
In April 1978 Toyota began production of the Mark I Supra in Japan, as the Toyota Celica XX. It debuted in the United States in Jan 1979. The USA Mark I (chassis code MA46) was originally equipped with a 110 hp (82 kW) 2,563 cc (2.563 L) 12-valve SOHC inline-6 engine (4M-E). In April 1978, the Japanese Mark I (chassis code MA45) was offered with a 110 hp (82 kW) 2.0 L 12-valve SOHC inline-6 engine (M-EU). The Japanese Supra was equipped with the smaller 2.0 L engine so that buyers wouldn't incur an additional tax under vehicle size and engine displacement regulations. Both were equipped with electronic fuel injection.
Drive train options for the Mark I were either a 5-speed manual (W50) or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission (A40D). Both transmissions featured an overdrive gear. The top gear in the 5-speed was its overdrive gear whereas the automatic transmission featured an overdrive gear that would engage at speeds over 35 mph (56 km/h). The drive train for the Supra retained the T series solid rear axle configuration of the Celica in the Japanese MA45 version and a larger F series (and optional Limited Slip Differential) in the MA46 and MA47. The car also came standard with 4-wheel disc brakes and featured a four-link rear suspension with coil springs, lateral track bar, and stabilizer bar. The front suspension consisted of MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar.
On the inside of the Supra one had an option of power windows and power locks as part of the convenience package. The convenience package also included cruise control and special door trim with door pull straps, with an optional sunroof. As for standard features, in the center console there was an extendible map light and a flip-top armrest, which provided storage. Some other features were the tilt steering wheel, deep zippered pockets on the backs of the front seats, and tonneau cover under the liftback. The dashboard also contained a state of the art (at the time) AM/FM/MPX 4-speaker stereo radio, analog clock, and tachometer as part of the instrument panel.
In 1979 (MY 1980), the Japanese Mark I (also branded with the MA46 chassis code) was offered with a 145 hp (108 kW) 1,988 cc (1.988 L) 12-valve SOHC turbocharged inline-6 engine (M-TEU). The engine was equipped with a Garrett T03 turbo, but was not intercooled. This was the first Toyota engine to utilize a turbocharger.
The changes for the US version were different, but mostly cosmetic. The interior received a redesigned center console and a digital quartz clock. On the exterior were redesigned side view mirrors, 14x5½" aluminum wheels are now standard (the previous year had steel wheels with plastic wheel covers standard and the aluminum wheels were optional). In addition body molded mudflaps became available. On the copper metallic and white cars the mudflaps were painted the body color while the mudflaps were left black on all other colors. On the rear of the mudflaps, the word "Celica" was painted in white lettering.
The official Toyota Supra Site also notes that there was an addition of optional leather-trimmed seating and automatic climate-control.
In August 1980 (MY 1981), the Supra received an upgrade in displacement with the 2,759 cc (2.759 L) 5M-E engine. It is still a 12-valve SOHC engine, but makes 116 hp (87 kW) and 197 Nm of torque. The cars automatic transmission was changed to the revised Toyota A43D and it gained a revised final drive gearing. Because of the change in engine and transmission they dubbed a new chassis code of MA47. In the final year of the Mark I Supra, it achieved a 0–60 mph time of 10.24 seconds and finished the 1/4 mile in 19.5 seconds at 125.0 km/h.
Also in 1980, a new Sports Performance Package became an option, which included sport suspension, raised white letter tires, and front and rear spoilers. This also marked the last year that the 8-track cartridge was offered in any Supra.
Mark II (1981-1986)
In 1981, Toyota completely redesigned the Celica Supra as well as the entire Celica lineup. In Japan, they were known as Celica XX, but everywhere else the Celica Supra name was used. Still being based around the Celica platform, there were several key differences, most notably the design of the front end and fully retractable pop-up headlights. Other differences would be the inline-6 still present in the Supra instead of the inline-4 as well as an increase in length and wheelbase to conform with the overall larger engine. Toyota's continued market competition with Nissan is shown by the Supra's use of a rear hatch sun shade to avoid the louvres popularly associated with the Z car. Due to an increase in the Supra's width, it was no longer regarded as a "compact" under Japanese dimension regulations.
