Toyota Supra Mk4 History

Japan’s motor industry experienced a period of incredible success from the late eighties to the late nineties. It was a period of exciting, world beating cars that would go onto become one of the most memorable periods of motoring. Toyota’s rivals launched magnificent cars like the FD-series Mazda RX-7, the Nissan GT-R and the Honda NSX.

To keep in play with their competition Toyota decided that it was time to launch a new version of their Supra range. Following the end of the Mk3’s production in 1992, Toyota launched the Mk4 Supra at the 1993 Chicago Motor Show. This had been in development for four years by the time of launch, under the guidance of Toyota’s chief engineer, Isao Tsuzuki, who had also worked on both generations of the MR2 and the Celica.

Credit: Toyota

The Mk4 Supra was a bold new move for Toyota and the car’s flowing design shared more in common with the 2000GT of the sixties than its predecessor. With its long, low bonnet and optional-high-rise spoiler the Mk4 Supra was aerodynamically efficient and oozed performance.

Compared to the outgoing car, the Mk4 Supra was shorter, lower and wider, while being 100kg lighter. The weight saving was down to Toyota using lighter materials and they even used hollow carpet fibres to save a few grams!

Powering the Mk4 was either a naturally aspirated or twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre JZ-series straight six engines that offered anywhere from 220bhp to 326bhp (Japanese manufactures at the time limited the horsepower of their cars to 276bhp). The top-spec turbo offerings were mated with Toyota’s first six-speed gearbox that meant the Supra could now offer supercar like performance.

In its turbocharged form the Supra could achieve 0-60mph in as little as 4.6 seconds and could hit nearly 180mph. Japanese models were limited to 112mph (180km/h), while export models could hit 155mph (250km/h) before the limiter stopped them going any further.

Rather than making the turbos operate in a parallel mode, Toyota designed them to be sequential. This resulted in boost and enhanced torque as early as 1,800rpm. At 3500 rpms some of the exhaust gases are sent through the second turbo for a “pre-boost” mode and at 4000rpm it kicks in properly.

While the turbocharged version of the car received the new V160 gearbox, the naturally aspirated versions had to make do with a five-speed manual W58 gearbox, which was revised from the previous car. Each model of the car was also offered with a four-speed automatic with a manual shifting mode.

With the Mk4 Supra, Toyota went to new lengths to save weight. They used aluminium for the bonnet, front cross member, the suspension upper A-arms, the oil and transmission pans, and the targa top (when that was fitted). Toyota also used hollow carpet fibres, a magnesium-alloy steering wheel and a whole host of other lightweight parts to shed any excess weight off the car.

By the late nineties, sales of sports coupes like the Toyota Supra were declining rapidly in North America. This meant that the car was withdrawn from the Canadian market in 1996 and the United States market 1998. Despite this, production of the Supra continued in Japan until August 2002 and was only stopped due to new restrictive emissions standards.

Toyota Supra Mk4 Specifications 

Looking for detailed specifications about the Supra Mk4, here’s what you need to know: 

ModelSupra (SZ, SZ-R)Supra Twin-Turbo (RZ-S, RZ, GZ)
Year of productionApril 1993 – August 2002April 1993 – August 2002
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel driveFront-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine/Engines3.0-litre 2JZ-GE Inline 63.0-litre 2JZ-GTE Inline 6 – Twin Turbocharged
Power220 – 225 hp (164 – 168 kW) – depending on the market280 hp (209 kW) – Japan
320 hp (239 kW) – Export
Torque284 Nm (209 lb ft)438 Nm (323 ft-lb) – Japan
458 Nm (338 ft-lb) – 1997 VVTi Japan
427 Nm (315 ft-lb) – Export
Gearbox5-speed W58 manual
4-speed A340E automatic
6-speed V160 or V161 manual
4-speed A340E automatic
Suspension FrontDouble wishboneDouble wishbone
Suspension RearDouble wishboneDouble wishbone
Brakes Front2 pot with 296 mm (11.6 inches) rotorsPre 95 – 4 pot, 296 mm (11.6 inches) – Japan
Post 95 – 4 pot, 323 mm (12.7 inches) – Japan
4 pot, 323 mm (12.7 inches) – Export
Brakes Rear1 pot with 307 mm (12.1 inches)Pre 95 – 2 pot, 307 mm (12.1 inches) – Japan
Post 95 – 2 pot, 324 mm (12.7 inches) – Japan
2 pot, 324 mm (12.7 inches) – Export
Tyres Front225/50ZR16 (SZ)
225/50ZR16 92V (SZ from around 1996)
235/45ZR17
Tyres Rear225/50ZR16 (SZ)
225/50ZR16 92V (SZ from around 1996)
245/50ZR16 (Non SZ models)
255/40ZR17
Wheels Front16x8JJ aluminium17x8JJ aluminium
Wheels Rear16x8JJ aluminium
16x9JJ aluminium (Non SZ models)
17×9.5JJ aluminium
Weight1,410 – 1,510 kg (3,109 – 3,329 lb)1,490 – 1,570 kg (3,285 – 3,461 lb)
Top speed225 km/h (140 mph)250 km/h (155 mph)
0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)6.2 seconds5.3 – 5.7 seconds (depending on market)

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  • Sam

    Sam focuses mainly on researching and writing the growing database of Car Facts articles on Garage Dreams, as well as creating interesting list content. He is particularly enthusiastic about JDM cars, although has also owned numerous European vehicles in the past. Currently drives a 3rd generation Suzuki Swift Sport, and a Volkswagen Touareg (mainly kept for taking his border collie out to the hills to go walking)

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