Toyota Supra MA70
Toyota’s Celica badge has taken on legendary status for fans of Japanese sports cars, and it spawned a new derivative in 1982 (on the European market at least) – the Supra. Intended as a grand tourer, it swapped some of the sporting edge for more space, comfort and equipment and its success led to the car you see here.
Launched in 1986, the MkIII – or MA70 in Toyotaspeak – debuted a smoother, more aerodynamic look compared to its predecessor. A slippery 0.32 drag coefficient allowed a top speed of nighon 140mph in normally aspirated form, while the 3.0-litre straight-six engine got the big coupé to 60mph in less than eight seconds; the 232bhp Turbo that arrived a year after its launch was even quicker. Handling was secure and predictable rather than scalpel-sharp, and while it wouldn’t see which way a Porsche 944 went on a twisty road, buyers could instead revel in the comfort and refinement on offer, not to mention the lengthy equipment list that put rival car makers to shame. Those that forked out the requisite £15,299 – a price that put it on a par with contemporary coupés such as the Opel Monza GSE and Nissan 300ZX – benefitted from plenty of kit, including air-conditioning, cruise control, and a whole raft of electrical conveniences. Many examples also gained ABS brakes and a limited-slip differential, and there was the pricey option of the advanced ‘Toyota Electronic Modulated Suspension’ (electronically controlled dampers to you and me). The Supra benefitted from numerous tweaks inside and out until it was replaced by the JZA80 model in 1993, but 30 years after its arrival it’s now reached a point where it represents a lot of car for not much money. And who can resist the lure of pop-up headlights?