In the North American market, the Celica Supra was available in two distinct models. There was the Performance Type (P-type henceforth) and the Luxury Type (L-type henceforth). While being mechanically identical, they were differentiated by the available options; tire sizes, wheel sizes, and body trim. The P-type had fiberglass fender flares over the wheel wells, while the L-type did not. The P-type was also standard with the more sporty 8-way adjustable seats. The P-type did not get the option of a leather interior until 1983. All editions of the P-Type had the same 14x7 aluminum alloy wheels and throughout the years the L-Type had 14"x5.5" wheels until 1985 when they were changed to a P-type styled 15x6. The L-type also had the option of a digital dash with trip computer; some Canadian models had this option as well as a few rare instances of American models. The digital dash featured a digital tachometer, digital speedometer, and electronic fuel level and coolant level gauges. The trip computer could calculate and display various things such as fuel economy in miles-per-gallon, estimated time of arrival (ETA), and distance remaining to destination. Excluding the 1982 model, all P-types were available with headlight washers as an option, but the L-types were never fitted with such an option. Although gear ratios changed throughout the years all P-types came as standard with a limited slip differential.
For 1981, in the North American market, the Celica Supra's engine was the 2,759 cc (2.759 L) 12-valve (2 valves per cylinder) DOHC 5M-GE. Power output was 145 hp (108 kW) and 210 Nm of torque. The engine utilized an 8.8:1 compression ratio to achieve the power and featured a vacuum advanced distributor. When the car debuted it clocked a 0–60 time of 9.8 seconds and netted a 17.2 second 1/4 mile at 80 mph (130 km/h)
The engine had the unfortunate weakness of poor valve seals. This allowed oil to get into the combustion chamber and burn oil. This was often misdiagnosed as having worn piston rings and needing a rebuild.
The standard transmission for this year was the W58 5-speed manual with the A43DL 4-speed automatic transmission being an option for L-types. Both transmissions featured an overdrive gear and the automatic featured a locking torque converter. The top gear in the 5-speed was its overdrive whereas the automatic transmission featured an overdrive gear that would engage at speeds over 35 mph (56 km/h). The 1982 models' rear differential featured a 3.72:1 ratio. The Celica Supra's 4-wheel independent suspension was specially tuned and designed by Lotus and featured variable assisted power rack-and-pinion steering and MacPherson struts up front. As for the rear, it had semi-trailing arm suspension with coil springs and a stabilizer bar. Braking on the Celica Supra was handled by 4-wheel disc brakes.
On the inside this generation had standard power windows, power door locks, and power mirrors as well as a tilt steering wheel. The power door lock was located in the center console next to the power mirror control. The analog dash of this year only went to 140 km/h in North America. The optional automatic climate control on the Mark I was renovated and was now seen as a standard feature on the Mark II. Cruise control was standard in this generation. Toyota also included the retractable map light as standard, just like with Mark I Supras. Some options included the addition of a sunroof, two-tone paint schemes, and 5-speaker AM/FM/MPX tuner with cassette. The optional cassette stereo featured a 105-watt power amplifier and a 7-band graphic equalizer to control tone. The standard stereo was a 5-channel AM/FM/MPX tuner. Leather was an option on L-Types this year, but P-types were stuck with standard striped cloth.
Externally there was no antenna, it was simply located in the front windshield. There was a key lock on the gas tank door and the hatch and bumper were black no matter what color the rest of the car was. The P-types were available with an optional rear sunshade above the hatch glass. The lights in the rear featured a reverse light in the center and the door handles opened the doors by pulling sideways. The front nose badge and B-pillar only read "SUPRA". Although it is believed mudflaps weren't introduced on this generation until 1983, all L-types had front and rear mudflaps.
For the 1983 models not much was altered, but there was an increase in power output to 150 hp (112 kW) and 216 Nm of torque from the same 5M-GE. The only real change in the engine area was the switch to an electronic advanced distributor, yet that did not increase the power. Toyota switched to a 4.10:1 rear gear ratio for the P-Type and a 3.73:1 for the L-Type. As for the optional automatic transmission they switched out the A43DL 4-speed for a newly designed A43DE 4-speed. It featured an electronic controller that would adjust its shift pattern for a balance between performance and economy. It was the first in the industry to provide an "Electronically Controlled Transmission" (ECT). This allowed the driver to choose either the "Power" driving mode or "Normal" driving mode at the touch of the button. The Power mode provided the quickest acceleration and the "Normal" mode provided the best all-around performance.
