Cars & Trucks

Examined: 1993 Toyota Supra Turbo

Automobile and Driver

Our evaluations of Toyota’s four- and six-cylinder 2021 Supras are approaching 5/13, till then we determined to look again at the place the Supra began. This is our highway check of the fourth-generation Supra Turbo.

From the March 1993 subject of Automobile and Driver.

Toyota’s first Supra was a bastard: the 110-horsepower progeny of the plain-Jane and little-loved Celica. We anticipated it to be orphaned shortly, describing it in 1979 as “a make-believe Monte Carlo” with “vapid steering and doughy suspension.”

A lot has modified.

Since 1979, the Supra has established its personal, respectable household tree. And now we now have a fourth-generation Supra—one which rushes to 160 mph somewhat than 110, and one which shares as many elements with a Celica as a Tappan oven shares with a Ferrari F40.

Which is apt, really, as a result of the 1993 Supra Turbo positively cooks, and it steals quite a lot of F40 styling cues—the form of its grille, its trapezoidal head­lamp lenses, and its colossal brake scoops. To not point out the plagiarized rear wing, which seems to have been unfastened from one thing manufactured by Aerospatiale however is, reward the Pharaohs, solely an choice. (As Joseph Campbell as soon as stated, “Not one shred of evidence exists that life is serious.”)

The 1993 Supra shares its 3.0-liter inline six with the Lexus SC300 and GS300. The naturally aspirated iteration produces 220 horsepower at 5800 rpm. However with two turbos strapped to the iron block’s star­board flank, it musters a further 100 horsepower, in addition to a pot-walloping 315 pound-feet of torque—32 pound-feet greater than a twin-turbo Nissan 300ZX can summon.

So, until you order the Turbo’s large rear wing the man subsequent to you on Woodward Avenue has no method of realizing that your humble little Supra which, in 1979, required 11.2 seconds to achieve 60 mph—may simply catapult itself to that very same velocity within the subsequent 4.6 seconds.

The Supra’s turbos are sequential. The smaller one spools as much as full enhance at round 2500 rpm. Its large brother crashes the social gathering with a bottle rocket of thrust at 4500 rpm, kicking in with all of the subtlety of a Holyfield uppercut. As soon as this engine is force-fed by means of each turbos, you may wish to look at whether or not the switchable traction management is on responsibility. The Supra Turbo has no hassle portray spectacular black stripes as its huge rear Bridgestone 255/40ZR-17s spin freely exiting second-gear corners on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s tough roadcourse. Loads of throttle-induced oversteer, right here, however should you run shy of braveness, merely elevate, even at mid-turn. The tail tucks in, and the drama subsides, until, like us, you enter Flip Three at 140 mph and the compres­sion on the banking reduces suspension journey to the size of a Q-Tip.

The Supra and the Supra Turbo share a modified model of the Lexus SC300’s platform, surgically shortened by 5.5 inches, with particular geometry and coil-over shocks at every nook. In total size, the brand new Supra is 4.2 inches stub­bier than final yr’s automotive. Other than the Turbo’s distinctive 17-inch Potenza RE020s mounted on 9.5-inch-wide rear wheels, there aren’t any particular badges, bulges, or zoomy giveaways to distinguish the Supra from the Supra Turbo. So, until you order the Turbo’s large rear wing as a result of, for instance, your latest mind surgical procedure went fairly badly, the man subsequent to you on Woodward Avenue has no method of realizing that your humble little Supra which, in 1979, required 11.2 seconds to achieve 60 mph—may simply catapult itself to that very same velocity within the subsequent 4.6 seconds.

DAVID DEWHURST

That is fast.

Faster than an Acura NSX, a Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo, and a Porsche 928GT—a trio of automobiles that deal with 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. It is faster, in reality, than stellar strip artists just like the Mazda RX-7, the Corvette LT1, and the Nissan 300ZX Turbo, all three of which carry out the identical trick in 5 flat.

