Toyota’s made some pretty awesome cars in its time — the Celica, Corolla, AE86, the new GT 86 — but none of them compare the sheer brilliance of the Supra.
The Supra is, arguably, the most recognisable car Toyota’s ever made. It’s been referenced in pop culture, featured heavily in the Gran Turismo games and still cuts a fine figure down the high street.
In fact, the reaction the Supra got while we had it under our care was the biggest we’ve ever had. People stopped in the street to take pictures, children got their parents to stop so they could simply gawp, people in petrol stations cast sly glances at the giant, noisy beast that’d pulled in to their sleepy village splash ‘n dash.
The Supra in question is the result of a tie in between Toyota and the UK’s Redline magazine. The idea was to create a road going replica of the TOM’S Castrol racing Supra — a 500bhp beast designed to dominate the various Japanese GT series.
Noise was this Supra’s forte — thanks to the modifications made by Redline magazine, it sounds pretty epic and much, much louder than anything on the road should.
To go with the noise was a potentially epic turn of pace. The TOM’S replica Supra should have been massively quick — it was given 370bhp+ by Redline many years ago. While 370bhp is a touch commonplace today, way back when it must have been something alien. I say ‘should have’ been massively quick, but its automatic gearbox throttled any potential for true fun. An option during its production run, the four speed auto isn’t an ideal application in what should have been ‘a bit of a weapon’. Y’see, the gear ratios are so chuffing long it takes a while to get up to speed. Once you reach turbo boost time you’re going a touch too fast to really enjoy it. Still, as a package… this particular Supra is pretty awesome.
The Supra as a car has gained such a following the world over that it’s one of those cars which will never be forgotten and always viewed through rose tinted specs — like the Peugeot 205 GTI, for example. I can see why.