The Toyota Supra is one of the most celebrated Japanese performance cars of all time.
Up there with the likes of the Nissan Skyline GT-R and the Mazda RX-7, many consider the Toyota Supra to be the pinnacle of Japanese performance motoring – thanks in part to its legendary appearance in the original Fast & Furious movie.
In particular, the MK4 Toyota Supra from the 1990s and early 2000s has become one of the most desirable “JDM” cars on the market, with prices of these skyrocketing in recent years (read the following article if you’re interested in learning more about the meaning of JDM – there are JDM MK4 Supras and non-JDM ones, with some notable differences).
What was once a relatively affordable car has become unobtainable for many of us mere financial mortal car enthusiasts, at least not without remortgaging the house or winning big on the lottery. You might want to read more about how much the Toyota Supra MK4 cost when new to see just how much prices have risen in comparison.
Of course the Supra has existed over more generations than the MK4 – if the name wasn’t a dead giveaway. There are actually five generations of the Toyota Supra, including the current model (MK5) which has caused some controversy as many accuse it of being nothing more than a badge-engineered BMW … but that is a topic for a different article!
In this edition of Car Facts we are looking at a common question that people ask about the Supra, and that question is:
“Are all Toyota Supras rear wheel drive?”
Let’s find out!
Supra Keeps It Simple
From the very first generation, Toyota set out to make the Supra a leading choice in the “grand tourer” sports car market.
MK1 and MK2 Supras were actually based on the Celica platform (and were sold as ‘Celica Supras’, basically substantially improved Celicas). This meant a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout in the best traditions of the grand tourer concept.
For MK3 the car was an entirely different model to the Celica.
At the same time the MK3 Supra was released in 1986, the Celica of the era became a front-wheel drive car based on the Corona platform.
The MK3 remained an RWD car.
The MK4 and MK5 Supra have kept up the same tradition, all being front-engine, rear-wheel drive cars.
This means that all Toyota Supras are RWD.
In fact, Toyota even mentions this on their website page about the Supra:
Ever since the Supra’s inception in 1978, all generations have been front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles powered by an inline six-cylinder engine. The latest rendition is no exception.
While the MK5 has been a contentious car among the enthusiast community, it is still great to see that Toyota kept the same, original layout as opposed to slapping a Supra badge on a FWD eco-hatch or SUV (just to sell more cars using the name). Ok, the BMW badge engineering issue complicates matters – but at least the tradition of front-engine and rear-wheel drive has been honored!
Recap – Are All Toyota Supras RWD?
Yes, all Toyota Supras from all five generations of the car are Rear Wheel Drive/RWD.
There has never been an AWD or FWD Supra (at least not anything built that way from the factory … there have probably been some crazy DIY builds that are lurking on obscure forums and YouTube videos, so feel free to comment below if you have seen anything like that.
We hope that if Toyota continues to release more Supra generations in the future, that these will also be RWD. However, the push towards electrification makes this substantially more challenging.
Learn more about the MK4 and how to find, inspect and buy a good one in our Toyota Supra MK4 buyer’s guide.
If you have any questions, queries or concerns, then feel free to leave a comment below.