During the early years, the Toyota Supra was developed alongside the Toyota Celica; in fact, it was nearly identical in body style, despite having a longer and wider frame. The Supra belongs in the same class as the sporty Celica, but it was geared toward fans of racing. The car has reached iconic status in the automotive industry and has made several appearances in video games, such as Gran Turismo", and movies, such as The Fast and the Furious.
Because the Supra's design was based on the Celica, it has the same 2+2 seating arrangement, which means there is more room for the driver and front passenger than for the two passengers in the back. The Supra's optional I6 engines are much more powerful than the Celica's 1.8-liter I4; however, both are equipped with four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmissions. Also, earlier models were not as fast as later models, only being able to go from 0-60 in 9.8 seconds.
The first generation Toyota Supra debuted in 1978 as part of the Mark I series that lasted until 1981. While the front end was similar to the Celica at this time, the back end was longer and featured a hatchback. By the second generation in 1981, the Supra entered the Mark II series and was given a complete redesign, featuring a sloped front end and pop-up headlights. While the Mark II and III series were quite similar in design, the new direction of the Supra was not seen until the Mark IV series in 1993. This body design was much sleeker and featured a large rear spoiler.
The interior features of the earlier models were quite elaborate, including such features as digital dashboard displays that revealed fuel economy in miles per gallon and the distance to a particular destination. This technology advanced through the next generations, including other options such as magnesium-alloy steering wheels and dual airbags. Despite having a bevy of exterior features, including larger brakes, tires, rims and a gas-injected rear spoiler, the Mark IV Supra was still lighter than earlier models.
The first award the Toyota Supra captured was the 1984 Motor Trend Import Car of the Year award. That same year, the Supra managed to make Car and Driver's Ten Best list, an award it had also captured the year before. The Supra's next award would not come until 1994, when it won the Design and Engineering Award from Popular Mechanics.
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