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Sometime back in 1998, Toyota stopped bringing Supra’s into the US. Then, in 2002, they stopped making them altogether. The car has experienced huge surge in popularity after production ceased which can be seen by the strong resale values the car enjoys. Clearly the combination of a turbocharged inline-6 and RWD wrapped in a sports-coupe skin is an attractive one. However, Toyota no longer makes such a car and doesn’t seem to be changing that fact anytime soon.
Interestingly, the Z4 Coupe makes a compelling case to take on the Supra’s legacy. Its layout is extremely similar, and power, weight and length are within 10% of each other. However, one of the things that contributed most to the Supra’s enduring legacy was the ease with which power could be added. BMW’s new motor certainly stacks up with many of the new turbo sixes performing extremely well in Redline Time Attack events.
Unsurprisingly the car has done extremely well in Japan. Garage Studie, Sunbeam and others have embraced BMW’s new line and provided wonderful support for the car. Even in Japan’s domestic-dominated SuperGT series, the Motorsport Z4 has found a home. And just like the JZA80’s of yesterday, the Z4 takes extremely well to outrageous widebodies and crazy color schemes.
JFactory has also shown that the car can be done well even with relatively tame modifications like the Varis hood and splitter. Even the cars Ben posted a while back from Studie show the potential of the car.
Could Toyota have made a business case to keep the Supra alive? BMW did and has reaped the rewards while Toyota chose to develop the SC430 that was a production failure.
Here is some more greatness that I’ve saved on my desktop, accumulated from the internet over recent weeks…
Here we have older Japanese Sports Car Tuning – USA vs. Japan Edition.
I’m saying USA wins this one! This 70 Series Supra is absolutely perfect and does it just as hard (if not harder) than the best of the 70 Supras in Japan. Case in point the below super hardcore SW20 MR2 Turbo spotted in Japan. Usually private owners and tuners in the US couldn’t step to a car like that, but lately the US owners are doing it big with proper style to match. I’m going to say it again here, USA wins!
USA VS JAPAN – WHO DO YOU THINK WINS THE BATTLE?!?
Props who whichever blogs I ended up finding these on…I think it was Risky Devil and RA64FREDDY but honestly I forget. You know who you are and you get props. Good work guys on representing the real.
Lately, the CR-Z has been getting quite a bit of attention since it’s a hybrid with sporting pretensions. It’s certainly a step ahead of the Prius. However, one of the first hybrid cars recently caught my attention. Way back in 2001 Toyota decided to produce a hybrid version of the Crown Royal (no, seriously, that’s the name of the car). Far from the stodgy 1NZ series found in the Prius, Toyota used what may be the most advanced normally aspirated version of the venerable 2JZ series, the 2JZ-FSE.
I must admit that even I had to dig a little deeper when I saw that engine code. A quick search reveals this engine featured direct-injection (remember we’re talking about 2001!) and an extremely high compression ratio for a car designed to run on pump gas. Between this and a mild hybrid system resulted in the car being rated at 27mpg city despite a curb weight over 4000lbs.
This is all impressive enough, but the engine is still only rated for 217hp. This might be adequate for cruising in the Royal, but is hardly an inspiring figure. However, what if this engine were to find its way into an MkIV Supra, IS300 or even a Silvia. It wouldn’t be breaking any ground to fit one of these engines in one of those chassis as the block is very familiar, but imagine a lightweight dual-purpose drift/daily S13 that gets Yaris-esque mileage on the way to the track, offset any emissions that may have been avoided with big white clouds of tire smoke and then proceed to commute for the next week on the same tank of gas. Now that’s a hybrid in every sense of the word!
Tuning this engine would require a herculean effort and you’d do well to pick up some textbooks on combustion theory while you’re at it, but there’s really no need to. The stock the engine produces an effortless 217lb-ft of torque at only 3600rpm and that’s more than enough to put a lightweight car sideways in a hurry.