On the inside of the car there were virtually no changes, but on the outside they decided to switch to a power antenna and it was the first year both the P-Type and L-Type had standard mudflaps. The B-pillar and nose badge were changed to say "Celica Supra" now and only L-Types were available in two-tone color schemes.
In 1984, Toyota changed quite a bit on the Supra. Power output was increased on the 5-speed models with a bump up to 160 hp (119 kW) and 221 Nm of torque. The increase was achieved by a mixture of a redesigned intake manifold with "D"-shaped intake runners and an increase in compression ratio to: 9.2:1. Another notable change in the 5-speeds was the switch to a 4.30:1 gear ratio in the rear differential. All automatic Supras retained the previous years power numbers, but the rear gear ratio was changed to a 4.10:1.
The most notable exterior change was the switch to wraparound front turn signals. Also on the outside the tail-lights were redesigned and the hatch received a billboard "SUPRA" sticker instead of the smaller sticker, which was previously positioned on the right. The rear hatch and bumper was changed and received the same color as the rest of the car (instead of the black of previous years). The door handles were also switched around, opening by pulling up instead of sideways. This year Toyota also decided to offer two-tone paint schemes on both the P-Type and L-Type.
Some interior controls such as the steering wheel, cruise control, and door lock switch were redesigned. Toyota encompassed a 210 km/h speedometer instead of the traditional 140 km/h one and the automatic climate control display was also changed. The previous year's cassette/equalizer stereo option was now made a standard feature.
The Supra was altered again in 1985. On the engine side, power output was increased to 161 hp (120 kW) and 229 Nm of torque. The good news was that all Supras this year had that same amount of power (both automatics and 5-speeds). The engine received a redesigned throttle position sensor (TPS) as well as a new EGR system and knock sensor. With the slight increase in power the Supra was able to propel itself from 0–60 mph in 8.4 seconds and netting a 16.1 second quarter mile at 137 km/h.
Other changes would be a redesigned, more "integrated" sunshade and spoiler on the rear hatch. The rear spoiler was changed from a one piece to a two piece spoiler. Oddly the L-types of this year were not available with a leather interior, but P-types were. Toyota added a standard factory theft deterrent system and the outside mirrors were equipped with a defogger that activated with the rear defroster. All Supras this year received automatic-off lights that also encompassed an automatic illuminated entry and fade-out system.
While 1985 was to be the last year of the second generation model, delays in production of the third generation model led to a surplus of second generation Supras. During the first half of 1986 the 1985 Mark II P-type was still offered for sale, with only minor cosmetic changes as well as the addition of a now mandatory rear-mounted third brake light on the hatch. These were all labelled officially as 1986 models. P-types were the only model available in 1986.
Mark III (1986-1992)
In May 1986, Toyota was ready to release its next version of the Supra. The bonds between the Celica and the Supra were cut; they were now two completely different models. The Celica changed to front wheel drive, while the Supra kept its rear wheel drive platform. Though the Mark II and Mark III had similar designs, the engine was updated to a more powerful 3.0 200 hp (149 kW) inline 6. Although only available in naturally aspirated trim in 1986.5, a turbocharged version of the engine was introduced in the 1987 model year. The Supra was now related mechanically to the Toyota Soarer for the Japanese market.
The new Mark III Supra engine, the Toyota 7M-GE, was the flagship engine of Toyota's arsenal. Both versions of the engine contained 4 valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams. The turbocharged 7M-GTE engine was Toyota's first distributor-less engine offered in the US which used coil packs sitting on the cam covers and a cam position sensor driven by the exhaust camshaft. It was equipped with a CT26 turbocharger and was rated at 230 hp (172 kW) at 5600 rpm while the naturally aspirated 7M-GE engine was rated at 200 hp (149 kW) at 6000 rpm. Further refinement on the turbo model increased power to 232 hp (173 kW) and 344 Nm in 1989. This was mostly due to a redesign of the wastegate.
Due to a large error in the factory head bolt torque specifications, all of these engines had severe problems with blown head gaskets. Toyota never issued a recall for any of the affected vehicles. The problem could be easily fixed by replacing the head gasket and torquing the head bolts to 102 Nm of torque. However, due to the lack of a recall or appropriate service bulletin, the head gasket problem would recur if the gasket was replaced and the bolts were retorqued to the erroneous service manual specifications. With the head bolts torqued correctly, the engines were otherwise extremely durable.
The naturally aspirated came as standard issue with the W58 manual transmission. The turbo versions included the more robust R154 manual transmission. Both were available with the optional 4-speed A340E automatic transmission.