Though the Supra’s success will likely be measured by America’s response to it, the styling was wholly conceived in Japan. From the entrance, as we talked about, the automotive is F40-ish, though, should you get down on fingers and knees, you’ll depend ten lights on the snout. Very Christmasy. From the facet, the greenhouse and C-pillars mimic the brand new Honda Prelude’s. The hatchback is paying homage to a Celica’s. And from the rear, the brand new Supra is, ah, simply plain spooky. The ducktail and deep bumper lend the automotive a flabby fanny to which your eye is already drawn for all its muddle: eight baseball-size taillights, a Toyota steer-brand emblem, the Toyota name, a CHMSL with an odd white lens, and a script Supra decal. Equally jarring are the horizontal cutlines in entrance of the rear wheel wells, simply above the purposeful rear brake scoops.

For all that cash, you do get brakes large enough to cease a Clinton marketing campaign bus and as efficient as these on present Corvettes. Getting into a 90-degree flip at 120 mph thrice in a row, we didn’t elicit brake fade.

The 2 new Supras will likely be in present­rooms in June. Proper now, the marketeers predict the naturally aspirated model will go for about $36,000 and the Turbo for $40,000. A heap o’ beans, however not less than aggressive with different warp-speed starships, such because the RX-7, the 300ZX, the Corvette, and the twin-turbo Dodge Stealth and Mitsubishi 3000.

For all that cash, you do get brakes large enough to cease a Clinton marketing campaign bus and as efficient as these on present Corvettes. Getting into a 90-degree flip at 120 mph thrice in a row, we didn’t elicit brake fade. The Turbo’s entrance rotors, with distinctive spiral, Cuisinart-style air-sucking fins, are 12.7 inches in diameter. And the rears, at 12.Eight inches, are greater than a Corvette ZR-1’s. What’s unusual is that the naturally aspirated mannequin’s rotors are additionally two totally different sizes—which means there are 4 distinctive rotors for this Supra. Explains chief engineer Isao Tsuzuki, “With different [size] wheels and different unsprung weights, we performed a balanc­ing act to get the handling perfect on both versions.” Right here we now have an organization that actually does sweat the small print.

DAVID DEWHURST

This identical engineering conscientious­ness was utilized to the automotive’s heft, down 124 kilos from the earlier Supra sumo. The sushi-and-soda weight loss program was expen­sive, admits Tsuzuki. It required 950 meet­ings by which engineers sedulously hacked at cellulite. To shed lard, adjustable shocks have been forsaken. A telescoping steering wheel was canned. Twin exhaust suggestions, which regarded ultracool however did not add horsepower, received deep-sixed, saving 30 kilos. Aluminum hood, roof, and bumper helps helped, as did a plastic gas tank. To avoid wasting a couple of kilos, hole anti-roll bars have been fitted. To avoid wasting a couple of grams, hollow-fiber carpet was put in, and hollow-head bolts have been specified wherever they weren’t greedy an merchandise extra substantial than, say, an engine.

With this weight loss program got here a bonus: the Supra’s middle of gravity fell an inch. That, mixed with the macho coil-over shocks, improved anti-dive by some 20 % and lowered physique roll drastically, even underneath max-lat Gurney laps round Atlanta Motor Speedway, the place the automotive is extra steady above 100 mph than an RX-7. It is a remarkably well-planted platf­orm, as flex-free as a granite tombstone. Try the skidpad grip: an incredible 0.95 g.

Shift throws have been shortened to the size of a Bic lighter, and the lever itself is the peak and width of the dowel in a roll of bathroom paper. Mixed with a light-weight clutch, the result’s gear choice virtually as slick and speedy as that in a Miata.

The usual gearbox within the naturally aspirated Supra is a five-speed guide, whereas a Getrag six-speed is a part of the Turbo package deal. Predictably, sixth is for Scotsmen. It chugs alongside at a thrifty 2200 pm at 60 mph, properly shy of usable enhance.

Shift throws have been shortened to the size of a Bic lighter, and the lever itself is the peak and width of the dowel in a roll of bathroom paper. Mixed with a light-weight clutch, the result’s gear choice virtually as slick and speedy as that in a Miata. Our two gripes: a handbrake too near the shift lever, and an enormous ratio hole between second and third gears, the place it’s too straightforward to fall off enhance.

