1983 Toyota Celica Supra Mk II
6-cyl. 2759cc/150hp Fuel Injection
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The 1978 Toyota Supra (technically the Celica Supra) represented Toyota’s first foray into the performance sport compact market. Designed to compete with the Mazda RX-7 and Datsun 280Z, the Supra was built on a lengthened Celica chassis and powered by a 2.6-liter straight-six engine with a single overhead cam. It wasn’t until the second generation Supra bowed in 1982, however, that Toyota got serious about mainstream performance.
While the first generation Supra delivered 110-116 hp during its run, the second generation arrived with a 2.8-liter, fuel-injected, DOHC engine boasting 145 hp and a 0-60 time under 10 seconds. Buyers could choose between a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, and starting in 1983 the automatic was upgraded to a two-mode electronically controlled transmission featuring “normal” and “power” settings.
On the outside, the Supra looked like a modified Celica with more length in front of the firewall to accommodate the six-cylinder engine, and unique front end bodywork with pop-up headlights. The result was a handsome and sporty looking car in step with the angular styles of the era.
Perhaps better than the engine and the exterior was the Supra’s four-wheel independent suspension, tuned by Lotus. Mark II Toyota Supras were popular drivers’ cars and were often found in autocross competitions of the era. In addition, the Supra came with four-wheel disc brakes, power everything, standard cruise control, and tilt steering wheel.
Both P-type (for performance) and L-type (for luxury) Mark II Supras were available. P-type cars were equipped with limited slip differentials, fender flares, eight-way adjustable seats, larger wheels, and a rear spoiler. In 1985, both variants graduated to 15x6 wheels.
Toyota increased power for the Mark II Supra during each model year, as it went to 150 hp in 1983, 160 hp in 1984, and 161 hp in 1985. The Supra Mark II line technically extended through the 1986 model year, but the final cars were really 1985 models that were held over while Toyota developed the Mark III Supra, which appeared as a half model year in 1986.
Over the course of five years, Toyota produced about 115,000 Mark II Supras. The original MSRP of a 1982 Supra was $13,500 and the last of this generation in 1986 sold for $16,000, or roughly the same as a Nissan 300ZX of the same year.
The Mark II Toyota Celica Supra is recognized as a milestone in Japanese performance vehicles. The cars helped change America’s perception of Toyota as a manufacturer of econo-boxes, and attracted the attention of spirited drivers across the country. Today, enthusiasts tend to seek out the later P-type cars due to their higher power ratings and more purposeful set-up.