The third-generation Supra represented a great deal of new technology. In 1986, options available for the Supra included 3-channel ABS and TEMS which gave the driver 2 settings which affected the damper rates; a third was automatically activated at WOT, hard braking, and high speed maneuvering. HKS also made a "TEMS Controller" to hack the system and activate it on the fly, though the controllers are now nearly impossible to find.
ACIS (Acoustic Controlled Induction System), a method of controlling air compression pulses inside the intake piping to increase power, was also a part of the 7M-GE's technological arsenal. All models were fitted with double wishbone suspension front and rear. A targa top was offered along with a metal power sliding sunroof (added in '91).
Total Supra MkIII's produced: 108,565
The third generation Supra was introduced during the later half of 1986 as a free standing model, officially separating it from the Celica. Whereas the Celica became a front wheel drive sport coupe, the Supra retained its image as a rear-wheel drive sports/GT car. The new Supra would continue to move upscale and become a showcase for Toyota technology. Originally slated as a 1986 model, production delays caused the model to actually be introduced mid year. The all new Supra was powered by a 3.0 liter DOHC inline six cylinder engine rated at 200 bhp. Notable features included an electronically controlled independent suspension (called the Toyota Electronic Modulated Suspension – TEMS), and a removable Sport-Roof panel (Targa top).
The first Supra Turbo was introduced in 1987. The inter-cooled, turbo charged version of the 3.0 liter inline 6 cylinder engine boosted power to 230 bhp and 334 Nm. The Turbo model also included an engine oil cooler and integrated rear spoiler. The sports package, which was standard on the Turbo and optional on the base model, included a limited slip differential (LSD), TEMS, and headlamp washers. A new Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) was optional on both models.
Not much changed for the 1988 year, with the exception of the dropping of two-toned brown exterior paint. The turbo spoiler brake light changed from a square, to a trapezoid shape. Seat pattern was changed from squares to lines, and "foil" on climate control and switch gear changed from light to dark gray.
During the year of 1989, modifications to the wastegate actuator, feed location and engine management netted another 2 hp (1 kW) on the turbo model. The engine mount and brace were also changed in late 1989, with the exact date not known as of this writing. The changes made to the cross member and mounts made to accommodate the 1JZ engine for Japan models. Fortunately, this also allowed the 2JZ engine to be put in since they both use the same engine mounts, however wiring must still be figured out. The protective body molding was also changed by taking away the steel reinforcement. This made the molding lighter and prevented the rusting problem on the previous years. The "white package" was introduced as well, featuring white body molding and white wheels. Interior choices were limited to blue and burgundy only. Other than pure cosmetics, there was nothing different from other models. All models received rear 3 point seat belts to replace the previous years' two point lap belts. New tail lights, front bumper with integrated lower grille (as opposed to the previous years' detachable grille), side mirrors, turn signals, upper grilles, fog lights, steering wheel, door panels, climate control, window switches and bezels, and stereo. Addition of coat hooks on B-pillar and removal of rear seat pockets round out interior changes. Turbo models received three piece spoiler with integrated LED brake light. 1989 also marked the end of headlight washers in the U.S. and SuperMonitor; an advanced system offered by Toyota able to calculate miles able to be traveled on current tank, ability to check vehicle codes from inside the cabin, among other features.
For the 1990 model year, changes included larger protective laminate in front of rear wheels, lower redline (due to the heavier crank with cylinders 2 & 5 counterbalanced), redesigned steering wheel with cruise control relocated to a stalk on the right side. In addition to an airbag and airbag indicator light on dash, there was also a redesign of the left side switch panel, which replaced one of the coin slots with the dimmer. Lower dash panel became a two piece design, which was also much heavier than the previous one piece panel due to a change in material. Finally the memory lever on the steering column was removed.
For the 1991 model year, the wheel design was changed to 5-spoke wheels. Both models wore 16x7 aluminum alloy wheels that were fitted with 225/50/16 tires and full-sized spares on steel wheels. Body molding changed in color to better match the exterior, however (excluding white package equipped vehicles), trim remained unpainted. The front "Supra" emblem was also changed to the current corporate oval Toyota symbol. The speedometer was also revised, and included more lines in the speedometer, that were removed in 1989, but still did not have as many (one line per mph) as 86.5 to 1988 models. New interior colors shadow gray and deep red were introduced, which marked the end of medium gray, tan and burgundy. Blue became only available on white packages, and those with blue paint. Burgundy was replaced with white package-only deep red. Every other body color received shadow gray, with leather interiors retaining medium gray seats and interior inserts. Front speakers were changed from 4" to 6.5" and the speaker cover was also enlarged to accommodate them.