From inside, visibility is nearly as good as something within the Supra’s class, even with the non-obligatory wing, which is so tall that it frames the backlight like a halo, somewhat than bifurcating it. The brand new instrument cluster’s centerpiece is an enormous tach, redlined at 6800 rpm. The speedometer, to the precise, registers to 180 mph, a velocity Tsuzuki says—with out smiling—was attained by an early ungoverned mule.

DAVID DEWHURST

The Supra’s new entrance seats, like these in a Porsche 911, supply slim cushions and seatbacks, with surprisingly conserva­tive bolsters. Raymond Burr needn’t apply. As within the 911, nevertheless, the seats are major-league comfy and help­ive. We choose the material, somewhat than the non-obligatory leather-based facings. The material breathes higher and is grippier. Additionally, the black and tan cowskins have a naugahyde look about them.

The brake and throttle pedals are aligned satisfactorily for heel-and-toeing, and there is a terrific useless pedal for brac­ing your left leg. If solely the radio have been as intentionally positioned. It is low on the sprint, which is a disgrace: there’s an ideal spot for it up excessive, the place a vent and a big digital clock at present reside. One other mistake: a digital odometer that occupies its personal panel, eliminated a ways from the speedometer. Gratuitous muddle.

After our one-day drive (on a racetrack solely), we wonder if the brand new Supra faces an identification disaster. It’s quick, however it isn’t a pure sports activities automotive just like the RX-7. And it provides neither the styling, the luxurious, nor the status of the 300ZX.

Alas, the brand new Supra ought to be consid­ered a two-seater. Joe Pesci may wedge himself into one among these rear seats however solely after barking 4 or 5 unprintable oaths. Furthermore, the passenger’s footwell is clogged with an enormous tumor on the facet of the transmission hump. And the cargo space underneath the hatch, even with the rear seat folded flat, is disappointingly shallow. What’s extra, we do not discover the Supra’s inside sufficiently luxurious for $36,000.

The Supra was a sporty touring coupe, an Asian counterpart to, say, the Thunderbird SC. Now it’s focused at purchase­ers—admittedly valuable few of them—who loiter in Nissan showrooms subsequent to the 300ZXs. After our one-day drive (on a racetrack solely), we wonder if the brand new Supra faces an identification disaster. It’s quick, however it isn’t a pure sports activities automotive just like the RX-7. And it provides neither the styling, the luxurious, nor the status of the 300ZX.

However, additionally it is true that the manual-box Lexus SC300 and this new Supra are virtually fraternal twins in measurement, form, drivetrain, and worth. The Lexus is refined, opulent, and a styling imperium. The Toyota is stiff-riding, with extra direct steering, and is as obscenely fast as Clyde Drexler on a quick break. Every strategy has its adherents; Toyota solely half-jokingly defines them as being both north or south of their 40th birthdays. Though a number of C/D editors have but to undergo the large 4-O, we nonetheless discover it simpler to think about a long-term romance with the infant Lexus coupe, from which the Supra is now so aristocratically descended. In any occasion, nobody calls the Supra a bastard anymore. Apart from perhaps some Corvette salesmen.

Specs

Specs

1993 Toyota Supra Turbo

VEHICLE TYPE

front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2+2-passenger, 2-door hatchback

ESTIMATED PRICE AS TESTED (1993)

$42,000

ENGINE TYPE

twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, iron block and aluminum head, port gas injection
Displacement

183 in3, 2997 cm3
Energy

320 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque

315 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed guide

CHASSIS

Suspension (F/R): management arms/multilink

Brakes (F/R): 12.7-in vented discs/12.8-in vented discs

Tires: Bridgestone Potenza RE020, F: 235/45ZR-17 R: 255/40ZR-17

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 100.Four in

Size: 177.7 in

Width: 71.Three in

Top: 50.2 in

Passenger quantity: 72 ft3

Cargo quantity: 10 ft3

Curb weight: 3480 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 4.6 sec

100 mph: 11.1 sec

130 mph: 19.9 sec

150 mph: 29.6 sec

Rolling begin, 5–60 mph: 5.9 sec

High gear, 30–50 mph: 13.1 sec

High gear, 50–70 mph: 8.1 sec

¼-mile: 13.1 sec @ 109 mph

High velocity (governor restricted): 160 mph

Braking, 70–Zero mph: 160 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g

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