For 1992 leather shadow gray interiors received black seats and inserts. Non turbo models lost the option of a targa top, and a new optional subwoofer was available. Subwoofer-equipped Supras did without the rear bins, and wooden "floor board." Instead rear carpet was molded to spare tire and there was a cut out for the woofer housing.
The Supra was also available in two non-export models in Japan, the JZA70 with a 2.5 L 280 hp (209 kW) twin-turbo 1JZ-GTE, known as 2.5GT Twin Turbo (JZA70), and the GA70 with a 2.0 L 210 hp (157 kW) twin-turbo 1G-GTE and non turbo 1G-GEU.
A special version of the 1JZ-GTE equipped JZA70, the 2.5 Twin Turbo R, had black/gray Recaro seats, a Torsen differential, additional braces to mount the diff, Bilstein suspension and uprated springs, Momo wheel and gear knob and matching interior trim. This was the fastest factory production version of the Mark III Supra, running 13.8sec 1/4 mile. This model had an option for ABS and was the lightest of all the Mark III Supras. The rarest of all JZA70's is the Twin Turbo limited, although it has the same engine package as the Twin Turbo R models it came standard with sunroof (which JZA70 R's did not have the option), digital dash readout, full leather interior and optional window seal protectors as well as ABS.
The Turbo-A was Toyota's evolution model for Group A touring car championships all over the world which required a minimum homologation run of 500 which were only sold in Japan and was produced between August and September 1988. Some noted differences between the standard Supra and the Turbo-A model are both cosmetic and some mechanical. The engine came with a special head that had less valve shrouding, and clearance cut for higher lift cams. The turbo had a larger inducer, the intercooler had extra rows of pass tubes, the intercooler piping was larger in diameter, and it had a 65mm throttle body, instead of the standard 7M-GTE 60mm size. The fuel management used a MAP system, instead ot the standard Karmen Vortex AFM. The front bumper, and the 3-piece spoiler and taillights were used on all Japanese market, US market, and other market vehicles starting in 1989 instead of the typical 86–88 set. The front nose however features an additional "Turbo A duct" to add airflow to the heat exchangers. Also unique was the side decal and rear badging '3.0GT Turbo A' and a black paint job (all 500 are black paint code 202). The engine bay features a 266 hp (198 kW) 7M-GTEU. All Turbo-As also came standard with grey leather interior featuring a Momo-sourced steering wheel and shift knob.
The car did not win as many races as hoped, being a 3.0 L it was forced to run with more weight where the R32 Skyline GTR didn't have the same restriction and was soon outmoded by the latter when it made its debut in 1990. For the JTCC Toyota would in 1991 switch to racing Corolla Levins in the lower category until the series final year in 1993. However in the less 'limited' racing it did considerably better.
Mark IV (1993-2002)
With the new model of Supra, Toyota took a big leap in the direction of a more serious high performance car. Again using subframe, suspension and drivetrain assemblies from the Z30 Soarer (Lexus SC300/400), test model pre-production started in December 1992 with 20 models, and official mass production began in April 1993. The new Supra was completely redesigned, with rounded body styling and featured two new engines: a naturally aspirated Toyota 2JZ-GE producing 220 hp (164 kW; 223 PS) at 5800 rpm and 280 Nm at 4800 rpm of torque and a twin turbocharged Toyota 2JZ-GTE making 276 hp (206 kW; 280 PS) and 431 Nm of torque for the Japanese version. For the export model (America/Europe) Toyota upgraded the Supra turbo's engine (smaller, steel wheeled turbochargers, bigger fuel injectors, etc.). This increased the power output to 320 hp (239 kW; 324 PS) at 5600 rpm and 427 Nm at 4000 rpm. The turbocharged variant could achieve 0–60 mph in as low as 4.9 seconds (0–62: 5.2 sec.) and 402 m in 13.3 seconds at 175 km/h. The turbo version was tested to reach over 285 km/h all-stock, but the cars are restricted to just 180 km/h in Japan and 250 km/h elsewhere. European versions also had an air intake on the bonnet. Drag coefficient is .31 for the naturally aspirated models and .32 for the turbo models and N/A's with the rear spoiler.
The Mark IV Supra's twin turbos operated in sequential mode as opposed to parallel mode. Initially all of the exhaust is routed to the first turbine for reduced lag. This resulted in boost and enhanced torque as early as 1800 rpm, where it already had 410 Nm of torque. Approaching 3500 rpm, some of the exhaust is routed to the second turbine for a "pre-boost" mode, although none of the compressor output is used by the engine at this point. Approaching 4000 rpm, the second turbo's output is used to augment the first turbo's output. As opposed to the parallel mode, the sequential turbos provides quicker low RPM response and increased high RPM boost. (The Mazda RX-7 Twin Turbo also uses a sequential turbo setup, while the Nissan Skyline GT-R, 300ZX Twin Turbo and the Mitsubishi VR4 used a parallel setup.) This high RPM boost was also aided with technology originally present in the 7M-GE's in the form of the Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) which is a way of managing the air compression pulses within the intake piping as to increase power.
For this generation, the Supra received a new 6-speed Getrag/Toyota V160 gearbox on the turbo models while the naturally aspirated models made do with a 5-speed manual W58, revised from the previous version. Each model was offered with a 4-speed automatic with manual shifting mode. Turbo models were equipped with larger brakes and tires than naturally aspirated models. All vehicles were equipped with 5-spoke aluminium alloy wheels and a space saver spare tire on a steel wheel to save weight and space. Additionally, there are other differences such as the differential, headlight assemblies, throttle body, oil cooler.
Toyota took measures to reduce the weight of the current model compared to the previous model. Aluminium was used for the hood, targa top (if so equipped), front crossmember, oil and transmission pans, and the suspension upper A-arms. Other measures included hollow carpet fibers, magnesium-alloy steering wheel, plastic gas tank and lid, gas injected rear spoiler, and a single pipe exhaust. Despite having more features such as dual airbags, traction control, larger brakes, wheels, tires, and an additional turbo, the car was at least 91 kg lighter than its predecessor. The base model with a manual transmission had a curb weight of 1,460 kg. The Sport Roof added 18 kg while the automatic transmission added 25 kg. It had a 51:49 (front:rear) weight distribution. The turbo model came in as 1,550 kg with the manual and the automatic added another 4.5 kg. Weight distribution was 53% front/47% rear. Among other two-seat Japanese sports cars of the era, the Supra was heavier than the spartan Mazda RX-7 and aluminium-bodied Acura NSX but weighs less than the Nissan 300ZX Turbo and the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4.
For the 1996 model year in the U.S., the turbo model was only available with the automatic transmission due to OBD-II certification requirements. The targa roof was also made standard on all turbo models. For 1997, the manual transmission returned for the optional engine along with a redesign of the tail lights, headlights, front fascia, chromed wheels, and other minor changes such as the radio and steering wheel designs. All 1997 models included badges that said "Limited Edition 15th Anniversary". All turbo models came standard with the rear spoiler. Only minor updating was done for 1998. Along with a 3-spoke steering wheel, the radio was redesigned once again. The naturally aspirated engine was enhanced with VVT-i which raised the output by 5 hp (4 kW; 5 PS) and 14 Nm of torque. In Japan, the turbo engines were installed with VVT-i. The SZ-R model was also updated with the introduction of a six-speed Getrag V161 transmission, the same used for the twin-turbo RZ models.
The stock Mark IV Supra chassis has also proven an effective platform for roadracing, with several top 20 and top 10 One Lap Of America finishes in the SSGT1 class. Despite its curb weight, in 1994 the Mark IV managed a remarkable skidpad rating of 0.95 lateral g's (200 ft) or 0.98 lateral g's. (300 ft) The Mark IV Supra also featured a four-sensor four-channel track tuned ABS system with yaw control whereby each caliper is sensored and the brakes are controlled individually according to the speed, angle, and pitch of the approaching corner. This unique Formula One-inspired braking system allowed the Supra Turbo to record a 113 km/h -0 braking distance of 45 m, the best braking performance of any production car tested in 1997 by Car and Driver magazine. This record was finally broken in 2004 by a Porsche Carrera GT, which does it in 31 m .
Sales to Canada ceased in 1996, and to the US in 1998. The Turbo was not available in 1998 in CARB states. Production continued in Japan until August 2002, ceasing due to restrictive emission standards.